Lou Dawson and WildSnow.com
Louis (Lou) Dawson
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.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.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 Carbondale, 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.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
Multimedia creation (digital video, sound, etc.)
Following images are copyrighted and for media use only, by
download high-res shot of Lou during Elks traverse 1979 -
8 MB Tiff version (credit, Lou Dawson collection)