Every skier should have one: a good guidebook

Any tour operator will tell you - with a mixture of resignation and awe - that most skiers are very clued up: there's no point in trying to fool them because they usually know more than the sales staff. Once, a contractor at a major tour operator did her sums wrong, and seriously underpriced holidays at a Swiss resort. Nobody noticed - until sales at the resort shot up.

Any tour operator will tell you - with a mixture of resignation and awe - that most skiers are very clued up: there's no point in trying to fool them because they usually know more than the sales staff. Once, a contractor at a major tour operator did her sums wrong, and seriously underpriced holidays at a Swiss resort. Nobody noticed - until sales at the resort shot up.

But skiers should be knowledgeable, because for years they have had the benefit of one good guidebook, more recently of two. The estimable Good Skiing & Snowboarding Guide (Which? Books, £15.99) has been badly served by its publisher in recent editions, the authoritative text dressed up with lousy photographs so that the volume can "compete" with the brighter, more readable and twice-as-thick Where To Ski And Snowboard (NortonWood, £15.99). And this year the GSSG has flagged its cover with "The world's top 100 ski resorts", surely something of a handicap when WSS ambitiously trumpets that it has "The 1,000 Best".

I still prefer GSSG, which is a book: WSS is something else, being packed with the advertisements which the editors claim is what enables them to keep improving the volume. Personally, I don't think a full-page ad for Wildschönau set into the text about the Austrian resort is an improvement. But WSS is undeniably attractive, and much wider-ranging: among its 1,000 best is my new favourite US ski area, Mad River Glen, honoured with a 43-word description. The GSSG doesn't mention it.

This season has seen the publication of two guides on North American skiing. Ski North America (Ultimate Sports, £24.95) is really more of a coffee-table book, with beautiful maps and an idiosyncratic choice of 41 resorts... ignoring Mad River Glen but including the members-only Yellowstone Club. In contrast, The Rough Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in North America (£14.99) is a valuable reference work dense with information, including more words on Mad River Glen than I could be bothered to count.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor