... superbly reported and lyrical ... Hansman’s voice shines more here, an indication of how fully she is in her element ... the real importance of this book is apparent in the difficult-to-read yet clear-eyed reporting on the ski industry. Hansman’s gaze is unflinching as she calls out the white and wealthy niche market the industry caters ... It’s all so stark and depressing that toward the end of Powder Days, I wondered if it was even possible for Hansman to find something for us to be hopeful about. In the end, she does and she doesn’t. To find out, you’ll have to read this beautiful, aching, and honest portrayal of a skier wistfully longing for something she gave up and an industry that seems to be devouring its own soul. You’ll find some heroes hanging on to the reason so many of us started skiing in the first place, and a few pockets that are still managing to preserve the magic.
... a sparkling account of one woman’s passion and enduring love of powder ... Ms. Hansman’s descriptions of the life of the ski bum are evocative and endearing ... she captures the sport in its essence.
... often reads like an entertaining ethnography ... Hansman, a veteran ski journalist and the author of Downriver, serves as an apt guide through this wilderness: Her criticisms of the industry are blade-sharp, yet her passion for the sport shimmers on every page, with prose as smooth as a turn in dry powder.
This is both a heartfelt account of what draws her back to the mountains and a deep dive into the ski-bum lifestyle and the current 'ecosystem' of skiing ... This eloquently written memoir is sure to captivate all variety of skiers.
Hansman is honest about her own privilege and how the growth of the ski industry in the 1960s led to locals being priced out of their towns in favor of wealthy second-home owners and trust-fund babies ... Even for non-skiers, this is an entertaining and eye-opening look at the history and economics of skiing and ski resorts in the United States.
... riveting ... Hansman delivers an entertaining ethnography of what constitutes a ski bum ... In addition to insightful chapters on the psychology and 'heady rush' of skiing and the freedom it represents for so many of its participants, Hansman also tackles topics such as ski town economics and the ways climate change threatens to upend the industry ... This is as exhilarating as the act of skiing itself.