Ski movie stars from the 90s, detailed descriptions of big mountain skiing in Chamonix, deep reflections on skiing and mortality, seriously; what more could you want from a book? William A. Kerig’s non-fiction book The Edge of Never: A Skier’s Story of Life, Death, and Dreams in the World’s Most Dangerous Mountains
reads like a Krakauer narrative dedicated to big mountain skiing. The cover has a skier throwing a flip off a huge cliff, but that is not really what this book is about. Thoroughly researched and full of personal monologue, the book address questions such as: Why do we ski? What does it mean to be part of the interconnected tribe of skiers? What is important in life? How do the mountains give back through release? The book centers on the legendary big mountain skier, the late Trevor Peterson. Trevor died in an avalanche while skiing the Glacier Rond in Chamonix France in 1996. Nine years later Trevor’s son, Kye Peterson, a 15 year old world class new school skier, makes the trip back to Chamonix to learn what real ski mountaineering is all about, and potentially ski the same line that killed his father. This journey is all captured through the eyes of the author William A. Kerig, who is in the process of making a ski move that is true to the core soul of skiing, not just “ski porn.” If you grew up watching Greg Stump films such as “The Blizzard of ahhhs,” “License to Thrill,” “P-Tex, Lies & Duct Tape,” you can understand this approach. The book is full of skiing legends such as, Glen Plake, Mike Hattrup, Doug Coombs, and Greg Stump and provides a glimpse into their personalities and insight into what drives them toward the mountain life.
The Chamonix Valley is the Mecca that all real skiers should strive to visit once in their lives. I have been to Chamonix and the place absolutely blew me away; the trams, the glaciers, the jagged peaks, the crevasses, the chutes, the crepes, the people. It truly is the soul of ski mountaineering. It is not a pretentious town and the place gives off a real vibe. On the Edge of Never gives you the perspective of seeing the Valley through the eyes of experienced ski mountaineers. It also gives you perspective on mortality and the immense power and pull of the mountains.