Get Out There

New breed of guidebook for Rogers Pass backcountry skiing

 | January 14, 2021

A new guidebook made by a skier, for skiers, is in the works for one of the most popular ski touring destinations in the Interior of B.C.

Skier’s summit Youngs Peak high above the Illecillewaet Valley in Rogers Pass

Douglas Sproul has already authored two editions of the Rogers Pass Uptracks, Bootpacks & Bushwacks guidebooks, along with two maps and a third edition with both a North and South version on their way. 

The third edition books are estimated to be released at the end of February after a successful Kickstarter campaign hit its fundraising goal of $69,900 on Jan. 11, just days before its deadline of Friday, Jan. 15.

The money will all go towards producing the book, but Sproul said it still probably won’t cover the complete cost.

“The Kickstarter goal is lower than it should be. There’s more to it than people realize like shipping, fees, taxes and of course, I’ve got to eat and survive.”

In reality, to cover the entire cost, Sproul said the Kickstarter goal should have been much higher, which wasn’t realistic.

“I did the numbers and for me to cover everything it would have been $92 grand which wouldn’t have worked, it’s just too much, especially right now [during a pandemic].”

In fact, the pandemic is part of the reason Sproul wanted to release the new books.

“I’ve thought really long and hard about it and there’s so much despair and doom and gloom right now. We really need to help each other out right now, so I went for it and I’m sticking to it,” he said.

This past year Sproul spent over 180 consecutive days working 14 hours a day on the project and set aside his own aspirations to ski and climb in a commitment to get his new guidebook out to the community.

“This is more than about me. I’ve been given so much amazing, helpful feedback [about previous guidebooks] that I think this isn’t just my book anymore. They have little pieces of so many different people in them, like their suggestions and stuff. It’s become all about the community,” Sproul said.

What’s new in this edition is the landscape style formatting, inspired by photo books and the childhood classic Where the Wild Things Are, which Sproul said will add to the ease of use.

“Even though printing books landscape is a lot more money and more work, I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It’ll have an easy page reference you can just toss in your pack and it’s always open.”

Splitting the newest edition into North and South versions will add more pictures and make each book lighter and more packable, Sproul added.

Although Sproul said people would probably have liked the books sooner, the books are meant to be out to Kickstarter backers in late February as long as there are no more hiccups in the funding or printing processes.

“I’m not one to rush my art, so that’s why it’s so late right now. I’m stoked on what I’ve created though, I’m going for the Banff Book and Film Fest finals [with these books], and I’m going to win it this year, I’m doing it,” Sprould said.

His last guidebook was a finalist in the festival, but unfortunately did not top the list.

Sproul also announced on social media that there will be a “surprise coming down the pipe for all you backers. It will simply be a gift from me to you. It may not be ready until summer but it will come.” 

To back the project and get your copies of both or either of the North or South Rogers Pass Uptracks, Bootpacks & Bushwacks guidebooks once the books are printed and before they hit store shelves, or to learn more about the project, click here.