Zombie Skiing on The Hardrock 100 — Day 4 Finish


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 21, 2016      
The Ski Hardrock 100 crew.

The Ski Hardrock 100 crew, from left to right: Noah Howell, Paul Hamilton, Jason Schlarb, Scott Simmons. Click all images to enlarge.

Read this story from the beginning: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

Day 4
We woke up at 5 a.m. as planned and prepared slowly. Coffee helped bring us to life, but I just wanted to stay in bed. I ditched as much gear and weight as possible (overpants, camera batteries, crampons, leatherman) from my pack knowing it was our final and longest day. I wanted to travel as light as possible.

There was something reassuring about stretching into our one piece suits, again. They stunk but they felt like home. They felt good, the way they hold the body snug and make it feel fast and capable if nothing else. Part of the skimo efficiency comes in proper placement of all gear so we dialed in our kits, down to the location of headbands, sunglasses and spare GU packets.

Most importantly though was foot care. At this point in the trip we all had serious blisters. Both my heels required taping, but they weren’t that bad. The worst were my toes. I had big blisters on the tops and sides of my pinky toes that resembled grade A+ organic ground beef. I’d drain the fluid and then tape them in tightly to the rest of my toes attempting to keep them from further rubbing. I had been using duct tape, but Scott brought out the Leukotape. I had heard about this stuff but never tried it. Leukotape is much stickier than duct tape and it stays put much better — so much better that people have been known to “avulse” their epidermis during removal. Fresh socks were then carefully applied. I’d worry later about avulsion.

Sorry to go on and on about feet, but it was one of the most severe issues we faced (as I had imagined it would be). Once we were finished with the bandage session we were all hesitant to clamp on our plastic feet–torturing devices. There was a tiny stand-off. You didn’t want to be the first to put boots on because it hurt, but you didn’t want to be last out the door. In all things skimo it’s about being fast and not last.

We hobbled down the dark quiet streets of Telluride for just a few blocks until we hit snow. Scott’s wife Holly, and of course the incredible Hannah were there to cheer us on. We went up the road with the same routine: drop our head, move your left foot, pole plant, shuffle right foot, pole plant, repeat, repeat, repeat. Skimo zombie apocalypse.

We covered a lot of ground. Or so it seemed in the dark, anyway. Paul was struggling and I passed him at one point. He was hunched over his poles and barely acknowledged us. I hadn’t seen him look that bad all trip. We waited for him farther up the road. Soon after, he came gliding towards us as if nothing had happened and we kept moving.

Our climb up Big Creek Canyon and out of Telluride consisted of 4,000 ft. with a variety of terrain. The initial road turned into a trail and then faded into an old skin track.

Our climb up Big Creek Canyon and out of Telluride consisted of 4,000 ft. with a variety of terrain. The initial road turned into a trail and then faded into an old skin track.

Even though we were in this together and were a unified team, much of my experience in the Ski Hardrock 100 was spent alone in a hole, with them ahead of me. Even the moments when we were closer together we didn’t actually converse a lot. It was heads down and push. Whenever we would stop, rest and eat there was talking and laughter and teasing, but as soon as we clicked in it was back to work, especially for me. I think they easily could have become irritated with the slow guy, but they were patient and supportive—at least to my face..:)

We were in this together and were a unified team, but much of my experience in Ski Hardrock 100 was spent alone in a hole, with them ahead of me. Even during the moments when we were closer together we didn’t converse much. It was heads down and push. Whenever we would stop, rest and eat there was talking and laughter and teasing, but as soon as we clicked in, it was back to work, especially for me. I think they easily could have become irritated with the slow guy, but they were patient and supportive — at least to my face.

Temperatures were pretty cold with early morning down–canyon winds. It was nice getting out of the dark and into the warm sun.

Temperatures were pretty cold with early morning down–canyon winds. Nice getting out of the dark and into the warm sun.

Although Jason and Scott had inspected this section of the course, and Paul had run part of it, there was still confusion in the upper basin. To be honest I didn’t mind, just another chance for me to catch up and get a few video clips in the lovely morning light.

Although Jason and Scott had inspected this section of the course, and Paul had run part it, confusion occured in the upper basin. To be honest I didn’t mind, just another chance for me to catch up and get a few video clips in the lovely morning light.

