Book Review: Allen & Mike’s Avalanche Book – A Guide To Staying Safe In Avalanche Terrain By Allen O’Bannon and Mike Clelland
Everyone who ventures into the backcountry needs to know about avalanches. There are plenty of solid avalanche books out there to learn from. Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper and Snow Sense by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler come to mind, but Allen & Mike’s Avalanche Book is definitely a must read.
Allen & Mike’s Avalanche Book is written by Allen O’Bannon and Mike Clelland. These NOLS instructors know about the outdoor world. They have written and illustrated a handful of witty books about telemark skiing, backcountry skiing, backpacking, and now, avalanches. With this book, they make avalanche knowledge easy to understand and fun to learn.
I’m a fan of cartoons. I have been since I was a kid. They make everything more enjoyable. Published in 2012, this book features 88 pages of avalanche knowledge written by O’Bannon that is accompanied by hundreds of Clelland’s hand drawn illustrations.
The clever writing and engaging illustrations will make you crack a smile and enjoy the learning process – something I can say about all of the Allen and Mike books. They all sit on my bookcase in well-worn condition.
Whether you’re a splitboarder, skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler, this the perfect book to read at the beginning of every season, in preparation for an avalanche course, or just to brush up on your avalanche knowledge.
The book takes on the basics of avalanches, but also hits on harder to understand topics like snow formations, classifications, layers, stability tests, route finding, snowpack assessment, decision making, rescue scenarios, equipment, trip preparation, and more. These are all important topics.
Snow science and avalanches are complex subjects that you can really dork out on – some people even earn doctorate degrees on the subject. O’Bannon and Clelland do a superb job of keeping this subject simple, fun, and lively.
Through clear instructions, this book brings technical knowledge to life. When combined with proper training and experience, this book can help make the backcountry a fun place to ski and be.
Allen & Mike’s Avalanche Book should be read by everyone traveling in avalanche terrain. It’s not as in-depth as Tremper’s classic or the textbook-like The Avalanche Handbook, but for the majority of backcountry travelers this is an ideal user friendly guide about what lurks in the snowpack and how to stay safe out there.
Pick up a copy of Allen & Mike’s Avalanche Book – A Guide To Staying Safe In Avalanche Terrain By Allen O’Bannon and Mike Clelland from: