- The Powder Hound's Guide to Skiing Alta by Brad Asmus. This was a no-brainer: of course we were going to buy this book! Despite the fact that we ski Alta pretty much every weekend from opening to closing, there is still so much we don't know about there. This book, originally published in 1992 and reprinted in 2006, is an exhaustive guide to Alta, from High Rustler to East Castle (although for some reason he doesn't describe Catherine's Area at all). There are maps and photos, pithy asides and detailed descriptions of all the best terrain the resort has to offer. Loads of information and lots of fun to read to boot.
- The Chuting Gallery: A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains by Andrew McLean. We learned about this book whilst at the bar at the Porcupine. We were talking to our regular bartender, Edd, who does a lot of back country skiing. He was describing some chutes he'd been in and we didn't know where they were exactly, so he pulled out the bar's copy of The Chuting Gallery (signed by the author) to show us. We spent the rest of the pitcher poring over this wonderful little book and then bought it ourselves shortly thereafter (signed by the Park City-based author with a wish for "Happy Turns!"). The Chuting Gallery mostly covers back country stuff, although it does mention Baldy Chutes in its "Forbidden Fruit Chutes" chapter, with detailed descriptions of the terrain, great maps and fairly recent photos with the routes sketched out on them. I'm not inclined to do any backcountry anytime soon - certainly not before I've taken an avalanche class - but I like having this as a resource. Plus, signed by the author!
- Wasatch Tours: Volume 2 - The Northern Wasatch by David Hanscom and Alexis Kelner. This is another back country touring book, loaded with tons of information: maps, photographs and detailed route descriptions. It's a little dated (1995) but is just stuffed full of useful local knowledge. If nothing else, we now have a resource giving us more canyon/feature names.
We sometimes say that we need to get away from the Wasatch Front and explore more of the state, more of the west. But when we start paging through these books, we realize how much there still is to explore practically in our backyard. There's so much out there - let's get outside!