Although I often don’t read a guidebook about a particular area until after I’ve ventured there, I realize that’s not the usual method. Guidebooks often point the way with an accuracy that could only be shared by someone who has already been to a place, and in that regard, these are some of the finest I’ve come across:
Teton Skiing – A History & Guide to the Teton Range: Written by the prolific Thomas Turiano, who has spent more time in the mountains than he hasn’t, in the process getting himself onto and off of a whole lot of mountains. Rich with Teton area history, maps, achievement, and pictures, this is 199 pages of reading delight. Or, use it for reference of the next sick line you’re considering.
Wild Snow – A Hitorical Guide to North American Ski Mountaineering: The next time you’re short on ideas of what peak to ski, from Alaska to Maine, Wild Snow has you covered. It details 54 mountain peaks, mostly in Western North America, ripe for your ski descent. Covering such essentials as how to get to each peak, what you’ll find when there, including the vertical gain, and a lot of history about those who have been there before you, this is an excellent and well researched guide book.
Jackson Hole Hikes: From local, in town, after work quickie Jackson Hole hikes, to more involved GTNP hikes, to the Togwotee area and all throughout Western Wyoming, this book details concisely how to get there, hike mileage, and all the relevant details you’d want if planning a hike, or even several hikes linked together. Includes maps and elevation gains as well. The specifics here are well researched, and I’ve enjoyed the details of this book for many of my hikes in the Teton area.
The Chuting Gallery – A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains: For a great guide to steep Utah skiing, I also appreciate the Chuting Gallery by Andrew McLean, whom I believe has skied every line in his book, most much more than once. It’s a concise, funny guide to various lines, mostly in the Wasatch, some of which are dangerous, all of which are fun; much like the man himself (the fun part I mean, less emphasis on the dangerous part). Excellent approach descriptions and less emphasis on the Wasatch shrubbery than you might expect. It’s as if Andrew drives with you to the trailheads.