The plan is to create a short documentary from this effort. I believe we’re calling it  “Skiing The Hardrock 100”. This was by far the hardest project I’ve ever shot. Usually the camera operator has complete control and the skiers/athletes wait and work around you. This was not the case here, it was total run and gun guerilla–style shooting. I blew a bunch of the shots from being rushed, but I prefer this “reality” style of shooting. It’s the only way we could have covered the events and covered that much ground.

The plan is to create a short documentary from this effort. I believe we’re calling it “Skiing The Hardrock 100.” This was by far the hardest project I’ve ever shot. Usually the camera operator has complete control and the skiers/athletes wait and work around you. This was not the case here. It was total run and gun guerrilla–style shooting. I blew a bunch of the shots from being rushed, but I prefer this “reality” style of shooting. It’s the only way we could have covered the events and covered that much ground.

What I will say about Jason, Paul and Scott is that I think they were the perfect team to accomplish this. They all worked well together with perseverance and drive when we needed it, and humility and humor when we needed that. They are all incredibly strong individuals which made us stronger as a group.

What I will say about Jason, Paul and Scott is that I think they were the perfect team to accomplish this. They worked well together with perseverance and drive when we needed it, and humility and humor when we needed that. They are incredibly strong individuals which made us stronger as a group.

We got things sorted out, bumped through a few passes, traversed around a peak and finished our massive first climb.

We got things sorted out, bumped through a few passes, traversed around a peak and finished our massive first climb.

Reaching the ridge.

Reaching the ridge.

The San Juans have been heavily mined for precious ore. This is their history and the scars remain. The HR 100 takes one on a tour of old mine roads, past tunnels and into the towns created by this industry. Deep inside rock, men toiled away for years in the dark; a brutal hard work. One swing of the pick at a time. One “muck” shovel full at a time. This process of small actions over time which creates larger and seemingly impossible achievements has always fascinated me. As we hacked our way through the mountains I tried to draw parallels, and wondered what the miner’s motivation was to keep going. And then I wondered more about mine.

A 3,000 ft. descent towards the town of Ophir was spread out before us. We were hoping the sun would have softened the snow, but we were a few hours too early.

A 3,000 ft. descent towards the town of Ophir was spread out before us. We were hoping the sun would have softened the snow, but we were a few hours too early.

The surface underneath our skis was firm but edgable and ended up being our best continuous descent. The gang shred was on, and our leg muscles were able to switch from burning on the ascent to burning on the descent. A rest of sorts.

The surface underneath our skis was firm but edgable and ended up being our best continuous descent. Gang shred was on. Ou leg muscles were able to switch from burning on the ascent to burning on the descent. A rest of sorts.

Down in the valley we followed a road then cut hard left and slalomed our way through an aspen grove.

In the valley we followed a road then cut hard left.

Slalom an aspen grove.

Slalom thru an aspen grove.

A spicy bridge crossing put us into position to transition for another uphill climb.

A spicy bridge crossing put us into position to transition for another uphill climb.

Here we encountered a pair of backcountry skiers who were also Hardrock 100 fans, and they knew of Jason and Paul. They were thrilled that they got to meet their running heroes under these crazy circumstances.

I had gone light on water because Scott’s wife Holly had planned to drive around to meet us with water and snacks. There was no sign of her, maybe because we were behind schedule. I was out of water and the several streams we crossed had that heavily polluted reddish hue from the old mining operations. Perhaps those old muckers I’d been thinking about drank that stuff? I’ll pass.

The pair of ultra-superfans had water to spare and kindly filled my canteen. It seemed they felt sorry for the ultra-large bearded man who was clearly struggling.

We started up our second climb of the day and it led us through a dark forest and into a beautiful rugged basin. We took another break where I siphoned more water -- this time from Jason -- and we tanked up on food and fuel to prepare us for the steep climb. The boys caught their 22nd wind and left me in the dust to struggle with heavy feet and heavy thoughts.

We began our second climb of the day, it led us through a dark forest and into a beautiful rugged basin. We took another break where I siphoned more water — this time from Jason — and we tanked up on food and fuel to prepare us for the steep climb. The boys caught their 22nd wind and left me in the dust to struggle with heavy feet and heavy thoughts.

