The Countrymen Press adds two fine offerings to the world of snow sports in the West. Fine (Canoeing & Kayaking Utah) provides a plethora of information about Alpine, Nordic, and telemark (free-heel) skiing, as well as other winter sports, in Utah. He does so with much bravado as he declares that Utah has the best snow in the world, what the Inuit people of Canada and Alaska might describe as "quvianaqtuvik," their word for heaven. Fine may get some arguments, but many expert skiers and snowshoers agree, particularly about the state's light powder. Fine also argues for skiing and snowshoeing in Utah because all but one of the 13 skiing resorts there are within two hours of the Salt Lake City airport. He gives helpful overall tips for undertaking outdoor recreation at high altitude with strong sun. Then he divides the book into 13 chapters, each addressing the individual resorts, providing contact information and details about accommodations, restaurants, skiing and snowboarding lessons, snow reports, elevation of resort peaks, vertical drop, and the availability of night skiing. He also covers the level of skiing (by athletic ability) to be found at each resort. The volume is full of beautiful color photographs as well as trail maps and a helpful glossary.
Cross-country skiing instructor Hauserman (Monsters in the Woods: Backpacking with Children) has put together a comprehensive guide to Nordic skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California and Nevada. He lists some general safety, etiquette, and clothing tips and, as does Fine, lists 13 resort areas where Nordic skiers can ski a variety of terrain and snow conditions. He talks about lessons andracing availability and lists available resources and contact information, with suggestions for accommodations, restaurants, and shopping. The book contains black-and-white photographs and trail maps. Toward the end, the author lists his top-ten trails and then adds an extremely handy "Resources and Information" section with contact information for additional ski areas, organizations, books and magazines, ski equipment manufacturers, and yoga studios. These two books are welcome additions to the world of winter sports writing for recreational travel sections in public libraries.
Melinda Stivers Leach