Alaskan guider, skier and author Joe Stock will give a talk about his new Southcentral Alaska guiding book at 7 p.m. tonight in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

Stock’s new book “The Alaska Factor” is a guidebook to backcountry skiing in Southcentral Alaska. The book includes photos and information about planning a ski trip to Alaska, weather and how to access backcountry ski zones.

Stock is an internationally certified mountain guide who lives in the Anchorage area.

“He’s a pretty well-known Alaska world guide really,” said Steve Wielebski, owner of Orion’s Mountain Sports. Wielebski arranged for Stock’s visit to Kodiak.

Stock’s main reason for coming to Kodiak is to teach a three-day avalanche class to the Kodiak Island Search and Rescue team, which he’ll do later this weekend. He is a head instructor at the Alaska Avalanche School.

Climbing mountains has been a part of Stock’s life since he was a child. His parents took him backpacking when he was six years old, and later enrolled him in a climbing class at age 11.

Stock became certified by the American Guides Association and licensed by the International Federation of Mountain Guides in 2009.

“It turned mountain guiding from a thing I was doing in my 20s to a full professional career,” Stock said.

Stock has more than 25 years of climbing and skiing experience around the world, and has spent time in Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Southcentral Alaska is his favorite place to ski.

“There’s wilderness here,” he said. “You can get away from everything. There’s great snow, great mountains and it's diverse.”

He decided to write “The Alaska Factor” because the most recent guidebook to backcountry skiing in Southcentral Alaska was written in 1987 and was outdated. Plus, he had about 10 years of experience in the area.

“I did it over a year,” Stock said. “The reason I was able to do it fast was because I’ve always been taking photos and I had a good photo colocation. I didn’t have to do any research.”

Tonight’s presentation is free and open to the public.

“Any people interested in outdoor adventure, touring and traveling in the mountains in winter, particularly in Alaska can learn and utilize the information here,” Wielebski said. “It’s a pretty excellent guide for old-timers, but also people just getting into the sport.”

Stock will sign any copies of the guide that people bring with them. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy before the event should contact Orion's Mountain Sports at 486-8380.

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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