Media kit

Media kit

The American Landscape Project

After 35 years as one of the most established mountain guides in winter sports history, Niehues is now setting his exacting eye and inimitable talent on celebrating America’s most beloved National Parks and breathtaking landscapes. As he closes the door to new ski clients he starts a new chapter targeting 50 brand new illustrations, starting with four Western US favorites: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion and Grand Teton National Parks. A journey contemplated for many years, Niehues is looking forward to applying his unmatched skill and unsparing attention to detail to some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world.

“I have always been inspired by Ansel Adams’ sense of drama, composition and lighting, which to me have always been most profoundly depicted in his National Parks work,” said Niehues. “This project is a new chapter for me, and I am thrilled to share my interpretation of the greatest National Parks and landscapes in America.”

The Man Behind The Maps

The Man Behind the Maps: Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues is a visually stunning, near 300-page coffee table book showcasing over 200 iconic ski resort trail maps hand-painted by artist James Niehues, a legend in the ski and snowboard industry who still paints nearly every trail map used today.

The book has already exceeded expectations with over 10,000 copies pre-purchased by fans of his work. Outdoor enthusiasts and avid skiers will revel in the behind-the-scenes look and global scope of the book as it brings the most storied mountains in the world to life in full page, art-print quality illustrations. Detailing Niehues’ incredible journey, his artistic process and a lifetime of illustrations, the book is truly the perfect gift for avid skiers and snowboarders as it is guaranteed to trigger memories of epic ski trips and spark lively dinner conversations.

With the foreword penned by extreme skiing champion Chris Davenport, The Man Behind the Maps walks the reader through the history of ski map making and shares the unique processes and techniques Niehues has refined over more than 30 years in the industry to capture the soul and feel of each individual ski resort. The book spans the globe including photographs, sketches and full-page paintings of iconic destinations such as Squaw Valley, Mammoth, Jackson Hole, Whistler Blackcomb, Big Sky, Vail, Aspen Highlands, Alta, Snowbird, Stowe, Stratton, Portillo and many others.

Niehues’ story is unparalleled - he paints maps used by hundreds of millions of people, and in the process, his work has defined the look of ski areas everywhere. His details are so accurate that people use his maps to navigate unmarked and unnamed areas of the mountain. Even as a few ski areas went digital, Niehues continues to paint and define the visual standard of the mountain experience. He was nominated to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame this year and the book is poised to build from its early success into one of the most buzzworthy gifts heading into the upcoming holiday season.

The book itself makes an immediate impression as its slightly oversized dimensions (12” x 11.5” x 1.25”) make it easy to become enveloped in its illustrations. Every detail was taken into consideration during the production process: Italian art-quality printing, heavier weight matte coated paper, lay-flat binding and a beautifully debossed title on both the cover and spine. Logging in at 292 pages, the book showcases a pencil sketch of Big Sky, MT on the cover with matte anti-scratch protection and each book is individually shrink-wrapped and shipped in a custom box.

The Last of His Breed

As the world has gone digital, Niehues’ craftsman approach to map making has remained the same. He continues to define the look of an entire sport. Through his exacting and meticulous process, he has guided millions of skiers with his trail maps, which capture the unique character and soul of each mountain. Given the ubiquitous nature of his work and its impact on the entire industry, James was recently nominated to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

“I’m truly honored and humbled to see my life’s work collected in such a beautiful, intimate book,” said Niehues. “When I first began painting trail maps more than 30 years ago, I had no idea that I could make such an impression on an entire industry. This whole thing, my recent nomination to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and realization of this new book, it’s just hard to put my gratitude into words.”


  • “Jim has played such a huge role in the development of our sport and there are so many, like me, who have been deeply influenced by Jim and his art. His maps are important, even vital, for everyone whose heart and soul revolves around the sport of skiing.” —Chris Davenport, Two-time World Champion Professional Skier
  • “He [Niehues] has really become an iconic part of skiing, from the way we use his maps to his signature in the bottom corner.” —Bill Jensen, Chief Executive Officer of Telluride Ski & Golf
  • “His [Niehues] ability to make things understandable and make people see his art and understand how to get from here to there, that’s a skill that makes him a master.” —Michael Berry, Former President of National Ski Areas Association
  • “You feel safe with Jim’s map in your pocket. You trust him. He’s got the trust of millions of people who ski and snowboard. It’s magical. I’ve spent more time skiing with Jim than with anyone else in my life.” —Adam White, Director of Communications Ski Vermont
  • “If it wasn’t for Jim and what he’s done, I don’t think the resort industry would be what it is today…his ability as a painter is unrivaled.” —Rad Smith, Illustrator, Cartographer


(see terms of use below)

Terms of Use:
The following rules apply to the use of these assets:

  • Please do not use these images to suggest that a site is managed by James Niehues or Open Road Ski Company.
  • Please do not alter the images (whether by stretching, shrinking, layering, editing or twisting).
  • Please include appropriate photo or illustration credit as noted with files: Lindsay Pierce Martin for studio images, Open Road Ski Company for book images and James Niehues for Ski mountain images.

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For more information or to schedule an interview with James Niehues, contact:
Todd Bennett