Perfect Holiday Gift: New Book 'Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks' Combines Breathtaking Photography and Rocky Mountain Lifestyle Inspiration

Finding that perfect holiday gift just got a whole lot easier. A new coffee table book will be a thoughtful, treasured gift for anyone who lives in or loves the Colorado mountain lifestyle.

Colorado's Knapp Ranch

The holidays are fast approaching and with it the scramble to find the ideal gift for friends and family. A new coffee table book by Betsy and Bud Knapp, the powerhouse publishing duo who traded in a fast-paced urban existence on the California coast for a simpler, slower-paced life in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Titled Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks: The Story of Knapp Ranch, the book details their journey as they transitioned from being the publishing tycoons of Architectural Digest and Bon Appetit magazines to becoming high elevation farmers living, working and building a future for themselves and others.

"This book is about connecting with a place that you can call home. While there are a lot of beautiful inspirational photos of interiors and architecture, the book is fundamentally about the land because it is the living, breathing element from which everything emerges," Sarah Chase Shaw, the book's author, said. "Ultimately, it's a heartfelt, elaborate and complex story about how to build and create an extraordinary place."

Ultimately, it's a heartfelt, elaborate and complex story about how to build and create an extraordinary place

Sarah Chase Shaw, Author, Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks: The Story of Knapp Ranch

The book chronicles the story of the extraordinary process the Knapps undertook to methodically study their land and create a home that didn't intrude on the landscape, but rather grew out of it. "Articulating our conceptual ideas was the easy part; learning how to live in a rural mountain valley was more difficult. Our role was to imbue this place with heart and soul, and to reinforce the concepts of quality, simplicity and responsible use. We let the land, its history, and the experts advise us on how best to accomplish this," Betsy and Bud Knapp said.

Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks is divided into six sections and interspersed with interviews from key experts — the landscape architect, architect, craftsman, interior designer and sustainability authorities — who contributed to the success of the project. The first section, titled "Observation," explores understanding the beauty of the natural surroundings; "Discovery" follows early settlement patterns and their influence on site planning and design; creativity and concepts of place-making are covered in "Method"; "Assembly" shows how craftsmanship, authenticity and tradition took center stage; "Fulfillment" introduces the built environment — 19th century design made for 21st century living; and "Sustainability" is devoted to land management and farming at an elevation of 9,000 feet.

The book captivates at first glance. Renowned Vail photographer Todd Winslow Pierce captured the nuances, seasons and many moods of the high-country landscape and wildlife, as well as the architectural design of structures — the Main Lodge and four cabins — that reveal the Knapps' extraordinary attention to detail and craftsmanship. Aspen-based author Sarah Chase Shaw spent years following and recording the Knapps' journey. Her thoughtful, thorough account tells their story, including all the trials, triumphs and lessons learned along the way.

Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks is a gorgeous, gift-worthy book deserving of pride-of-place on any book shelf, personal library or coffee table. It's for anyone who lives, loves, admires or aspires to the mountain lifestyle with a Colorado twist. According to Meredith Grahl Counts, book reviewer for Foreward Review, "Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks is an inspirational project focused on conservation and rustic architecture, well worth imitating or living vicariously through."

Author Sarah Chase Shaw is a landscape architect and an Aspen-based freelance writer whose expertise includes landscape architecture, land planning and design in the American West. She is the author of two previous books on those subjects. The Knapp Ranch book features the photography of Todd Winslow Pierce, a Vail-based award-winning landscape and fine art photographer whose images have appeared in national and regional publications, advertisements and fine art galleries.

Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks: The Story of Knapp Ranch is an 11" x 13" hardcover book with 288 pages and over 200 photographs, drawings, maps, historical pictures and an index. Retail price, $70. ISBN 978-1-4236-5096-6. It will be available for sale beginning Sept. 11, at Gibbs Smith, and at online sellers, independent bookstores and other quality retail outlets.


About Knapp Ranch
Knapp Ranch is situated in the Vail Valley of Colorado. Its owners, Betsy and Bud Knapp fell in love with the property on first sight. As their knowledge of and affection for the land grew, the Knapps expanded their vision beyond building an informal country retreat for family and friends. Twenty-five years in the making, Knapp Ranch is now a thriving working farm using sustainable practices; it is an exemplar for land management and water conservation, an inspiration for architectural design and traditional craftsmanship, a contributor to climate science studies, a lab for horticultural experimentation, a US Forest Service partner, an educational center for environmental studies of all kinds and it continues to evolve. Encouraged by friends and professionals to document their journey and share their knowledge with others, the result is Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks: The Story of Knapp Ranch.

About Distributor Gibbs Smith, Publisher
Gibbs Smith is a Utah-based publisher, founded in 1969. Its trade and special interest division publishes high-end quality products on a variety of subjects including non-fiction, home and design, cooking, regional titles, as well as distribute for select publishers. Additional information about the book is available at and

Media Contacts:
Karin Gamba, Resort Trends, Inc.
Karin's email, Phone: 970-948-3151
Patsy Popejoy, Resort Trends, Inc.
Patsy's email, Phone: 317-509-7384

Source: Knapp Ranch


Categories: Books

Tags: book gift, Colorado book, holiday gift guide, holidays, Knapp Ranch, Knapp Ranch Colorado, Vail Valley

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