The Stories Behind the Ski Slopes


A new book by the veteran ski travel writer Patrick Thorne covers ‘Around the World in 50 Slopes’ is out. It is a fabulous read.

The runs take readers to ski areas in 30 countries on six continents.

They range from well-known destinations like Chamonix, Mammoth and St Moritz to little known centres, like little Nordvagen on Norway’s north coast and the world’s most northerly ski area.

“There are lots of lists on the internet where people discuss the world’s greatest ski runs, generally considered to be the most challenging or scariest, but they are a bit samey,” Patrick told PlanetSKI.

“In fact there are tens of thousands of runs to choose  from and rather than the usual suspects, I sought to find runs of all types, each with an interesting story behind them.”

Image c/o Snowhunter

Image c/o Snowhunter

Those stories cover a whole range of themes from myths and legends in the mountains, to some of the longest and most satisfying slopes.

Through to issues like religious freedom, depopulation of the mountains, freedom of sexuality, indigenous rights and of course the omnipresent matter of climate change.

There are also ski slopes with a connection to Count Dracula, Franz Klammer, Hannibal and his elephants.

Then there’s James Bond, Jesus, St Patrick, St Valentine, Santa, The Taliban, witches and Zeus.

Plus the run where The Beatles shot the snow scenes in their film Help! nearly 60 years ago.

“Despite researching and writing about skiing for nearly 40 years I’ve never been that great a skier, but I have always believed that everyone should spend time in the mountains to get some head space and just enjoy life, however well they ski,” said Patrick.

“This book celebrates the myriad of ways in which skiing touches many aspects of our lives for the better.

“Hopefully it’s a fun read too.”

‘Around the World in 50 Slopes’ is published by Headline books in hardback, priced £16.99, and is also available as an eBook.

It’s available from all booksellers and Patrick will also sell signed copies direct if contacted via

PlanetSKI logo

This article was originally published by Read the original article here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here