blogpost I begged Glenn Randall to destroy this shot of me on Mount Sneffels around 1990. No luck. Caption contest."/>

Blackmail Shot to end all Blackmail Shots? Lou Takes the Heat – caption the photo!

Post by blogger | July 10, 2009      


A while back, I said we’d mail some swag to the winner of the best caption, based on an informal vote by the WildSnow crew.

Winning squib is Larry’s “Where did you say that outhouse was located?”

Runner’s up were the “Coombover” caption (a clever pun) and “I feel pretty” (which harkens a song in the classic movie “West Side Story.” See comments on this post for more than 40 other very funny takes. Good stuff you guys, thanks!


After making Artie the butt of our jokes, it’s only fitting that yours truly would share what is arguably the most embarrassing ski shot ever taken of, yes, me.

Backcountry Skiing

Where did you say that outhouse was located?

Where do I start? What was I thinking? What was my neuromuscular control doing with that weird angulation? How narrow are those skis? Are those stretch pants, and what’s with holding the knees together like I’m a virgin protecting her virtue?

I begged photo Glenn Randall to destroy this shot of me on Mount Sneffels, Colorado, in the West Couloir, around 1990. Companions were Jeff Lowe and photog Glenn Randall. Famed alpinist Jeff was actually a pretty good skier, and dabbled in extreme skiing over the years. I still remember how elegantly he switched from skis to crampons and back when we climbed out of the Snake over to the West. (A shout out to Jeff, who’s battling some health issues..)

I remember feeling pretty good about the climb, but after we messed around with getting photos during the scramble and encountered dangerous ice in the upper part of the Snake Couloir, by the time we got over to the West I was just glad to be skiing something easy and playing around with ski technique. Little did I know Glenn would end up with a shot this twisted! I guess at this point in life I should be thankful for that — since laughing is healthy.

Jeff showed up in lycra tights, if that gives you any indication of our whacked out sense of style, not to mention practicality. Can you imagine falling in an icy couloir while wearing Robin Hood pants? For starters, you’d take off down the thing like spit in a river. More, you’d probably end up pantless and flayed at the end of your ride.

Oh, and about the hair. Around this time the new so-called “extreme” skiing movies were coming out. While the films were amusing, I took offense at much of what they were calling “extreme” as the only really extreme stuff as far as I could tell was Plake’s hair. So in protest, I plowed an anti-mohawk through the crown of my pate. This got some weird looks in small southwestern Colorado towns such as Ouray, that’s for sure. Glenn Randall probably thought I was some kind of nutcase as well. Plake would have just laughed his head off.

Ummm, another caption contest oh esteemed WildSnowers? I’ve got a big sack of Kiss My Face (no pun intended) sun products just waiting to go out the door to the lucky winner. (As always, keep it PG rated please.)


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


49 Responses to “Blackmail Shot to end all Blackmail Shots? Lou Takes the Heat – caption the photo!”

  1. Mike June 17th, 2009 10:16 am

    “If I don’t stab myself before I get down , it will be one done and fifty- three to go!”

  2. Bill June 17th, 2009 10:34 am

    LESSON # 1

  3. Eric June 17th, 2009 10:36 am

    “Lou killing the corn praying mantis style.”

  4. Jordan June 17th, 2009 10:44 am

    Skiing the Snake…King Cobra Style.

  5. Jim June 17th, 2009 11:05 am

    “X-treme … to the MAX!”

  6. Mike Carr June 17th, 2009 11:14 am

    Hi Lou – just an FYI – Jeff was misdiagnosed with MS. He has olivopontocerebellar atrophy, or OPCA, a condition that shrinks the cerebellum over time. In some ways this condition is worse than the MS as the prognosis is a faster progression of the disease. However, Jeff has kept a positive attitude and outlook and is a true treat to visit with. He is in Ogden Utah where he grew up.

  7. Lou June 17th, 2009 11:18 am

    Thanks for the update Mike, I’ll edit blogpost. Please let Jeff know about this post, as I’ll bet he’ll get a laugh out of it. I think I’ve got a photo of him up there in his tights, perhaps I’ll post after the contest is over with.

  8. Ben W June 17th, 2009 11:33 am

    Almost scalped myself with these things! I’d better ski careful.

  9. Christian June 17th, 2009 11:44 am

    “You’re doing it wrong.”

  10. Lou June 17th, 2009 11:47 am

    Ben, the scalping reference works, pretty funny… riffing on the hair and self arrest grips might be the key to the winner caption, but you guys are so creative who knows what we’ll see by tomorrow! Keep ’em coming!

  11. Scott B June 17th, 2009 12:12 pm

    “Lou tried to use reverse psychology on his skis. It didn’t work.”

  12. Randonnee June 17th, 2009 12:33 pm

    “I’m so pretty, I feel pretty…”

  13. Larry June 17th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Where did you say that outhouse was located?

  14. Coz Teplitz June 17th, 2009 1:06 pm

    Following Larry’s lead…

    The bathroom’s down there, right?

  15. Lou June 17th, 2009 1:17 pm


  16. Thom Campbell June 17th, 2009 1:38 pm

    Someone slathered SuperGlue on my Spandex

  17. John W June 17th, 2009 1:47 pm

    “Keep your weight on the downhill ski” (repeat)

    Actually Lou I think this is not a blackmail photo. I believe a good skier today on the same rig would default to this position, for at least a tenth of a second.

    Best to Jeff.

