• Tracking the Wild Coomba

  • The Life of Legendary Skier Doug Coombs
  • By: Robert Cocuzzo
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (153 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Arguably the greatest extreme skier to ever live, Doug Coombs pioneered hundreds of first descents down the biggest, steepest, most dangerous mountains in the world - from the Grand Teton "Otter Body" in Jackson Hole; to Mount Vinson, the highest point in Antarctica; to far-flung drops such as Wyatt Peak in Kyrgyzstan. He graced magazine covers, wowed moviegoers, became the face of top ski companies, and ascended as the king of big-mountain extreme skiing.

His place at the top was confirmed in 1991 when he won the very first World Extreme Ski Competition in Valdez, Alaska. Now his story is told for the first time in Robert Cocuzzo's Tracking the Wild Coomba. From the slopes of his childhood in New England; to the steep chutes of his early career in Montana and Wyoming; to the deep, avalanche-prone powder of his guiding years in Alaska; and, ultimately, to the terrifying terrain of the French Alps, Coombs's greatness was in how he skied.

What most people didn't know was that Coombs skied so perfectly in part because he had no other choice - at the age of 16 he crashed off a jump in New Hampshire and broke his neck. Doctors said it was a miracle he wasn't paralyzed, and that another bad fall could kill him. Many believe it was this second chance that inspired the extraordinary life he led until his tragic death in 2006, the result of an attempted rescue of a fellow skier.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Rob Cocuzzo (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Tracking the Wild Coomba

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Totally Enjoyed It.

This book came as a recommendation because I love the outdoors. I’m a backpacker and enjoy books about my hobby. This one was not about my hobby and I hesitated listening to it. However, I’m so glad I did. The story of Doug Coombs and the writing of Robert Cocuzzo about his hero is the best tribute to Doug.

I liked that Robert actually steps in the footsteps of his hero to tell the story of a man who was worthy of his words. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was a teal page turner for me. I could tell that at the telling of the story that even the narrator was emotional at the telling of Doug’s death. Great story in its writing and in its narration. A must read, even if your not aware of this great man for whom this book pays tribute to.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun run on a steep slope

The book caused me to ask new questions like, “if we maintain our natural childhood exuberance, can we continue to brush the face of God?”

This appears likely with Doug and others you will meet here. A grandeur seems to appear and reappear throughout each brief story. Ski lifts and restaurants and bars and mountain tops are transformed, because an exuberant soul appears.

So this book offered me that one question, one that I have never known to ask before.

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Incredibly well written book.

This book will resonate particularly among Backcountry skiers. It is written with great sensitivity. A lot of research. And will immerse you in various Mountain ranges skied and loved by this amazing skier. It is fitting that Doug Coombs died trying to save the life of a friend.
He was in such control in his own element. Without any other constraints it’s hard to fathom that he could’ve died had he not tried to save his friend.
Bravo!

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Skier for 20+ years???

If you have been skiing for 20+ years and followed the growth/history of it, this will be a good read. What I mean be that is, you will have to know some of skiers that helped make skiing what it is today, over the last 20-30 years. Enjoy.

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Very good

I will admit I knew next to nothing about Doug Coombs. I ski but am pretty much an intermediate. So I went into this story with no expectations.
I felt like the author did an excellent job of bringing the subject to life. It's so refreshing to hear an even handed account of an extraordinary person. Unlike Jon Krakauer , the author didn't feel the need to create drama or sully anyone's reputation. I also appreciate how the author tells everyone straight out that he's a huge fan of Doug. No "objective journalism" condescension here. The author let's you understand the man (as much as possible) warts and all. Doug's reputation and work speak for itself. At one point I cringed when I thought the story might lead to implicate someone with the victim when he died. It doesn't. Shit happens. Worth a credit.

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Beautifully written. Deeply caring.

Excellent Bio. Deeply researched. Well written. Told With a Lot of Heart. The reader is outstanding.

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Really enjoyed this book

As a skier growing up reading about Coombs in powder magazine, this story really brought him and his world to life. It seemed to capture his spirit, his joi de vivre. Very sad and yet at the same time uplifting.

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A must read/listen.

Epic story of adventure and a beautiful tribute to the late Doug Coombs and the legacy left behind.

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if you love the mountains

loved it! inspiring, great celebration of a special person and his life and legacy.highly recommend this book.

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  • Mark
  • 12-05-21

Amazing story of an amazing skier.

Really well told mix of biography and autobiography. Well narrated and detailed. Intriguing and entertaining.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-22

If you like skiing and adventure bio's

a really nice story which was well research. I found the author got a bogged down with how much everyone like Doug but I like the range of impact it shows. the narrator used the same tone for everyone which gets anoying.

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  • Jill Foster
  • 10-26-18

Great story

Loved it, it's a great story and really well written, had me hanging on every word, especially as a skier, came away feeling quiet emotional.