Planet Jackson Hole book review

Reviews and comments for Jackson Hole Backcountry Skier's Guide, Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone, Teton Skiing, Jackson Hole Ski Guide, and Teton Pass Backcountry Guide

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Planet Jackson Hole book review

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This review of Select Peaks by Jeff Burke appeared in the 12/5/03 issue of Planet Jackson Hole:

Mountaineer and guide Tom Turiano has recently completed his second book, Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone, the first and only comprehensive guide to mountaineering in the region. With Yellowstone as the centerpiece, Turiano chronicles the history and mountaineering exploits of the primary surrounding ranges: Madison, Gallatin, Beartooth, Absaroka, Wind River, Gros Ventre, Wyoming, Salt River, Snake River, and Teton.

The book opens with an introduction and overview of the area, followed by sections on wildlife, geology, and an extensive mountaineering history of the region. Subsequent chapters cover Greater Yellowstone’s 13 most consequential ranges, focusing on 107 of the most striking and significant highpoints. Dividing the ranges into chapters, Turiano details the ascent and relevant history of each peak followed by ascent stats: parking elevation, distance, estimated ascent time, maps, and overall rating.

There are 390 labeled photographs, 14 shaded relief maps and nine line maps and illustrations. John Wright and Dana Olson of the locally-run Portis Group (formerly Atomic Digital) designed the book. At first glance the book is large. With over 500 pages, Select Peaks is a prodigious compendium of work. Turiano has spent the last seven years trekking throughout the area, compiling an enormity of information, and organizing it effectively. To call it Olympic might not be an overstatement.

While the book does include many technical rock routes, its bulk focuses on bagging peaks and covering large amounts of beautiful, remote country. For skiers, Select Peaks offers an abundance of backcountry tours, as well as dozens of exceptional descents, hinting at an even greater potential to discover unskied areas.

The strongest aspect of the book is the enthusiasm that went into making it a reality. Being lucky enough to accompany Turiano on several of his outings, I got to see a guy who is simply in love with mountains. Even amidst what seemed like interminable bushwhacking or deathmarch slogs, Tom always kept positive, talking about the next adventure. And when you accompany him on that next adventure, the bushwhacking is a little worse, the slog a little longer, but Tom is a little more bouyant. Funny how that works. I don’t know how or why, I’m just glad it does.

Select Peaks will be available this coming week. Book signings will take place Dec. 5, 12-1:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. at Skinny Skis and Dec. 12, 5-7 p.m. at Valley Books. The cost is $44.95, and is available throughout the valley. To order directly, visit or contact Indomitus Books, Tom Turiano, PO Box 1504, Jackson, WY 83001, (307) 690-3296.
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