Ski Touring - the title says it all. This no-nonsense publication from British Mountain Guide Bruce Goodlad covers everything you need to know, and nothing you don't on the complex topic of ski touring. From snow safety to equipment through to details of some recommended routes, this book is an ambitious and broad reaching authoritative manual - and it is easy to read too.
Right, I thought - I'd better test this book out. What do I want to know?
First thing that popped in to my mind was - 'how the hell do I ski horrible crust?!' Surely the acid test for any ski touring manual is to help with the near impossible task of making this nightmare snow easier. I opened the book and flicked to the contents - sure enough there is a whole chapter on how to deal with different snow types, and page 66 is devoted to my favourite winter pastime - skiing crust. For this chapter on Ski Technique, Bruce has drafted in the knowledge of top UK ski coach Alison Culshaw, and Alison explains clearly the different body positions and tips and tricks needed for ski touring in all types of snow conditions with text and photography - brilliant, question 1 answered and answered well.
Second thing was - 'how do I bloody avoid this crust in the first place?!' and sure enough, page 101 is titled 'How To Find Good Snow'. Bruce - you're making it all too easy!
Thirdly, I'd been planning some hut-to-hut ski tours for this spring and I wondered if it suggested some longer ski tours - and yes, the final chapter is a list of day tours and longer outings, with details and descriptions - perfect and it even included some of the tours I had already done - giving me a big pat on the back for my excellent choices!
The Book In General
What else to say - well the written style of the book is serious but succinct, which with this being a manual is no bad thing, but don't go expecting Wordsworth style prose.
The photography is of a high standard, full colour printing, nice use of images to show some of the technical details, and occasional use of diagrams too. This isn't Jon Griffith's Alpine Exposures photography book though, and I am guessing space was at a premium, so don't expect magazine style lavish double page landscape photos - there is just enough colour in the book to keep it modern and fresh, but it isn't coffee table in style.
I've now covered the content - which is absolutely top notch, the writing style - which is easy to understand, clear and concise, and the photography which is colourful and useful, so that leaves the layout and printing - the layout is nice, with enough white space around the text, images and pale blue text boxes to give the book space to breathe and the printing, done in Hungary, is very high quality. There is an easy to follow contents guide with clear headings at the front and the all important index at the back.
Overall this is a very neat book from the North Wales based Pesda Press, written and photographed by British Mountain Guide Bruce Goodlad.
The price of £16.99 is a bargain for a 280 page full colour manual of such depth. If you are thinking of starting ski touring, or even have been touring for years, there is something in this book for you.
What Pesda Press Say:
For off-piste, back country, ski tourers and ski mountaineers
BY: Bruce Goodlad
FORMAT: 170 x 240mm, 280 pages
AVAILABILITY: March 2015
If you want to leave the confines of the piste, and explore the mountains and valleys beyond, then this is the book for you.
Everything you need to make the transition from piste skiing to ski touring is here, from downhill off-piste and uphill skills to avalanche awareness. All aspects are covered in detail, with clear descriptions and stunning photos.
The first section of the book covers the knowledge and techniques required to travel beyond the marked trail. The second part contains a selection of Bruce's favourite tours, in guidebook style, to help you plan your own backcountry adventure.
Key chapters include: Downhill Skills, Uphill Skills, Glacier Skiing, Avalanches, Winter Weather, and Planning a Ski Tour.
MORE INFO: Pesda Press