REVIEW: Skiing Around The World

ImageBy Jimmy Petterson
Zetterqvist Publishing Co. 2005
RRP: ~ £38/ US$75

Review by Sam Baldwin
Published May 2007

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For the travelling snowboarder or skier alike, Skiing Around The World is the probably the most inspiring piece of ski literature that exists. It's the holy grail, The Bible and the Koran of adventure skiing all rolled into one, and there is no book that better captures the spirit of the travelling ski bum.

A hard back coffee table style book, each page is illustrated with Jimmy's incredible photography from some of the most unusual, rarely skied snow locations in the world. Amongst the 47 different countries that are covered, are such ski frontiers as Greenland, Croatia, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, India and China. The book also covers some well established skiing areas in North America and Europe, but the emphasis here is definitely on the more remote and unknown places to get your ski fix.

Skiing Around The World is not a guide book, so you won't find detailed statistics regarding piste length, ski-able areas, lift maps or nightlife. Rather, the book is a travelougue which showcases the genuine flavour of each location, detailing Jimmy's experiences of the skiing, the food, the locals and general culture that he has discovered during his 30 odd years of ski travel in the Andes, Tien Shan, Carpathians, Himalayas and Caucasus ranges, amongst others.

The writing is evocative and engaging with Jimmy's life long passion for travel and skiing clearly coming across. At 440 pages, it's packed with snow stories and far too much to read in one sitting. Instead, you'll find yourself spending hours flitting from page to page, gorging yourself on tales of snowy adventures in exotic lands, and getting lost in the incredible photography. Jimmy is a skier and the book is largely ski focused, but there are some pictures of snowboarders too, though the book does not touch on terrain parks.

Skiing Around The World is eye candy and brain fodder for arm chair skiers, and a blueprint for the ski or snowboard adventurer who wishes to explore the world through the medium of snow. The design and layout are ideal, and the large format of the book really helps you to appreciate the beauty of the locations which are pictured.

Though the book was published in 2005 and there are a few ski spots that Jimmy has omitted - (The Scottish Highlands, South Africa and Israel for example) Skiing Around The World is likely to remain the most comprehensive and impressive collection of ski travel stories in print for many years. Indeed, there are few other people who have skied the mountains of Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus and Serbia-Montenegro, and fewer still who have written about it.

In short, Skiing Around The World is an adventure travel book for skiers and snowboarders, and highly recommended for anyone who has ever looked at a map and wondered about the ski possibilities of all those little known, remote mountain ranges that are scattered across our planet.

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