December 13, 2013 / Comments (67)

Six Highly Recommended Books for Mount Hood Readers

Got someone on your gift list who likes to read and loves Mount Hood?

Some great books have been written about Oregon’s iconic mountain, and about the winter sports that Mount Hood fans live for.

Here is a list of six strongly recommended mountain reads, either directly about Mount Hood or close enough.

1. On Mount Hood by Jon Bell (2011) tells the story of the mountain in clear, lively prose, from geologic beginnings to first ascents to the development of the Mount Hood winter sports industry. Bell is a local journalist, an avid hiker and climber and an enthusiastic if out-of-practice skier, and he writes with clarity and humor. The chapters on accidents, searches and rescues are particularly riveting. On Mount Hood can be found at book shops including Powell’s in Portland, and copies sell on Amazon for $9.19 and up.

2. Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes in Oregon by Christopher Van Tilburg guides experienced backcountry adventurers on 86 routes in Oregon including 31 on Mount Hood. The routes vary in difficulty from the Glade Trail connecting Timberline to Govy, to the tricky terrain of Cooper Spur on the north side of the mountain. Van Tilburg, a Hood River physician and Crag Rat search-and-rescue guy, is thorough and solid, and his writing is clear and smooth. You can find his book at REI, Powell’s or on Amazon for as low as $4.56.

3. Mount Hood: A Complete History by Jack Grauer (1975) is a thoroughly documented and entertaining read packed with stories about mountain pioneers such as Perry Vickers, Elijah Coalman and Donald G. Onthank. Grauer writes with vigor and wit, and he is not afraid to be blunt on subjects such as the failed Ski-way tram debacle. The prevailing tone, however, is one of deep respect for Mount Hood and its heritage. You can pick up a copy used on Amazon for $20.

4. Timberline Lodge: A Love Story, edited by Jon Tullis (2010), is a glossy coffee table book with chapters about the building of the lodge, the art and culture inspired by it and the growth of the year-round snow sports scene on the south side of Mount Hood. The photographs in this book are downright jaw-dropping. It is published by the company that runs Timberline Lodge, so you can always find a new copy for $39.95 in the shops there. It is also available through Amazon used for $22.91 and up.

5. Mastering Snowboarding by Hannah Teter and Tawnya Schultz (2013) is not specifically about Mount Hood, but it is an excellent guide for riders of all levels. Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter and writer Tawnya Schultz show readers exactly what they need to learn to move from linked turns to riding switch to tail grabs to backflips. You can get a used copy on Amazon for $12.26.

6. White Heat: The Extreme Skiing Life by Wayne Johnson (2007) isn’t about Mount Hood either, but it is a great read. Johnson, a novelist, writing teacher and ski patroller, guides you through every aspect of the sport as he advances from competitive racing and ski jumping as a kid in Minnesota to patrolling in Utah as an adult. Along the way he delves into big mountain riding, terrain park culture and avalanche blasting in gnarly terrain. With great characters and stories, this is just a good, fun read for anyone who loves skiing. I found my copy at Powell’s. Don’t ask me how, but some folks are selling it through Amazon for a penny (plus $3.99 for shipping).

Those are my favorites. Did I miss yours? Add it into the comment section below.

Last modified: December 13, 2013

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