About

Travel Smart. Ski Smart.

Beacon Guidebooks

Devoted to providing critical terrain and avalanche information to every backcountry skier and rider.

Our products are tools to be used in the ski tour planning process as well as out in the field to ensure balanced and informed decision-making.

Based in Gunnison, Colorado, founder and owner, Andy Sovick authors the Crested Butte book, but works in close collaboration with respected authors around the country to develop ground-sourced and highly curated products for other ski zones and states. Over the last eight years, these guidebooks have gone from being a local secret to being used by avalanche professionals, guiding companies and schools.

2014

Founded with the goal of creating a terrain-focused atlas centered around sharing safety information and wisdom. The first ski atlases were for Crested Butte and Silverton, Colorado.

2021

The Beacon Guidebooks team has steadily expanded to include 5 zones in Colorado, 4 in Washington and a "Light Tours of Colorado" title. Our product line now includes an app and ski map for all zones as well as an Avalanche Search and Rescue Backcountry Field Guide.

2022

Exciting things are happening this year with almost a dozen new titles on the line-up! We can't wait to share them with you this fall.
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We stand by our values

Shared Knowledge & Wisdom
Quality Products made in the USA
A Spirit of Adventure
Integrity & Trust
Mutual Respect & Kindness
The ATES Project

Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale

Advancing avalanche terrain mapping

Created by Parks Canada, ATES is a system that can be applied to any ski zone. This system assesses each zone to help skiers and riders plan their tour and avoid potentially hazardous areas. Our authors and guides analyze each zone and each run and rank them from 1 to 3 taking the history, the hazards, slope angle and ATES ranking indicators into consideration. Using this system in conjunction with the local avalanche forecast and good avalanche education can help you make better decisions when planning your tour.

It is an ongoing goal of Beacon Guidebooks to engage the backcountry ski community in education and awareness of the ATES system and to continually improve the accuracy and functionality of ATES mapping in the United States. We collaborate closely with avalanche professionals in Canada and the US to move this project forward each year and with each product.

Testimonials From

Industry Leaders

What backcountry ski and avalanche professionals are saying about Beacon Guidebooks.
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“Beacon Guidebooks have become staples on my bookshelf. My students can get the important information on slope aspect, steepness and general slope characteristics to pair with the local avalanche bulletin to aid in the pre-trip planning before a day of backcountry riding. ”
Steve Banks
IMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide
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“Beacon Guidebooks are my first step in the planning process for new zones or when uncertainty is high in the backyard. The high quality photos are inspiring and the terrain mapping saves heaps of time in the planning process.”
Jeff Banks
IFMGA Guide, AMGA Instructor Team, Aspect Avy App founder
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"The only reliable solution to snowpack uncertainty is terrain selection. This atlas is a great starting point."
Zach Guy
lead forecaster, Crested Butte Avalanche Center
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"I have found your products to be extremely useful in my own tour planning, dusting cobwebs off and assisting in avalanche education courses I teach throughout the winter."
Ian Havlick
IFMGA Mountain Guide
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"I am really excited to see all the cool stuff Beacon Guidebooks is doing these days. Leading the industry for sure!"
Sean Zimmerman-Wall
Professional Program Director, AIARE
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"Beacon Guidebooks are a great asset to any backcountry user whether the terrain is new or in your backyard. They really help with route planning and familiarity of terrain."
Dave Bumgarner
lead forecaster, Crested Butte Avalanche Center

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