There’s no shortage of books on avalanche safety, and Utah Avalanche Center Director, Bruce Tremper, is the author of one of the best, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain. One thing books like Staying Alive and others lack, however, is a readability and first person approach that appeals to readers with a less technical background or approach. This readable, first person approach is exactly where Tremper’s new book, Avalanche Essentials – A Step-by-Step System for Safety and Survival, excels.
Rather than focusing on snow science and the technical aspects of slide dynamics, Avalanche Essentials offers a more accessible approach by asking broader questions like: How dangerous is the brain? How dangerous is the terrain? How dangerous is the snowpack?
Tremper, one of the most widely respected snow professionals in the biz, goes on to address these questions with a big-picture common-sense approach that could save your life.
The book still touches on fundamental snow dynamics and avalanche awareness topics, but it focuses on easy-to-use systems and decision-making aids to drive your field awareness and decision making process. From the highlighted “Take-Home Points” highlighted in every chapter to the “Ten Commandments of Low-Risk Travel” in Chapter Five, Tremper uses a mix of personal anecdotes and decades of field experience to present and simplify safe backcountry travel.