It was clear that Day 4 would be no rest day. We were back on the same program as Day 1 and Day 2, encountering difficult snow, tricky route finding and slower progress. So it was not a surprise that the last 500 feet to Grant-swamp Pass were sugary, slippery rotten snow.

It was clear that Day 4 would be no rest day. We were back on the same program as Day 1 and Day 2, encountering difficult snow, tricky route finding and slow progress. So it was not a surprise that the last 500 feet to Grant-swamp Pass were sugary, slippery rotten snow.

From the saddle, Jason showed me the route ahead. I thought he was joking at first. It appeared to be about 50 miles away. Even though it was clearly a much lower elevation, it was heartbreaking to look at that huge distance between us and the final descent. It was here that the “fun” wore off for me.

From the saddle, Jason showed me the route ahead. I thought he was joking. It appeared to be about 50 miles away. Even though we were clearly headed down in elevation, it broke my heart to look at that huge distance between us and the final descent. It was here that the “fun” wore off for me.

Descending from Grant-swamp Pass through the alpine’s breakable wind-blown crust and into softer snow in the trees. Here we zigged and zagged and descended, trying to follow the Hardrock 100 summer trail here and there.

Descending from Grant-swamp Pass through the alpine’s breakable wind-blown crust and into softer snow in the trees. We zigged and zagged and descended, trying to follow the Hardrock 100 summer trail.

It was well past midday

It was well past midday now and the long descent ended when we tied into the road. At one point in the woods Scott hit a branch which ripped open his skin suit from knee to groin. So at least we could laugh at that. He covered it up with a buff. We transitioned and headed off and up for another “enjoyable” climb. My body seemed to be holding up but my mind was letting go.

For several miles we stuck to the flat mellow road grade that was still slightly visible despite the winter snowpack. I was out of water again.

Luckily, the tarp I could see ahead laid out with an array of beverages and goodies was not a mirage, but Hannah once again providing us with a wonderful picnic. I’d never considered churro as a backcountry snack, but after eating two of them that day I would say it may be the most perfect food known to man. Somehow Hannah already knew this.

This would be our final pit stop. I would like to say that I was thrilled and enjoyed it, but I just felt flat. We had about 9 miles and 3,000 ft. ahead of us. We were close to the end, but not close enough to celebrate yet.

Final picnic.

Final picnic.

We left the comfort of the tarp and dropped down, crossed the river and started our final ascent. That sound of “final climb” sounded good, but it didn’t feel good. The Hardrock being the unforgiving compounding sufferfest that it is, we encountered trail breaking through knee deep snow in the north facing woods. Scott did most of the work with a few pulls from Jason and Paul. I fell in line as the caboose and just tried to keep up.

We left the comfort of the tarp and dropped down, crossed the river and began our final ascent. That sound of “final climb” sounded good, but it didn’t feel good. The Hardrock being the unforgiving compounding sufferfest that it is, we encountered trail breaking through knee deep snow in the north facing woods. Scott did most of the work with a few pulls from Jason and Paul. I fell in line as the caboose and just tried to keep up.

Is this story getting boring? I totally understand. There were times where it felt boring.

Instead of getting easier as we got closer, the finish got harder and harder. Mentally I was over it I was done, I wanted to be finished. The depressive reality was that we were not. But I kept moving. Finally I came up over a crest, the guys were sitting down watching the sun get low and smiling. They told me we only had 500 feet left to climb. Just 500 feet of the 33,000 remained. I can do that I thought, and said, and then did. But as we topped out they realized they had miscalculated and this wasn’t our final climb.

Instead of getting easier as we got closer, the finish got harder and harder. Mentally I was over it. I was done. I wanted to be finished. The depressive reality was that we were not. But I kept moving. Finally I came up over a crest, the guys were sitting down watching the sun get low and smiling. They told me we only had 500 feet left to climb. Just 500 feet of the 33,000 remained. I can do that I thought, and said, and then did. But as we topped out they realized they had miscalculated and this wasn’t our final climb!

We could see our final final climb so we traversed around dropped a few hundred feet with skins on and then the battle between mind and body began.

We could see our final, final climb so we traversed around, dropped a few hundred feet with skins on and then the battle between mind and body began.

