cover image White Planet: A Mad Dash Through Modern Global Ski Culture

White Planet: A Mad Dash Through Modern Global Ski Culture

Anthony Leslie, Greystone, $21.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-55365-479-7

Leslie (Snakebit) skis the world in a lifelong search for athletic challenge, natural beauty, and the special community of like-minded adventurers. From Chile in the 1980s to Alaska in the 1990s and beyond, Leslie's tales of pink snow in Spain's Sierra Nevada, interactions with ski photographers, and remote, pristine landscapes captivate with their innocence and ingenuity. At the same time, with his insider's perspective and spirited blend of daring, Zen, and observation (parts of the book appeared in such ski magazines as Powder), Leslie passionately tracks the evolution of modern ski culture. Along the way, information about alpine and Nordic ski history, equipment specifications, skiing styles, and snowboarding accumulates. There are profiles of ski personalities, glimpses of business mavens, and insights into melding skiing's traditional disciplines with its youth-oriented X-Game persona. Engaging and funny (one trip to Denver was "filled with more animal prints and expensive pelts than a Siegfried & Roy pageant"), this is a welcome meditation on soft powder and the not-so-soft sell. (Mar.)