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James Niehues: The Man Behind The Map

Author(s): Open Road Ski Company
Video Release Date: November 22, 2018
Video Source: YouTube

If you are a skier or snowboarder, there is a good chance James Niehues has been your mountain guide. Throughout his 30 year career he has worked at the smallest hills and the most expansive resorts in North America. He has left his mark in South America, Australia, Asia and Europe too. And even if you have never shared a bottomless powder day with him, he has always been close by. Maybe even in your pocket.

Jim has extensively researched, photographed and illustrated nearly every ski map used in North America over the last three decades. Nearly 200 in total! It is because of Jim that trail maps from Aspen to Whistler have the same look and feel. Ski Magazine regularly ranks the Top 50 resorts in North America. Jim has hand painted 45 of them. His tools of choice are a camera, a notepad, a paintbrush and a canvas. Every painstaking detail – peaks, cliffs, trees and shadows – is painted by hand. Jim’s large and beautiful paintings have helped generations of skiers navigate and capture the unique character of each mountain. He has had more impact on the image and feel of skiing than almost anyone, yet few people know his name.

This project is a celebration of Jim’s life work and his contribution to the ski industry featuring some of the greatest mountain terrain in the world. His work, built on the foundation of artists that came before him, provides the connective tissue that links together millions of ski memories over the last three decades.

James is releasing a book of his map work through KickStarter – Find out more at The Man Behind the Maps

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