News Roundup and Blog Philosophy

Post by blogger | February 24, 2006      

Blogging is fun, but it’s better if someone reads your stuff. When we started blogging more than a year ago we were amazed at how many of you were reading our posts, thousands of you were visiting! Our mission is to cover backcountry skiing, including all related activities and issues such as driving, snowmobiles, summer backcountry, gear mods, ethics and more. Some blogs are pure diary, others are somewhat impersonal journalism. We aim for a mix, and know we’re far from perfect. Feel free to give us feedback via the comments feature — we read everything you write.

Department of amusing website design
I visited the Ice Breaker clothing website this morning, and was laughing on the floor when I saw their splash page image. To put it in family friendly terms, a nude guy with scissors looks about ready to cut something off that most men would rather have remain intact. Check it out and let me know if you laugh or cry (or yelp?). And check out their wool products while you’re at it — nice stuff for backcountry skiing.

Snowmobiles in the news
An extensive article in the New York Times covers snowmobile assisted skiing. It’s actually a fairly balanced piece, though includes the usual digs at motorized recreation. The author mentions how skiing/snowmobiling are making it harder to divided motorized and non-motorized use, and also covers Wilderness issues. The upshot of the surge in snowmobile use is we’ll probably encounter more public land use regulation sooner than later. More, one can’t help but wonder: If they made snowmobiles quiet (they can), would not that help immensely with making snowmobiles have less impact on other folk’s backcountry experience? Of course, yours truly covered these issues twelve years ago –glad the NYT finally picked up on it.

Canine crunch
Word is a couple of backcountry skiers near here (Carbondale, Colorado) are skiing with a pack of dogs that have bitten at least one person. Research is ongoing — bear spray has come out of storage. We don’t mind dogs in the backcountry, so long as the skin track stays white and our skin intact — but these scraggy beasts have violated both those precepts. Since these events were witnessed in legal Wilderness, we’re suggesting that Forest Service law enforcement might be able to get the situation under control, since dogs in Wilderness have to be on a leash. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure our Department of Wildlife officers would be interested in a pack of dogs ranging over the backcountry.


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8 Responses to “News Roundup and Blog Philosophy”

  1. Sky February 25th, 2006 12:51 am

    Icebreaker is really good stuff. I love their shirts and hats. They dry so quickly and stay comfy when wet!

    Their ad campaigns have lots of good photos. I always thought the naked guy with scissors was about to shear the cute lady, revealing good stuff and making more merino wool!

  2. Lou February 25th, 2006 1:32 am

    Indeed I saw that the guy was supposed to be shearing wool, only it looks like he could miss (grin).

  3. Bryan Wickenhauser February 25th, 2006 2:51 am

    More dogs les sleds! Earn your turns!

  4. Jon Fredericks February 25th, 2006 3:00 am

    Lou – regarding the “Canine Crunch”: I have also witnessed some of that frantic dog pack action in one of our commonly skied nearby wilderness areas. I don’t mind the dogs out there so much, but I do mind when they are agressive toward other skiers (as I have witnessed). Another downside is that groups traveling with “packs” of dogs often leave common skin tracks in a rather sorry state.

  5. Mark Worley February 25th, 2006 6:16 pm

    I’ve seen the Icebreaker site before, but missed that the ram/dude was dangerously close to shearing the unmentionables. Doh! Icebreaker stuff is really nice if you can stomach the price. And the dogs…I like ’em and am glad to see them enjoying the backcountry, but ANYTIME Fluffy and Fifi get aggressive with people or other dogs (and are off leash especially) my demeanor can get angry in a hurry. I think there may be many people out there who think their pooches are nearly saints–even if they misbehave badly in public. Take off the blinders and use a leash, I say.


  6. Mark Worley February 25th, 2006 6:19 pm

    And if snowmobiles were really quiet, I’d likely consider buying one. Seriously.

  7. AKBC February 25th, 2006 6:24 am

    I think scoop the poop should be an expectation whether you are in the backcountry or the neighborhood. Yellow skin tracks? Ain’t no thing; heck, that’s usually from people anyway.

  8. Paul February 26th, 2006 3:27 am

    Hey Lou, with regards to web philosophy:

    I moved from New England to Denver about a year and a half ago with my family. We love it! I grew up on a flat island so the mountains are my focus now. I climbed Longs Peak solo a few months after arriving and on the way down said to myself, “hey, if I had a pair of those lightweight skis, I would be back at the car in about 10 minutes�, instead of the 2 hours it took me.

    So I began to look around, internet, the Mountain Gear catalog I get, my local shops, etc.

    I picked up your books and then happily found my way to your blog and the forums.

    I just wanted to say that they have been an invaluable source of knowledge and wisdom for someone new to the sport.

    At the beginning of this season, with the guidance of you and the forums, I bought Dynafit FR10s with Fritschi bindings, and Megarides.

    To add to that, I included my best climbing partner, (my bro who now lives in Portland OR), in my excitement. I pointed him toward your site, and after a few months he is now hooked. Last week he pulled the trigger on FR10s, with Dynafit Comfort bindings, and Scarpa Matrix boots.

    Again, Lou, the point of the story is that we thank you for your site, your wisdom and your time.

    We both have kids to whom we look forward to passing on our and your wisdom of the backcountry.

    Thank you – Paul

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