Download: Avalanche Handbook 3rd David McClung eBook (ePub, KINDLE, PDF) + Audio Version


  • File Size: 48183 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 3 edition (October 12, 2006)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2006
  • Language: English

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You will find a lot of information in this book, and it's certainly a must have for everyone who is wants to be able to make their own decisions about travel in avalanche terrain. Nevertheless I think the book neglects in two important ways. It fails at explaining the current state of technology behind avalanches, and it fails at offering end users a organized way to utilize data from snow instability tests.

We get bits and pieces of technology at the rear of avalanches but at a very superficial level. You learn something about the types of things scientists think about avalanches without learning the why and wherefore of it. The authors' reluctance to inlude anything at all that even smells of math turns the technology sections into collections of things one might say about avalanche science at a cocktail party, but otherwise not very useful when it comes to applying technology to avalanches.
When it comes time for the book to lay out a paradigm for making decisions in avalanche country, we find a confusing mess of very abstract decision schema. Nowhere can we find any specific guidance in using instability tests or snowpack profiles in making selections. This lack of guidance is exacerbated by the skeptical stance the book takes towards stability tests. We are counseled to pay attention to local conditions, but we are also told that if our tests show a stable snowpack they should be discounted. It's not clear how stability tests could ever yield anything other than a no-go decision given that sort of paradigm, and the book needs to repeat to make clear how to understand the grey zone if it to be useful as a handbook to make decisions.
So while this is an indispensable book, it could really use more work, and anyone wanting to understand the contents should oftimes be ready to dig into the nuts and mounting bolts of the actual science a bit more using other resources., If you have a important interest in Increase science and theory, or are going to take an avalanche course this is the book for you. If you are looking to create superior Avy skills and/or to become an Avy professional though this can be the definative reference on Avalanches. It is required reading for the majority of courses (starting with avy 1).

I believe that for the majority of leisure readers this book does at times get "heavy". Its easy to lose interest in this book from time to time as the science overcomes the practical. If you are a weekend backcountry tourist and are buying book that can keep your attention and teach you how to travel safely in Avy terrain this book may perhaps be a little much. Remaining Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper is a much easier read and has all the main information from this book. Combined with Snow Sense by Doug Fesler the two books are more comestible for the standard reader and a lot more fun as well., Informative book with colors so it's better to read.
Right after finishing the class, I wound up keeping it, rather than selling back to the market., I bought this book because I was taking my avalanche II cert, well turns out, it was canceled. Typically the book seems pretty relevant. It was in great condition when I first got it., Nothing else compares. Best for those in the industry or enthusiasts seeking the understanding. You'll return to it time and time again., This is a great book that covers all the subjects that get handled in required to understand avalanche safety and the elements of being aware of what areas will avalanche. Great book!, I'm preparing to commence backcountry skiing this upcoming winter and thought this book would be a good spot to start learning about avalanche safety. Sadly, the book is almost useless for the backcountry traveller. Inside fact, I can't picture the audience for which it would actually be useful. On the one hand much of the book does not have any application for the backcountry skier - for instance the section on engineering structures to protect alpine roads and buildings. On the other hand the info in that chapter is obviously too basic to be of any use to an actual engineer. Those men that WOULD actually be useful for the backcountry tomber - such as snowfall science, meteorology and avalanche rescue are discussed more from the angle of professionals within those areas. Again, the information tends to be too detailed for the recreational skier and too general for the professional. For instance, the section on avalanche rescue usually spends a lot of time discussing the subject from the point of view of a professional rescue team - how to organize a chain of command, how to set up 1st, 2nd and 3 rd rescue parties, how to use dogs. Not much use for a little selection of snowboarders, but probably too superficial for actual professionals. I don't want to achieve the impact that the book is useless, for instance there's an appendix to Section 4 that gives some helpful rules of usb for avalanche forecasting, but one has to wade through a lot of irrelevant materials for that information., Excellent book if you are buying very scientific explanation of avalanche formation. It reads like a text book unlike some other avalanche safety books on the market.

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Avalanche Handbook 3rd David McClung
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