While most of us are happily welcoming the arrival and outburst of spring and early summer, Curtis Cunningham continues working away on the preparation of a tract celebrating the beauty and charm of winter.
Cunningham, a local photographer and author, is deep in the process of readying his upcoming publication The Wonderful World of White for release in the late fall. The book is a collection of photos and stories about his life changing experiences in ski touring.
While most are familiar with the traditional forms of skiing in this area, ski touring can combine both Nordic and Alpine in the backcountry and is popular with those seeking new snow and those who might wish to challenge their navigational skills. Parallels have been drawn with hiking and wilderness backpacking so at times it is not for the light of heart or weak in overall skills.
Most of Cunningham’s ski touring has been fairly local so Hudson Bay Mountain receives a lot of attention in the pictures and text of the book.
He said that prior to trying the activity, he was battling fatigue. He had chronic gastritis and went on a restricted diet. He had visited doctors and naturopaths in looking for a solution but they did not seem to provide the change he was seeking. In August 2014 he went so far as a clinic in Mexico where he received various treatments including hyperbaric chamber sessions.
He also had nasal surgery to deal with his poor sleep.
“I wanted to improve my general health so I started walking while in Mexico,” he said.
While there he came to the conclusion that his only responsibility was himself and decided to try to do some activities which would improve his health. He said that he started ski touring in 2014.
“Prior to that I couldn’t get off the sofa. Ski touring has helped me with will power and inner strength,” he said.
Cunningham took photos every day that he was ski touring. The book is about gaining a motivation to learn to love the snow.
“I enjoyed the slow pace of ski touring. I like the determination and overcoming the challenge,” he said.
While the search for healing hasn’t been totally achieved, ski touring has always been a good motivator and has helped him to learn to look at things differently. He hopes the book will challenge people and motivate them to look for the beauty around them and to look at life in a different way.
While looking at some of the photos that will appear in the book, he said he didn’t think that he had a favorite picture.
“I have thousands of pictures that have a tremendous impact,” he said.
For example, while examining a close-up of a snowflake, he said that, “without a snowflake, we wouldn’t have snow to ski on. When they get together, they can make beautiful shapes caused by the wind.”
At the present time, he is trying to build an awareness of what the project is about. There will be a Kick-start campaign in August and hopefully the book will go to print in October and be ready in time for the start of the ski season.
Currently he is arranging places to sell the book and already has a few local shops lined up and is confident that there will be more confirmed by release time.
He is also looking at website sales.
Those interested can sign up for the newsletter on the website wonderfulworldofwhite.com or by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org.