  18. Alex Klumb June 17th, 2009 1:58 pm

    I could not resist. To be read in a Discovery Channel, soft spoken, British accent:

    “…here we see a member of the Dawsonian Tribe. Hailing from northern latitudes these indigenous people are known for their reverse mohawk hairstyles and unique, glisse maneuvers. This specimen has most notably adorned spikes on his back as well as forearms while engaged in a ballet-style mating ritual. All this in an effort to impress the female Dawsonian, Lisa, who is undoubtedly waiting in a near by drift for her mate to arrive…”

  19. Lou June 17th, 2009 2:15 pm


  20. Frank June 17th, 2009 2:53 pm

    Stein meets Red Bull…

  21. Yuani Ruiz June 17th, 2009 4:00 pm

    If I may quote some Michael Jackson for this photo…

    “You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by a smooth criminal”

    -really cool bass riff

  22. CCD June 17th, 2009 5:20 pm

    I can hear Stein Eriksen screaming …Louis, bend zee kneez, bend zee kneez..

  23. Graeme June 17th, 2009 5:31 pm

    ‘The well groomed traveller always carries a spare tool for partiing the hair.”

  24. Tim M. June 17th, 2009 5:46 pm

    Hi Lou, great stuff: An artifact to remind of us that, no matter the decade, one requisite of good style is a good sense of humor.

    Official entry:
    Before the Coomba…
    Before the Coomback…
    The Coombover.

  25. byates1 June 17th, 2009 8:15 pm

    “Ya! Vould U Like To Touch My Udel! Thiz iz the time on Snezfuls vhen v dance!!”

    (SNL Sprokets/Mike Meyer)

  26. carl Pelletier June 17th, 2009 8:42 pm

    The Dutchboy meets Devo…..Whip it! Whip it Good!

  27. Matt Kinney June 17th, 2009 10:07 pm

    “Whoever wrote “Randall/WildSnow.Com” on the snow is in big trouble! It smeared on to my pants.”


  28. jason June 18th, 2009 12:46 am

    “watch out for that ceiling fan at the top of sneffels – it’s a low one”

  29. Chase June 18th, 2009 7:21 am


  30. Pierce June 18th, 2009 8:10 am

    Dawson’s original idea of extreme ski-balleting all the 14ers was dropped after only one attempt.

  31. steveo June 18th, 2009 8:18 am

    “So this is what mono-boarding feels like.”

  32. Njord June 18th, 2009 8:39 am

    No wonder it took you 13 years!

  33. Halsted June 18th, 2009 9:20 am

    Is that a pair of MV2’s?

  34. Richard June 18th, 2009 9:20 am

    “Problem is- I scratched my head with my pole and I gotta pee so bad.”

  35. Lou June 18th, 2009 9:29 am


  36. NORTH.BEND June 18th, 2009 9:36 am

    “…take that, you dirty hippies!”

  37. Dave June 18th, 2009 12:32 pm

    It’s a go faster stripe

  38. Graeme June 18th, 2009 3:05 pm

    I still have a pair of those Gipron self arrest grips (at least that is what they look like). A great design in term of easy placement/removal from the grip. However a bit flexy when used in anger as my friend found out some years ago – he stopped sliding afer about 150m/500′ vertical, after about 8 plunges with the thing. At least he did stop. I use a Whippet these days which I feel is more solid if you really need it.

  39. Lou June 18th, 2009 3:54 pm

    Yeah, the Giprons were a joke. I saw a guy fall with them and not stop himself, pretty scary.

  40. Randonnee June 18th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Hmm, I like the Giprons and still have them! There I go being different again. I also like my 70 waist Chogori skis and mushy TLT4 boot also… : )}. I practiced with the Giprons and liked the gradual feel of the tips hooking- it felt less likely to be jerked from my hand. I do use my Whippets now.

  41. Patrick June 19th, 2009 11:24 am

    When those knees are knocking those skis keep rocking!

  42. Patrick June 19th, 2009 11:45 am

    “Mmmmm, I hope those kid’s of mine havnt messed with the thermostat again.”
    Haha, love the hair Lou.

  43. Mark June 20th, 2009 6:40 am

    It’s monoleg style. I’ll teach you.

  44. Ivo Popov June 20th, 2009 2:06 pm

    Old school Superstylin’

  45. Scott June 20th, 2009 10:32 pm

    “Around this time the new so-called “extreme” skiing movies were coming out. While amusing, I took offense at much of what they were calling “extreme” as the only really extreme stuff as far as I could tell was Plake’s hair. So in protest, I plowed an anti-mohawk through the crown of my pate.”

    And then applied this anti-style to both clothing and stance.


  46. OLDDUDE July 10th, 2009 8:40 am

    Sorry I missed this one Lou. I would have said……

    Day one following first prostate exam.

  47. Lou July 10th, 2009 10:50 am

    Pretty good stuff folks!

    By the by, do you guys realize that slope I’m on is rather steep? I just remembered, it clocked in on the inclinometer at just under 50 degrees. You can tell by the way I’m folding my uphill pole. I used to play around with technique on slopes like that, provided the runout was safe or the snow not too hard and dangerous in terms of a slide/fall.

  48. Lester Fresh July 10th, 2009 12:11 pm

    I’d like to say a belated thank you for swag received from the Art Burrows caption contest. Lou gives the goods! And where is that trip report, anyway?

  49. Lou July 10th, 2009 12:16 pm

    Lester, I’ve been trying to get that out of Litz for a while! Who knows…

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. 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. Due to human error and passing time, 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 templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version