Final ridge climb.

Final ridge climb.

I remember stopping several times which was stupid. I knew I shouldn’t stop and that this wasn’t the end but being so mentally fried and exhausted, I would stop. In 2005, I climbed Denali and not since then have I had felt this drained and physically helpless in the mountains. It’s a weird stalemate between body and mind. A glimpse into the zombie psyche?

I told myself I could go 100 feet. You can always go 100 feet. I began counting one, two, three, and step by step went that 100 feet. After 100 steps, I actually felt better and knew I could go another 100. In this manner I made my final ascent. It actually turned out to be around 570 steps before I reached the final, final pass. It was such a relief. It felt good. Not in the way good feels, but just good to not be feeling bad.

The guys were waiting for me of course. I would find out later that they had raced each other to the top, competitive even to the very end. Their sweat was now chilling them though, so we didn’t stay long.

I can’t believe it happened, but there was a small part of me that didn’t want to stop. It wasn’t the physical part of me, all those parts were more than happy to quit. Over 10,000 feet and almost 30 miles for the day was enough. I think it may just have been the inertia built up from the previous four days of almost non-stop motion.

Our timing was perfect. The sun was saying farewell as if it knew we were done and could now go. The final ski was around 3,500 ft. of more breakable and tricky conditions. We were able to traverse and work our way down the left side of the canyon until it flattened out. We doused our raw feet almost ceremoniously in the cold stream crossing in the same manner we had started this adventure.

Our timing was perfect. The sun was saying farewell as if it knew we were done and could now go. The final ski was around 3,500 ft. of breakable and tricky conditions. We were able to traverse and work our way down the left side of the canyon until it flattened out. We doused our hamburger feet ceremoniously in the cold stream crossing, in the same way we had started our adventure.

A perfectly good road would have led us easily into town, but Jason insisted we stay truer to the course and take the HR trail. So we changed from boots to shoes one last time and started moving towards what looked like a dry trail.

A perfectly good road would have led us easily into town, but Jason insisted we stay truer to the course and take the HR trail. So we changed from boots to shoes one last time and began moving towards what looked like a dry trail.

It was dry where we started, but then patches of breakable sun crusted snow covered the trail. We punched through up to our knees often and begrudgingly continued on for the final mile or more.

We succeeded in finishing. We walked into the eerily quiet and dark mountain town around 9:30p.m. We kissed the rock at the finish, in tradition with the summer version of the HR 100. Hannah was there waiting with burgers and beers. God bless her soul.

We succeeded in finishing. We walked into the eerily quiet and dark mountain town around 9:30 p.m. We kissed the rock at the finish, in tradition with the summer version of the HR 100. Hannah was there waiting with burgers and beers. God bless her soul.

What we did was ridiculous, no doubt. And for that reason I love it. More, there is enormous allure to encountering the unknown and doing something that no one else has done before, just to see if it goes or how it will unfold. I didn’t love the pain and discomfort, but I love the absurdity of it. It makes me smile that someone would conjure this up in their mind and even more farcical that someone would actually attempt it. That’s what this was: many, many, many steps and breaths and moments good and bad over four days in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on the planet. I’m grateful Jason invited us into his nightmarish daydream.

To do the Ski HR 100 required a ton of logistics and huge contributions from several people. We couldn’t have accomplished this without the help from Mad Dog, Hannah Green, Holly Simmons and Maggie Schlarb. Thank you all!

I’m not sure how excited people are going to be to watch guys walking through the mountains using survival skiing tactics on skinny skis, but I’m looking forward to putting it together and telling this story. Check out Schlarb-Wolf Productions and Jason Schlarb’s blog.

(WildSnow guest blogger Noah Howell was born and inbred at the foot of the Wasatch mountains. His skiing addiction is full blown and he’ll take snow and adventure in whatever form it takes. The past 16 years have been spent dedicated to exploring new ranges, steep skiing, and filming for Powderwhore Productions. Visit Noah’s website for more story telling and photos.)



IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING SITE, TRY WHITELISTING IN YOUR ADBLOCKER, OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTACT US USING MENU ABOVE, OR FACEBOOK.

Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


Comments

25 Responses to “Zombie Skiing on The Hardrock 100 — Day 4 Finish”

  1. Rudi April 21st, 2016 8:46 am

    FANTASTIC! I cannot imagine how bad this was then and how good it feels now. But i know those are the best things in life. Congratulations!

  2. Lou Dawson 2 April 21st, 2016 9:40 am

    Good job Noah!

    Hey, I’m curious about a couple of things:

    1. Would using a slightly wider but still lightweight ski, with superlight bindings, have been a more efficient choice. Skimo race skis are clearly not designed for breaking trail! Perhaps something somewhat short but in a waist width of around 80 mm?

    2. What was your feed plan and preferred food while on the trail, mostly Gu, or what? Perhaps that’s in your reports but would be good to hear your “definitive” take (grin).

  3. See April 21st, 2016 10:10 am

    The “slow guy?” The photographer has to do the same trip as the rest of the group, only carrying camera gear and climbing around to get shots. Thanks and congratulations. Great story and excellent pictures. I admit, I wasn’t sold at first, but I’m looking forward to the movie.

    No need to apologize for reporting on the foot issues. It’s useful information. In retrospect, do you think you did “(L)isten to and then obey those little nagging things that need to be done, even though you don’t feel like doing them” as much as you should have? The stream crossing on day 1 and the second road section on the morning of day 2… maybe should have switched to shoes for those? And what about taping up before the blisters appear, when it’s just a hot spot? I know you guys are super experts on this sort of thing, but I can’t help wondering about lessons learned. And, going light on water almost never a good idea…

    Also, I wonder about the skin suits, skimo skis and poles… would you use them if you had to do it again? (I’m assuming the “no gps” rule stands on principle.)

  4. Mike April 21st, 2016 10:45 am

    Great work and awesome write up! All of your hard work is inspiring, and your writing was very entertaining to read. I can’t wait for the film! Cheers!

  5. noah howell April 21st, 2016 11:47 am

    Thanks Mike and Rudi, glad you persevered through the posts!

    Lou-

    1- I thought a ton about this while flailing around on the race skis. I wouldn’t do the HR 100 again, but yes I’ll be using a wider ski for longer days and link-ups. I’ve actually been working with Voile on the Objective that you reviewd. Our goal was to make a more skiable race ski. I didn’t take it on the HR 100 because I knew the other guys were on race gear and I couldn’t handicap myself with a heavier ski.

    2- My plan for staying fueled was to eat something solid every hour or two and drink anytime we stopped. I did a pretty good job on this except for Day 1 and Day 2 in the evenings. It’s hard to stop and eat on the descent when you just want to keep moving and be done. My solid foods consisted of Kind bars, assorted candy bars, meat and cheese wraps, etc. I discovered Vitargo on this trip and I’m not joking it was a life-saver. This is going to sound like a paid sales pitch, but I have no affiliation, the stuff just works incredibly well!! In fact, it’s almost ALL Jason uses on his 100 mile running races. It’s a highly refined carb that is absorbed very quickly and doesn’t give you GU gut, or the sugar shits. I added this to all my water and drank it every day.

  6. noah howell April 21st, 2016 11:59 am

    Hey See-

    Hmmm….I think I did listen and obey pretty well except for the evening descents on Days 1 and 2. Fatigue won over and we just kept moving instead of stopping and we paid the price.

    Anytime we spent in shoes was much preferred over boots. The stream crossing was fine, but yeah we booted up much earlier than we needed on the morning of Day 2, but we didn’t know the road would be broken up with so many patches of dirt and snow.

    I thought of pre-taping after it was too late. I’ve never tried it before, but I might. The issue is sometimes the tape can peel back and create hot spots. I’d try it though.

    The skin suit is actually very functional and yes, I’d use it again, no doubt.

    I used regular poles with real baskets and I’m glad I did. I don’t like race poles in the backcountry since they have smaller baskets and sink into the snow. Also, I like a stronger and beefier pole. Paul broke one of his race poles on a fall and the photographer who met us at some of the passes lent him one of his.

  7. Layne April 21st, 2016 1:16 pm

    So pro!

    An almost impossibly hard order to keep up with those guys, I’m sure. Great series, you are awesome.

  8. Michael April 21st, 2016 6:23 pm

    bravo. A great read.

