About Lou

Lou Dawson and WildSnow.com

Louis (Lou) Dawson
Born: 1952
Home: Carbondale, Colorado.
Favorite Mountain: Mount Sneffels, Colorado.
Interests: God, family, computers, old Jeeps, history, elk stalking, photography, music, and of course mountaineering (especially of the skiing flavor).

Please contact Louis Dawson by using the contact link in menu above.

Backcountry Skiing

Lou Dawson during 2001 Trooper Traverse.

Mountaineer, writer and photographer Louis Dawson climbed his first peak at age nine. Since then his mountain adventures have ranged worldwide. In the 1970s and 1980s he made his living in outdoor education and as a carpenter. During that time he did a notable amount of pioneer rock and ice climbing in Colorado, then combined his ski skills with his mountaineering savvy to become one of Colorado’s most prolific ski mountaineers and backcountry skiers.

More than three decades ago Dawson began his career in outdoor media with the publication of his first book, Colorado High Routes (re-editioned as Dawson’s Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, and now out of print).

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame for his contributions to Colorado backcountry skiing, including his being the first person to ski all 54 of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks.

Backcountry Skiing

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.

Since his first book, Lou has also published Colorado 10th Mountain Trails (official guidebook for Colorado’s popular 10th Mountain backcountry ski huts),  Dawson’s guide to the Colorado’s Fourteeners (Vol. 1 & 2), and Wild Snow, a major work that covers the history of backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering in North America.  Dawson has authored many magazine articles, and presently works as a  professional blogger,  Internet marketing consultant,  website designer, and digital content creator (both words and graphics). He is married with one adult child, and lives in central Colorado.

Lou’s writing is soulful, insightful, and at times controversial. While much of his work is basic exposition of mountain routes and equipment, he’s also known in the backcountry skiing community for his history and opinion writing. In the 1980s and 1990s he reviewed backcountry ski equipment for Couloir Magazine, specializing in highly technical randonnee ski bindings. He also works as a website creator and publisher. His own website, WildSnow.com, is famous among backcountry skiers for its tips and details about backcountry skiing equipment, and for Lou’s backcountry skiing weblog — the first such blog for North America.

Lou Dawson backcountry skiing.

Lou in Europe, 2008

Dawson is the first man to have skied down all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks. His grand adventure began with a ski descent of Castle Peak in 1978.  He soon added a few others to his list, then in 1987 he set out in earnest to ski them all.  He accomplished his goal in May 1991 with a climb and ski descent  of Kit Carson Peak in the Sangre de Cristo range of southern Colorado. A few of the “fourteeners” offer wide and gentle ski slopes, on others, Dawson contended with pitches of 45 to 60 degrees.

Now in midlife (he was born in 1952), Dawson still does a prodigious amount of ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing, but says he does not consider himself an extreme skier. He climbs and skis the high peaks for the joy of exploration, spiritual awe, athletic challenge, and fellowship with family and friends. “Nobody does what I do for bragging rights,” he says. “It is too hard and it’s too dangerous — you’re there for other reasons.” You get a feel for those reasons when you enjoy Dawson’s words and images.
[shortbio for media use]
[full length resume]

Lou is a man of many talents, and hires out his expertise
in the following fields:

Internet marketing consultant
Backcountry guide (working through licensed outfitters)
Writer (features, advertising copy, web content)
Photographer and digital image creator
Website development
Digital cartography
Multimedia creation (digital video, sound, etc.)

Following images are copyrighted and for media use only, by

download high-res print tif version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian

download high-res print JPEG version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian

download high-res print version of Lou mug, credit Joe McBride

download high-res print version of Lou portrait, credit Brian Litz

download high-res of Lou portrait, Denali 1973, credit Louis
Dawson collection

download high-res Lou portrait, Denali 1973, blue parka, credit Lou Dawson collection.

download high-res shot of Lou’s first peak, age 9, credit Craig Dawson Sr.

download high-res shot of Lou skiing Crestone Needle, credit Glenn Randall

download high-res shot of Lou during Elks traverse 1979 -
8 MB Tiff version
(credit, Lou Dawson collection)

download high-res shot of Lou powder skiing in 1980s, credit
Michael Kennedy

Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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