Friday, December 17, 2010

‘The Perfect Turn’ is a skier’s dream


Dick Dorworth’s second book, “The Perfect Turn,” includes stories about skiing, skiers, life and Sun Valley.

Skiers and non-skiers alike should read Dick Dorworth's new book "The Perfect Turn" because skiing, according to Dorworth, is a great deal like life. Many of us will never reach the level of skiing enlightenment that Dorworth has, but "The Perfect Turn" offers insights into why people love to ski.

Dorworth has skied all over the world, but chose to live in Sun Valley because he loves Baldy. He set the world record for speed on skis in Portillo, Chile, in 1963. Besides skiing every day on Baldy, writing and working for the Idaho Mountain Express, Dorworth has been practicing Soto Zen for more than 20 years in the lineage of Suzuki-Roshi. In the summer, Dorworth climbs—every chance he gets.

"The Perfect Turn" is a compilation of stories about Dorworth's experiences skiing at resorts and in the backcountry. It's an insight into Sun Valley's skiing history and the people who have made it a legendary ski destination.

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"The best writing in the book is the title piece," he said. "It's fiction, but it cuts to the chase."

"The Perfect Turn" is the last chapter in the book, which Dorworth wrote in the 1970s. It's a story about a skier's quest to make the perfect turn, which is also a metaphor for life.

The book is divided into four parts with 20 chapters, which all tell stories about skiers and skiing from Dorworth's perspective, including hanging out with ski filmmaker Dick Barrymore, an epic ski trip in 1975 in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains and skiing with Ted Kennedy.

"Skiing is for everyone," Dorworth said. "It's a great thing. It's no more difficult than playing golf. Skiing is what I know. It's a universal theme."

Dorworth will sign copies of his book on Tuesday, Dec. 21, from 5-7 p.m. at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum and on Thursday, Dec. 30, from 5-7 p.m. at Chapter One Bookstore in Sun Valley. "The Perfect Turn" retails for $15.95.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.