Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns, and the Future of Chasing Snow

Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns, and the Future of Chasing Snow by Heather Hansman
Heather Hansman
4
Nov 9, 2021

For those in the (literary) know, Tuesdays are the traditional day where publishers release new titles into the world. Here at the library, we get patrons who always want to know what the new, hot, word-of-mouth books are. They scan the New Releases shelf, they stalk the "new titles" portion of our website, and want to be ahead of the curve and, above all, NOT be number 582 on the waiting list. We completely understand, and would like to take a moment and introduce you to New Title Tuesday, a day where we spotlight a brand new book that is published that week. Even though it might not be available on our shelves, either because of holds lists or supply chain issues or us needing some extra time to enter it into our system and get it ready for our shelves, you can still place a hold on these items through our website and be one of the first in line for an excellent array of titles.

Personally, I tend to stick to fiction when it comes to books. You're more apt to see me talk about fantasy, thrillers, science-fiction, literary fiction, or romance in this space, but sometimes there's a non-fiction book or a biography that I just can't resist. And this week's #NewTitleTuesday fits the bill. It is POWDER DAYS: SKI BUMS, SKI TOWNS, AND THE FUTURE OF SNOW by Heather Hansman. Hansman, an independent journalist, begins her book by delving into the history of recreational skiing in America. But then she interestingly launches into a section of the book discussing the ethnography of skiing - examining the culture of people who love the sport and in some cases devote their entire lives to it. What socio-economic classes they come from, what values they hold, what prejudices they have in common. She spends time with ski bums across America - who they are, where they come from, and the almost spiritual desire they feel when they hit the slopes. She also examines towns that make skiing their lifeblood, and takes a detour into the future of skiing - how environmental changes and the differences in climate mean to the slopes ten, twenty, and fifty years down the road. Will places like Vail and Taos and Telluride look differently?  

Perfect for lovers of travel narratives mixed with history with a smidge of introspection, Hansman draws a seemingly effortless picture of the sport that is at once consice, engaging, and broad-ranging without being rambling or unfocused. This highly entertaining read will be for those of us, living in the middle of the Great Plains that we are, who sometimes dream of catching that perfect snow-capped slope.

Written by Gregg W.

I have surprisingly strong opinions about comic book characters.