Posted on 18 Oct 2023

Turn the Page! The Best Books About Skiing

Temperatures are dropping in the Colorado Rockies, the first snow of the season has fallen on the slopes and the race is on for the ski resorts to open. Breckenridge and Vail are expecting to welcome the first skiers and riders of the 2023/24 season on November 10. Beaver Creek and Steamboat’s lifts will fire up November 22.

It’s time to book your ski vacation, tune up the skis, and curl up on the couch...what? To get you stoked about those blue-bird sky days schussing through champagne powder, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite books about skiing and snowboarding. Read on...

An Outside Magazine Book Club Pick and winner of the International Ski Association’s Ullr Book Award, Powder Days is an adventure into the rich history of skiing and the modern heart of ski-bum culture. Blossoming from the Tenth Mountain Division in World War II, the sport took hold across the country, driven by adventurers seeking the rush of freedom that only cold mountain air could provide. As skiing gained in popularity, mom-and-pop backcountry hills gave way to groomed trails and eventually the megaresorts of today. Along the way, the pioneers and diehards—the ski bums—remained the beating heart of the scene.

Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. She grew up chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal—and by all accounts, she was living “the Dream.” But it wasn’t her dream. While skiing with friends one day, the universe caught her attention with a sign: Raise Restraining Device. The words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built and start a search for something different—something more. What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very center of herself.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore called DEEP "the must-read story of how global warming is transforming the future of snow and the future of skiing.” As skiers and snowboarders, we live and die by the vagaries of climate. We spend time reading long-range forecasts, ogling radar, and planning dream trips to legendary spots, all in search of snow. DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow is an essential read for snow-lovers and climate-conscious folk alike, it details the origins of skiing, the sport's development, and the changing climate that's threatening our winters.

A coming-of-age novel set in Jackson during skiing's golden era of the 1970s, The God of Skiing is a novel by award-winning journalist Peter Kray. Reveling in the exploits of the legendary Tack Strau, an iconic East Coast racer whose stunning wins and spectacular crashes made him an instant celebrity on the NCAA race circuit, the book reads like a love letter to a sport built on gravity, speed, and the heartbreaking thrill of cold acceleration. When Strau suffers a potentially fatal fall after being signed by the U.S. Ski Team, then disappears, the book takes off on a whirlwind tour of the sport’s most storied slopes in an effort to find him.

Warren Miller is perhaps skiing’s greatest storyteller and is the godfather of action-sports film making. In this soul-searching autobiography, Warren revealed the secrets of his past and the peaks and valleys he navigated in bringing the sport he loves to audiences worldwide. Freedom Found is a must-read for Warren’s legion of fans, ski history enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies and anyone whose interest is piqued by an extraordinary 20th-century success story. This is a heartwarming and at times heart-wrenching account of an American innovator who did it his own way, understood the importance of making people laugh, and never looked back.

Warren's film Ski Country made our list of favorite ski films.

More of a coffee table book, but the photos make skiing look oh so glamorous. The sport of skiing has come a long way to attract daring athletes, tourists and locals on winter holiday, the chic and famous, and international royalty. On the technical side, pioneering innovators developed cutting-edge equipment that, over the years, has grown skiing to become a fiercely competitive spectator sport while, on the cultural side, the exciting and well-groomed stars of the ski world and jetsetter destinations have come to define a distinctive and popular global culture and aspirational lifestyle. The Stylish Life: Skiing is a nostalgic and spectacular journey through alpine history and beyond, including this singularly unique sport's founders, superstars, influence on design and entertainment, and the evolution of its resorts, fashion, equipment, and much more.

This ultimate skier and snowboarder bucket list races through 100 energizing snowy experiences for all levels, including the Minturn Mile in Vail. Complete with a foreword from celebrated Olympic alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, 100 Slopes of a Lifetime is filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, wisdom from experts, need-to-know travel information, and practical tips. This inspirational guide offers the planet's best ski and snowboarding experiences on breathtaking slopes around the world.

And for young readers, Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee, is the third book in the much-loved series about Mr. Magee and his trusty dog, Dee! One winter morning, Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee, head out bright and early to learn how to ski. But what begins as a pleasant day in the snow quickly goes downhill when a run-in with a curious moose sends them flying through the air and hanging above an abyss! How will Dee and Magee find their way out of this snowy situation? Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee is another fun-filled adventure for Magee fans old and new.

Written for a younger reader, this is a true story of 4FRNT founder Matt Sterbenz and his friendship with Olympic skier David Wise. The story takes young skiers inside their experience as they build a ski together and begin a journey that teaches the power of trust. Matt Sterbenz’s novel for children illustrates how with trust, friendship and teamwork, you can achieve just about anything. This inspiring story shows how children can brush themselves off after a fall or a setback and keep on working towards their dreams.

If you’d rather don the headphones and listen while you lift (to strengthen those legs for some powder runs this season), check out our list of favorite podcasts about skiing and snowboarding.


Grab the popcorn and and curl up on the couch to watch one of the flicks from our list of Best Ski Films.



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