  9. apingaut April 21st, 2016 6:23 pm

    Excellent adventure, thank you for sharing the story.

    I can totally relate blistered feet suffering in boots on long ski’s day after day after day, I never thought they could get so bad and painful until doing it … makes me cringe to now have to type Lou’s pass phrase.

  10. See April 21st, 2016 7:59 pm

    “My body was blown, I needed to eat and drink, but I ignored this. Taking the time to stop and eat and drink seemed like a waste of time.” I’m a big fan of pockets, because you can put sandwiches, etc. in them. I can see how the skin suit could be functional, except for the lack of pockets. And, though I think hydration bladders are a pita, I use them. I keep meaning to try a pack strap mounted water bottle but haven’t gotten around to it. What were you using for hydration?

  11. nicholas April 22nd, 2016 1:55 am

    congrats, this was easily one of the best TR on WS! you guys are definitely crazy – but I do admire crazy people’s accomplishments!! as I was reading your posts I thought to myself: that’s like doing four consecutive “Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG)” races in four days… unreal.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 April 22nd, 2016 7:06 am

    Nicholas, and don’t forget the altitudes the guys were at most of the time, and the pretty much entire lack of amenities other than a few villages down in the valleys! Makes the Alps look easy.

    We do have quite a few good reads if you dig back through our trip reports. It’s like a time machine!

    https://www.wildsnow.com/category/trip-reports/

    We’ll let the “Hardrock Ski” stand as lead post for another day.

  13. See April 22nd, 2016 8:16 am

    Well, I guess skin suits have pockets (according to the internet) but I still can’t see them. I’m still wondering why you needed to stop to eat and drink. It seems like being able to eat and drink on the go would be key for this kind of effort.

  14. Ben W April 22nd, 2016 9:59 am

    I enjoyed all four parts tremendously. Thanks, Noah

  15. Charlie Hagedorn April 22nd, 2016 12:41 pm

    Awesome series, Noah.

    @See, the pockets on some skin-suits are awesome. On the older black/white Dynafit suits, everything in black above waist-level is a gigantic pocket designed to hold skins. There are large matching pockets on the inside of the chest, too. If you arrange gear right, you essentially never need to remove your pack.

  16. Drew Tabke April 22nd, 2016 2:43 pm

    Awesome series, thanks Noah!

  17. Bard April 22nd, 2016 3:56 pm

    Good work Noah and crew! When Jason asked you if you wanted to quit on day two, reminded me of the story of Steve House struggling on some heinous pitch in Alaska and Mark Twight said something like “dude, I can take the pitch if it’s too hard.” House then finished the pitch with determination which I’m guessing came from a bit of anger and competitiveness:)

  18. Dabe April 24th, 2016 6:44 am

    It shouldn’t say “if” in front of “you want to start at the beginning” re: the links to parts 1-3. Whole thing is mandatory reading!

  19. Lou Dawson 2 April 24th, 2016 8:05 am

    D, edit done!

  20. Gregg Cronn April 24th, 2016 11:34 am

    Well done. A great story about pushing through exhaustion…and keep going. The walk about the road on Day 3 was a great example of active rest. Light effort to speed recovery and prepare the body for further efforts. It is amazing how the body can recover with rest and a bit of movement.

  21. byates1 April 24th, 2016 9:21 pm

    strong work gentleman. chapeau!

    i hope to dig deep again sometime soon.

    great work, astounding!

  22. Trent April 25th, 2016 10:39 am

    Fantastic. Congrats!

    Maybe warrants a separate thread on taping/foot care and blister prevention for long days and tours?

  23. anonymoose April 25th, 2016 6:38 pm

    Now that for me is the best story on wildsnow in a couple of months definitely, if not more. And I lurk here for years. Thanks, Noah. Thanks, Lou.

  24. Pete April 29th, 2016 10:55 am

    A heroic effort and inspirational trip report. Love these multi-day reports on WS. Congrats.

  25. Trevor May 21st, 2016 9:45 pm

    Wonderful. Thanks to you all for having the desire and the guts to connect the dots and document it for all of us. inspirational





Anti-Spam Quiz:

 

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments


  Recent Posts




Facebook Twitter Google Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed



 



  • 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 WildSnow.com 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