50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California--Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney, Paul Richins, Jr.

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[Ski-Snowboard Descent of Mount Shasta] [Three Terrific Tours and Two Splendid Summits] [Ski Mountaineer's Peaks]

Highlights and Summary

50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California--Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney, by Paul Richins, Jr., Mountaineer Books, Seattle, WA, 240 pages, 60 maps and 70 b&w photographs, ISBN=0898866561. Contents of this page include: [Reviews] [Summary by the Publisher] [Summary by the Author] [Table of Contents]

Also see, Ski-Snowboard Descent of Mount Shasta, Carson Pass: Three Terrific Tours and Two Splendid Summits, and list of Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP, three excerpts from the book.

To purchase the guidebook, click on 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits. It is also available from the publisher, Mountaineers Books in Seattle, by calling (800) 553-4453 or e-mail: mbooks@mountaineers.org and is in selected book and backcountry ski stores. Go to amazon.com to search for any book of your choice.

New--To purchase a personalized copy, please indicate how you'd like the book signed, your mailing address, e-mail address, and a check for $22.00. Mail this info to me at 3562 Rolph Way, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762. The $22.00 price includes a personalized copy of the guidebook and shipping and handling in North American. I will mail all orders within one to three business days. Thanks for your support!

Book Reviews

"50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California-Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney is a well-examined greatest-hits package for a 550-mile stretch of California that runs from the southern Sierra Nevada to the Cascade Volcanoes of Northern California. Jam-packed with superb black and white photos and uncluttered maps, this book is a great choice."

--Couloir Magazine

"This book is quite simply the best guide in print to skiing the Sierra Crest."

--Doug Robinson, Backcountry Ski Guide, First President American Mountain Guides Association

"Paul Richins has written a splendid guide to places of white solitude and beauty, places few people ever see. Richins takes us on a unique journey through the Golden State, and his enthusiasm enriches every page."

--Steve Roper, author of "Camp 4 Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber", and "Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country".

"Paul Richins did a terrific job of selecting and describing many of California's most recommendable routes in one of the greatest regions for ski mountainering on earth."

--Bela G. Vadasz, Director, Alpine Skills International, AMGA/UIAGM Mountain Guide.

"The most comprehensive guide available for anyone interested in skiing the best of the California peaks. This book will seduce the timid into a world of adventure and outdoor recreation previously thought to be for the "Big Boys" only. The experienced skier and snowboarder will appreciate the breadth of information available in one source. You'll scrunch this one into your backpack along with your topo map. Mr. Richins' writing style flows easily. His excitement for the subject will capture your outdoor spirit. His vast experience will give you the confidence and trust you need in a guide."

--Robin Fuller, backcountry skier and former ski instructor.

"Thanks for providing a great information source, and a great read. I am a collector of guidebooks and maps, and your book will be a prized part of my collection."

--Frank Farmer, backcountry skier and book collector

"I really am enjoying your book. Even though I am not a skier, I still find it fascinating what you people do in the winter. I bought copies for my son and nephew for christmas. I appreciate your fine work."

--John W. Reed

"Mr. Richins' book is a veritable treasure-trove of information. From well researched check-lists to clear descriptions of everything from how to get to the trailhead to routes on the peaks; this book covers it all. Mr. Richins' love of the Sierra Nevada shines through these pages. He invites his readers to share his love of the winter Sierra and imparts knowledge that makes it possible for expert and novice alike to enjoy these mountains. History of the Sierra Nevada is woven in throughout the book, creating an interesting counterpoint to the climbing routes. A must for the backpacker on winter trips in the Sierras! Something to read by headlamp on those long nights in the tent or at home on a rainy afternoon."

--Ann Gimpel, Ph.D., Alpine and backcountry skier
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Summary by the Publisher, Mountaineers Books

50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits--Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney, offers some of the finest ski and snowboard descents in California, ranging over a 550-mile span from Mount Shasta in the north to Mount Whitney in the south. Grouped into nine geographical regions, these summits represent the best of the best--from well-known destinations to some of California’s highest and most remote snowboard and ski mountaineering peaks. The guide includes ski/snowboard descents from six peaks over 14,000 feet and 25 of the 100 highest peaks in California. Timeless historical accounts for each region by John Muir, Theodore Solomons, John C. Fremont Clarence King and others round out the guide for a very entertaining and informative read.

Trips range from a half-day to seven-day mini-expeditions, and while all can be completed on either snowboard or skis, the author makes specific recommendations for the best snowboard descents. The author has provided a detailed description of each ascent and descent route and has rated the difficulty of each based on his experience climbing/skiing each summit in the guide book. Each trip description includes a complete narrative of the ascent and descent plus information on trip highlights, trip duration, level of difficulty, mileage, elevation gain and road and trail access. The appendix is packed with helpful information for planning a trip including: the best of the 50 classics, the Snowboard Challenge, the 50 classics listed by level of difficulty, a list of the 100 highest peaks in California, an equipment list, and items to include in a medical first aid kit. It also includes useful phone numbers and addresses of mountain guides, stores, clubs, weather, avalanche and road conditions, backcountry huts/lodges and wilderness permits.

This is the most comprehensive guide book available on snowboard and ski mountaineering in California, featuring the widest selection of premier summits including an 8,000 foot descent of Mount Shasta, perhaps the longest in the state, and numerous 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 foot descents. A sampling of some of the other exquisite descents described in the book include: Lassen Peak, Matterhorn Peak, Bloody Mountain, Red Slate Peak, Mount Lyell, University Peak, Mount Ritter, Mount Whitney, Mount Williamson, Mount Tom, Mount Darwin, Mount Goddard, Mount Brewer, Mount Kaweah, North Palisade, Mount Sill, Mount Humphreys, The Thumb, and many more. The guide includes 256 pages, 70 b&w photos and 60 maps with the Forward written by Johh Moynier.

/s/ Mountaineers Books
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Summary by the Author

Some of the finest skiing and snowboarding can be found in the mountains of California. The temperate winter climate along with the fabulous spring weather and abundant snowfall combine with splendid scenery to provide limitless opportunities for the backcountry traveler. California’s conditions are difficult to beat--a deep snow pack, winter powder, and some of the best spring corn snow found anywhere.

Skiing or snowboarding California’s backcountry summits is a unique and unforgettable experience providing all-manner of adventure and enjoyment: a skier’s paradise stretching nearly the length of the state. From the 14,000 foot glaciated summit of Mount Shasta (in the north) to Mount Whitney (in the south), this unbroken chain of mountains, spanning over 550 miles, offers an endless variety of skiing and snowboarding opportunities.

The skiing and snowboarding season in California extends from November to July. The silky smooth, velvet, corn snow of spring, is perhaps, the best found anywhere in the world. Just as the ski season in other regions of the U.S. is melting away, California’s magnificent spring skiing is at its pinnacle.

Fifty Classics was written for the intermediate backcountry skier as well as the advanced and expert skier seeking to push to their limit. The guide includes a nice mix of intermediate, advanced and expert ski and snowboard descents. The guide features single-day trips near the road to remote summits located in some of the most unbelievable terrain imaginable, including wonderful powder summits of winter and exquisite corn snow of spring.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide and are able to experience the joys of backcountry ski mountaineering in California. You will not be disappointed. Your thoughts and comments on the book are greatly appreciated.

/s/ Paul Richins, Jr.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1--First Run
How to use the book
Snow and weather conditions
When to go
What to expect
Avalanche Awareness, by John Moynier
Backcountry Snowboarding, by John Moynier
Before setting out
What to bring
How to get there

Chapter 2--Mount Shasta
Historical account--Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta, John Muir, 1877
1. Mount Shasta--Whitney Glacier
2. Mount Shasta--Bolam-Hotlum Ridge
3. Mount Shasta--Hotlum-Wintun Ridge
4. Shastina--Cascade Gulch

Chapter 3--Lassen National Park
Historical--Beginner's Luck--1954 Ski Traverse of Lassen Park, by Gene Leach
5. Lassen Peak--Summit Traverse
6. Lassen Peak--Northeast Face
7. Mount Diller

Chapter 4--Lake Tahoe Region
Historical--First winter crossing of the Sierra Nevada, John C. Fremont, 1844
8. Mount Rose
9. Castle Peak
10. Mount Tallac
11. Pyramid Peak
12. Ralston Peak
13. Red Lake Peak
14. Tryon Peak

Chapter 5--Yosemite National Park
Historical account--The Discovery of Living Glaciers, John Muir, 1894
15. Leavitt Peak
16. Mount Walt
17. Cleaver Peak
18. Matterhorn Peak
19. Dunderberg Peak
20. Mount Dana
21. Koip Peak
22. Mount Lyell

Chapter 6--Mammoth Lakes Region
Historical account--The Untouched Summit of Mount Ritter, John Muir, 1894
23. Mount Ritter
24. Bloody Mountain
25. Red Slate Mountain
26. Mount Dade
27. Mount Morgan--South

Chapter 7--Bishop Region
Historical account--The Enchanted Gorge, from Mount Goddard and its Vicinity, Theodore Solomons, 1896
28. Mount Tom
29. Basin Mountain
30. Mount Humphreys
31. Mount Lamark
32. Mount Darwin
33. Mount Goddard

Chapter 8--Palisades Region
Historical account--Wind-storm in the Forests, John Muir, 1894
34. North Palisade
35. Mount Sill--Northwest Couloir and the L-Shaped Couloir
36. Mount Sill--Glacier Creek Cirque
37. The Thumb
38. Birch Mountain
39. Striped Mountain

Chapter 9--Mount Whitney Region
Historical account--Mount Whitney, The Early Climbs, Francis P. Farquhar, History of the Sierra Nevada, 1969
40. Mount Gould
41. University Peak
42. Mount Williamson
43. Mount Whitney
44. Mount Irvine
45. Mount Pickering

Chapter 10--Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Historical account--Across the Great Divide, Clarence King's First Attempt to Climb Mount Whitney, by Clarence King, 1864
46. Mount Brewer
47. The Tablelands
48. Mount Kaweah
49. Sawtooth Peak
50. Florence Peak
51. Vandever Mountain

Last Run--Appendices
The best of the classics--Ski Mountaineer Peaks and the Snowboard Challenge
Fifty Classic Ski Summits listed by level of difficulty
The California 100--A list of California's 100 highest peaks
Useful phone numbers and web site addresses--mountain guides, stores, clubs, weather and road conditions, backcountry huts/lodges, wilderness permits

To purchase the guidebook click on 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits. It is also available from the publisher, Mountaineers Books in Seattle, by calling (800) 553-4453 or e-mail: mbooks@mountaineers.org and is in selected book and backcountry ski stores.

Backcountry_Resource_Center--Paul Richins, Jr.

[Site Map] [Bookstore] [Climb to the Top] [Home Page] [Purchase Guidebook]