The Man Behind the Maps James Niehues

Ski Art Masterpiece: ‘The Man Behind the Maps’ Showcases Stunning Niehues Paintings

James Niehues is a mountain guide and photographer. He’s also the man behind some of the most iconic ski maps across the world.

Painting maps of ski resorts down to the individual trees is hard work. And it’s work James Niehues has been doing for 30 years. Today, the ski map artist’s magnum opus will hit shelves and coffee tables across the nation.

“The Man Behind the Maps: Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues” actually first started as a Kickstarter campaign launched by loyal fans. In short order, more than 5,000 people backed the project. Now, the long-awaited book is here.

The Man Behind the Maps book

A Look Inside

“With a foreword penned by extreme skiing legend Chris Davenport, ‘The Man Behind the Maps’ showcases Niehues’s unique techniques and painting process as he brings each mountain to life,” a press release for the book proclaims.

The 292-page tome features full-color prints of hundreds of resorts — from mom-and-pop mountains to major ski destinations. There’s even a section with over 25 international destinations from Europe to Australia.

The Man Behind the Maps book spread

The book itself looks as high-quality as the work inside: Italian art-quality printing, heavier-weight matte paper, lay-flat binding, and debossing on the cover and spine. In short, it’s a ski art masterpiece — and at $90, it costs a pretty penny.

“The Man Behind the Maps: Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues” releases today, Tuesday, October 15. Get your copy here.

Behind the Book

Check out the video below from Open Road Ski Company to hear more from Niehues himself.


Mary Murphy
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Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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