Book Review: The Man Behind the Maps

the man behind the maps

Book Review: The Man Behind the Maps

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Jack Taylor

Unfurl a trail map of your favorite ski area and let your mind wander through the possibilities of an epic ski day. Whether you’re looking for secret powder stashes in sparse glades, heart-pumping steep couloirs and gullies, or long, winding swaths of grippy corduroy, the trail map helps you plan and get stoked for your day on the slopes. Look a bit closer and you might find the humble signature of a man who has dedicated his life’s work to depicting our favorite mountains—Bridger, Big Sky, Whitefish, Grand Targhee, Jackson Hole, to name a few. Inspired by the vistas near his childhood home in western Colorado, James Niehues found a passion for landscape painting at a young age. Despite the threat of computer-generated maps taking away his business, James went on to paint hundreds of trail maps for ski resorts across the globe. He’s still at it today, painting each rocky outcrop and frosted tree with individual brushstrokes. Flip through the pages of The Man Behind the Maps (Open Road Ski, $90) and dream up your next ski day from James’ immaculate collection.

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