Where to Ski and Snowboard Worldwide: The Reuters Guide to the World's Best Winter Sports Resorts (英語) ペーパーバック – 2001/12/10
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Chris Gill, founder of Britain's original resort guide, The Good Skiing Guide, and for many years skiing correspondent of the London Independent Dave Watts, editor of Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard, Britain's leading magazine for skiers and snowboarders.
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With that being said, I must confess that I have finally found a guidebook worth purchasing. Where to Ski and Snowboard Worldwide is the ultimate reference for those contemplating a ski trip to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The book features full length chapters on every major destination resort in Europe plus additional chapters covering major resorts in the rest of the world, including the U.S. and Canada. Within each chapter, a reader will find a general review of the resort; a description of slopes for each ability level; and a guide to accommodations, dining, and aprés ski.
Readers will appreciate the no-nonsense candor of this book. At the beginning of each chapter, the guide provides a 1-5 star rating for various aspects of the resort ranging from slopes to aprés ski, and also a quick list of pluses and minuses for each resort. The authors, for example, give Courchevel lots of stars for snow, slopes, and lifts, but only two stars for charm. In its plus/minus matrix, the authors note that Courchevel has "extensive, varied local terrain to suit everyone from beginners to expert," but then notes in the minus column that the resort is "expensive," and that its villages are "soulless." In short, Where to Ski calls the shots where it sees them, offering both compliments and criticisms for each resort profiled.
Where to Ski also offers a nifty "Mountain Facts" sidebar in each chapter that allows one to quickly compare resorts by benchmarks such as skiable vertical in both meters and feet, number of lifts, and kilometers/miles of trails. There is also a "resort ratings at a glance" section at the beginning of the book that brings together the ratings the book gives to each resort in an easy to read table format. If that were not enough, the book provides 200 resort photos, 125 full color trail maps, 70 scale village plans, and general maps for most of the world's major ski regions.
The major weakness of the guide is that it is very Eurocentric. The majority of the 400 resorts covered in detail are in Europe, primarily in the Alps. The book devotes a mere 38 chapters to resorts in the United States, and only four East Coast resorts receive chapter-length treatment: Killington, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, and Sunday River. I nearly returned the book when I did not find a single Mid-Atlantic venue listed in the table of contents. Shame on Reuters! How can this book devote a chapter to ski resorts in Romania and not mention the great skiing of West Virginia and Pennsylvania?
On the plus side of the matrix, what the books lacks in its North American coverage, it more than makes up for in its coverage of Europe. Furthermore, the guide does a superb job of comparing skiing on both continents with an introductory chapter entitled, "Transatlantic differences." From it, I learned that few resorts in North America possess skiable vertical greater than 3,330 feet whereas some of the biggest European resorts offer verticals of over 6,600 feet. The large resorts in Europe also dwarf the biggest resorts in North America in terms of ski terrain. On the other hand, it snows much more in North America, and North American resorts have far more advanced and comprehensive snowmaking than anything found in Europe. There are many other differences that this book describes, but you will have to purchase the book to get a complete rundown.
The book is missing pricing info which is a bit of a gap but everything else is done so well its hardly a complaint. There are some real bargains to be had, especially in Italy and Austria, and less so in Switzerland and France. ... The pricing gap can be resolved by calling the local tourism boards for the resort you are interested in or accessing the local websites. Most of the tourism contact info is in the book also.
The guide is even aesthetically pleasing....very much so.....with nicely placed original small high end (whew!)photographs from some of the resorts giving a pleasant intuitive feel for the area you might be choosing. If you are planning a ski trip in N. America or Europe, buy this guide. Highly Recommended
Basically, the book is fantastic. It's well organized, well laid out, and crammed full of carefully researched descriptions. If they don't have info about a particular aspect of a place, for example, the ski schools, they will say so upfront. But this is a rare occurance; usually they have clear, concise and dead-on accurate information about resorts literally worldwide. They know their own preferences well enough to state them clearly, so that you can easily figure out how your take on things compares to the authors'.
As another amazon reviewer suggested, reading the reviews of resorts that you've skied will give you a standard from which you can guage their perspective. They review trails for all levels: beginner, intermediate (see below) and expert. They are particularly good at breaking up that catch-all term "intermediate", and describing trails at different resorts as appropriate for the "aggressive" intermediate or "timid" intermediate.
I would not suggest reading this book on the fly; there is just too much information in there. Read through it before you plan your trip, if you want to get the most out of your time and money.
SE has a little nice text specifically on European resorts,
but this Reuters guide is head and shoulders vastly
better organized, has color geographic and trail maps which
SE lacks which is a criticism by a reviewer of SE. Pages have
color chapter tabs by country or state. This book is packed.
If you find the text fonts small: you might want a magnifying
reading glass (worth it).
Each chapter starts with +s and -s for each area or region
as well as various ratings.
Travel, lodging, eating, tend to be covered lightly but
Gill and Watts also has a small nice relatively complete attempt
to list "all" resorts in the entire world in the index.
This book is mostly oriented toward Alpine downhill skiing and
very little Nordic skiing whereas SE has a small multipage
chapter and Nordic comment associated with each resort.
This book, and other ski oriented books is likely best
supplemented by a conventional regional travel guide like
Lonely Planet, but this book is quite adequate stand alone.
Small detail: SE lacks Norway and many other European countries
and ski areas: it is largely oriented to the Alps.
SE has slightly better coverage of Spain (the Pyrenees AND
the Sierra Nevada): a slight plus (+) if interested in Spain.
There are a few UKisms in this book for American readers.
It is amusing to read about the English view of American resorts.
This can be regarded as a calibration to those who are
knowledgeable of your listed local resorts in this book.
Worldwide skiing really is not oriented toward beginning skiers,
especially those only speaking English in non-English speaking
resorts (better to learn near home: save your money) and get more
benefit as a more intermediate or advanced skier.