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Avalanche Bibliography - General Interest
This is a short bibliography of books focusing on avalanche safety
at the general interest level. To purchase any of these books or videos,
please visit the CSAC online avalanche
store. The store also contains a description of each item. Proceeds
support that extensive and important resource. You will also find many
more items for sale there, from books and videos not listed here to
almost every piece of recreational safety equipment available.
ABC of Avalanche Safety
This was finally updated after a long time but still includes a few obsolete
things such as mention of avalanche cords. However, it is small and
short and to-the-point. It has more emphasis (in some respects implicitly)
on climbing and on the northwestern US.
Snow Sense, A Guide to Evaluating. Snow Avalanche Hazard
J.A. Fredston and Doug Fesler
Alaska Mountain Safety Center
This book has become the standard introduction for the majority of
recreational students in the US. Many schools and instructors recommend it or hand it out to all students in basic (or US Level 1) courses.
It does an excellent job of addressing the "human factors"
behind most incidents in addition to the more objective factors.
Avalanche Safety for Skiers and Climbers
Rocky Mountain Books
This book is longer and goes into more detail on topics such as crystal
metamorphism than the above two books. It should be comfortable reading
for most non-technical individuals interested more in recreational
safety than hard science. This is a good book for students in or preparing
for an advanced (US Level 2) course.
David McClung and Peter Schaerer
This often-mentioned book is considered to be the classic and standard
reference. However, it is very technical and not especially well-organized
for reading from beginning to end. Much of the material is scientific
and of more interest to professionals than recreationalists. Highly
recommended as a reference where you can look up almost anything,
but don't rely on it to learn your basic safety skills.
Avalanche Awareness: A Question of Balance (Currently unavailable)
This is an older video but still very well done. It's organization
and clear presentation allow it to effectively convey a lot of sound
introductory information in 30 minutes. I use this in my basic course
because it is time effective. Only a few things hint at its vintage,
such as the beacons which are used.
Beating the Odds
Canadian Avalanche Association
This video takes a dramatic approach, showing how events unfold during
a day outdoors for three different groups with different training
and attitudes. Very well done. The version for sale is about 50 minutes
but a 30 minute version is available through the CAA by request. I
use the short version of this video in my basic class as well.
Winning the Avalanche Game
This is a popular video covering basic safety. It is 60 minutes and
is somewhat poorly organized. There appears to have been an effort
to squeeze in every big name in the profession, even though they don't
always add much to a video of this nature. While I don't use this
in courses due to its somewhat inefficient use of time I think many people enjoy renting or purchasing it for home viewing.
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