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Ever look at a ski map to see where you are on the slopes? If you should take that black diamond as a shortcut to meet your friends at the lodge, or schuss that blue square to save your knees? The man to thank is James Niehues, the one of cartography’s last great analog mapmakers. Niehues has built a career hand-painting ski trail maps, down to the last tree, and his maps are now collated in his new coffee-table compilation Man behind the Maps. Men’s Journal caught up with him for the complete rap on his maps.

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