Manual of Ski Mountaineering, edited by David R. Brower and others. Compiled under the auspices of The National Ski Association of America. 135 pages and one plate. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1942.
If ski touring, especially in the High Sierras, plays a part in your life, you will seize avidly upon the Manual of Ski Mountaineering. The authors are men with great personal skill, who plan their tours with all the care and precision of admiral of the fleet. They travel speedily, with a minimum of equipment, over country that the unwary amateur would find definitely hazardous. They know the functional aspects of clothing, the need of light weight equipment, and the vital importance of knowing what snow will avalanche and when. In fact so efficiently do they operate that the guileless reader must remember that thorough training is as necessary as this manual in teaching him the rules of winter ski travel. Too much theory and too little training can be dangerous.
The technique discussed in Ski Mountaineering is up-to-the- minute, practical, and highly developed, but it must be borne in mind that this is not necessarily the best technique for winter mountaineering. The manual intentionally deals with the highly specialized art of winter ski touring—and does it admirably—instead of with the broader field of general camping and mountaineering. This is fortunate for the book is a worthy companion piece to the broader and more complete Handbook of American Mountaineering. Here skiing comes closer to mountaineering than in any other form.
Messrs. Brower, Leonard, Nilsson, Robinson, and the others, deserve full praise for their worthy contribution to the art of wilderness travel.