Book Review: Tracking The Wild Coomba by Robert Cocuzzo
A book about Doug Coombs? How could the Doug Coombs book not be on your reading list? Any book focused on the life and times of one of the world’s greatest skiers is a must-read. And Tracking the Wild Coomba: The Life of Legendary Skier Doug Coombs by Robert Cocuzzo doesn’t disappoint.
Doug Coombs is more than just a steep skier. His magnetic personality, pioneering mentality, and effortless skiing ability were contagious. Anyone who met him, saw him ski, or watched his movies was in awe of Coombs. He was legendary. As the book says, “to see him ski changed your whole life.”
As a skier, guide, and visionary, Coombs made a living through skiing. He skied first descents and guided people on the lines of their lives in mountain ranges all over the world. He won the first extreme skiing comp, opened up Valdez Heli Ski Guides, ran steep skiing camps, starred in ski films, and skied countless ski lines. It’s impossible to say exactly, but Coombs inspired countless people to head to the mountains to pursue the sport of skiing and live the mountain life.
It all started when he learned to ski at a tiny hill in Massachusetts. Then his pursuit of skiing took him to the Bridgers, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, GTNP, Valdez, La Grave, Antarctica, The Alps, Kyrgyzstan, and beyond. The mountains of the world were his playground. Everywhere he went he made a positive impact.
“I don’t make the impossible, possible,” Coombs said, “I make what people think is impossible possible.”
One of the people that was truly impacted by Coombs’ story was Rob Cocuzzo, the author of Tracking The Wild Coomba. Cocuzzo dedicated four years of his life to following in the footsteps of Doug Coombs. He totally immersed himself in skiing culture and literally followed Coombs’ advice “You don’t know if you don’t go.” Cocuuzo lived in and visited the places that played a role in Coombs in life – Jackson, Valdez, La Grave, etc. Wherever he went he tapped into the knowledge of Coombs’ friends, families, co-workers, and fans. Ultimately, he pieced together a beautifully written story of Doug Coombs life.
Unfortunately, Doug Coombs died on April 3, 2006 at age 48. In a truly tragic moment that shook the entire ski industry, Doug Coombs fell in the Couloir de Polichinelle in La Grave, France while trying to save his friend and protege, Chad VanderHam. Cocuzzo explores that tragic day in detail and shines the spotlight on how this untimely event ultimately unfolded.
Hopefully we can all choose to live our lives like Doug Coombs. While we all may see him as the man who pioneered our sport and is in our eyes one of the best skiers in the world, he would disagree. To Coombs, “The best skier in the world is the one having the most fun.”
Tracking The Wild Coomba is a book that ever true skier needs to read. Doug Coombs was such a skiing legend and his story needed to be told. Plus, just look at the cover, how can you pass this one up!
Read Tracking The Wild Coomba by Rob Cocuzzo. It’s well written and explores the life of a true legend – Doug Coombs. Pick up a copy of the Doug Coombs book on Amazon today.
Watch a video of Rob Cocuzzo speaking about Tracking The Wild Coomba.