WildSnowers — Requesting your Esteemed Opinion

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 11, 2009      

Many of you probably noticed that at the bottom of most blog posts you’re now seeing links to EpicSki.com. For example “See peer reviews of Ski Backpacks at Epicski.com.” Step back through a few posts and you’ll see what I mean. Or just click on the post title above to see the “full post” and you’ll see the EpicSki links at the bottom.

Those links are injected by EpicSki based on post tags, and are a form of link exchange intended to give WildSnow and EpicSki some cross traffic. They also might have some search engine benefit, but that’s probably a wash.

Could some of you guys check those out, and see if they’d be of any use?

Also, what’s your opinion of EpicSki? Is “partnering” with them something you’re comfortable with Wildsnow doing?

Please leave a comment as to your opinion, or send me an email via the contact link in menu above.

My mission with WildSnow is to put NOTHING in a blog post that’s not of some use or at least interest to the backcountry skier reader. If many of those links are irrelevant or cluttering things up let me know. If they’re useful, let me know.

I can turn the exchange off tomorrow, or let it run.

The links use quite a bit or real estate and are in effect stamped by the reputation of WildSnow.com (a reputation created by you commenters and guest bloggers), so this is an important issue for everyone.

Thanks all! I couldn’t do this without you…




35 Responses to “WildSnowers — Requesting your Esteemed Opinion”

  1. Tuck September 11th, 2009 9:33 am

    It might be nice if it had a little content… I followed the links above, and there’s one ski backpack listed at Epic ski… Then I looked at the AT binding section, and I got the impression that they’d thrown in a list of bindings. If people start using the thing, it would be a good idea.

    The mountain biking community has a site http://www.mtbr.com where they post reviews on all sorts of gear. A site like that for skiing would be good, but they’re going to need to get some users…

    But I think we’re going to need to see some snow first.

    I hope they’re giving you some equity in that site: you’ve got the traffic they need, after all… 😉

  2. Mike September 11th, 2009 9:46 am

    I can’t imagine many WS readers being of the type to read Epic, unless you’re branching off into carving technique discussions soon.

  3. Ben W September 11th, 2009 9:49 am

    The area of expertise at epicski seems to be carving technique and ski tuning, with a particular obsession with edge bevels. Search Dynafit at epicski and you find links to review pages with no reviews or questions with few or no answers. Do the same search at the TGR forum and you find a thread by Jonathan Shefftz that is rivaled only by wildsnow in its detail, a group buy for over 100 pairs of Verticals, and a 10+ page thread comparing the flex of every AT boot sold in the last ten years.

    I’m a daily reader of wildsnow, tetonat, straightchuter and the tgr forum, and frequently check out telemarktalk, turns-all-year, and 14ers.com, as well as some other blogs that are updated less frequently. Epicski comes in way behind all of the above as a source of ski mountaineering info.

  4. Lars September 11th, 2009 9:57 am

    Yeah, EpicSki is the wrong forum for this crowd. TGR and TTips would both be better options.

  5. Lou September 11th, 2009 10:00 am

    Keep the take going you guys. I’m getting a message. Off to my workout, I’ll check this when I get back. Thanks, Lou

  6. Clyde September 11th, 2009 10:14 am

    Don’t lower yourself to the Epic, TGR or TTips level. They’ve got nothing of real value. Readers looking for solid content will find you regardless of the gossip forums.

  7. Tom Gos September 11th, 2009 10:18 am

    I agree with the other posts. The Epicski crowd is, umm, “different” from the folks that visit Wildsnow and the other sites mentioned above. I’d drop the cross linking with Epic and pursue the other sites mentioned. If you want to branch out and add some diversity then maybe link to some of the climbing sites, which are probably of more interest than Epic for the typical Wildsnow reader.

  8. FrameNZ September 11th, 2009 10:32 am

    I found something on one of EpicSki forums last year when researching Zipfit and Intuition liners for my alpine boots (which also happen to be my touring boots…$£). The forum was useful for that specific enquiry but the AT link isn’t to strong. Haven’t really used it since.

  9. Jonathan Shefftz September 11th, 2009 10:46 am

    “Many of you probably noticed that at the bottom of most blog posts you’re now seeing links to EpicSki.com.”
    — Andrew, your “MildSnow.com” parody was amusing, but hacking into Lou’s account and linking WildSnow.com to the nearly nonexistent EpicSki.com backcountry “content” is going a bit too far. (Though it still is kind of funny.)

  10. Andy September 11th, 2009 10:46 am

    Epic = very little value in the backcountry arena. TGR has WAY more quality information, but I understand that many people don’t want to wade through the juvenile stuff to get to it.

  11. harpo September 11th, 2009 11:32 am

    yeah, ditch the epic connection

  12. shoveler September 11th, 2009 12:07 pm

    two thumbs down, just takes up space on the best skiing blog on the planet

  13. Christian September 11th, 2009 12:18 pm

    Lou, stick to your own content and let gapic fill its own niche.

  14. Randonnee September 11th, 2009 1:02 pm

    Lou, I would agree with Clyde above to stay away from Forums. Because of your hard work Wildsnow has valuable information and user comments that are well-guided by you. It is clear to all that perhaps you personal views of many things are dissimilar to many dominant Forum or industry views, but importantly, you do allow and promote various views and voices to be heard.

  15. Glenn September 11th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Less is better. I’m getting great Beta from Twitter folks with just the link. If the link leads to good info it gets bookmarked. Epicski would be one of those so it’s not needed and detracts too much from your great blog and your great Beta.

  16. Lou September 11th, 2009 1:40 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this and what this deal with Epic is trying to do is basically what Google does, only Google does it a zillion times better. In other words, Google spiders the whole web and attempts to use artificial intelligence to bring you the best links for the info you’re looking for. Epic is trying to inject links based on post content, these are supposed to link over to their website and relevant content, only their system for this is primitive compared to what Google does. (And of course even Google is far from perfect.)

    In all fairness, the Epic links are indeed based on my post tags, so if I don’t do perfect post tags then it’s a mess. But clone me three times and perhaps I can do a perfect job of tagging. Meanwhile, life intrudes.

    At any rate, the more comments on this the better. So thanks everyone.

  17. Halsted September 11th, 2009 3:38 pm

    I’d say stay away from Epicski.

  18. KR September 11th, 2009 4:22 pm

    Clyde is high, I get lots of good info from TGR and sometimes TTips. EpicSki isn’t very good, though.

  19. Peter September 11th, 2009 4:47 pm

    Used to look at epic, found wildsnow, haven’t looked at epic since then, nuff said.

  20. randosteve September 11th, 2009 5:21 pm

    hey lou…they contacted me about this too with TetonAT.com. funny…i didn’t really want to trade links with epic (mainly because it is a different crowd than our BC brethren), but agreed because they said wildsnow.com was getting involved.

    having second thoughts now. if it were TGR…it’d be a no brainer…and all systems go.


  21. rob September 11th, 2009 6:34 pm

    not a fan of epic. tgr, wildsnow and tetonat are the go to s.

  22. Lou September 11th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Yeah RandoSteve and all, I’m just not seeing this as useful content for you guys or myself. I guess I could stick it in a sidebar, but then, my sidebars are already maxed…

  23. Slave.To.Turns September 12th, 2009 10:56 am


    Seriously though…two thumbs down on that and the male soap opera, TGR. You’ve got great content and exchange partners as it is. It really adds no value.

  24. Mark September 12th, 2009 11:16 am

    spent all of 5 seconds on there looking for AT boots, as I am actually in the market. Read this about the F3.

    Scarpa F3 Alpine Touring Boot
    If you’re looking for lightweight touring boots that’ll drive your fat skis in the steep and deep, grab the Scarpa Men’s F3 Alpine Touring Boots.

    This sounds like a load of crap to me. I wouldn’t dream of buying the F3 for steep and deep. The descriptions they provides sound just like most of the manufacturers descriptions which is to say vague and thus useless. If people comment on these products it might be helpful, but right now Wild Snow is the only reason I an dream of for visiting their site.

    Drop ’em and don’t look back!

  25. Colin in CA September 12th, 2009 11:53 am

    Tons of good info on TGR, but like people have said, you have to wade through the crap. TTips is similar for different reasons. Epic = not something I ever look at.

  26. Scruppo September 12th, 2009 12:53 pm

    I agree with the comparison with mtbr.com. This is a site that I turn to often when considering a new mountain bike part. The difference is that mtbr has been around for a while and has real user reviews for just about every product in the mountain bike universe, while epicski is just starting. It could end up being a valuable resource if enough of us start adding reviews, which an association with wildsnow (and tetonat) would surely help.

  27. Peter September 12th, 2009 9:25 pm

    Lou, I did a quick look at one blog. I did not care for having to scroll through pages of petty bickering to get to a point. I understand the idea but at this point it is poorly done. Ah… everyone needs a project to work on.

  28. Mark September 12th, 2009 9:49 pm

    Forums can be good, but I can’t endorse EpicSki as I’ve been out of the forums realm mostly for a good while. Used to spend nearly all my on-line time as a forum admin, but things have shifted away, in my opinion, to better sites like the aforementioned WildSnow, Teton AT, etc.

  29. Verbier61 September 14th, 2009 2:48 am

    As it has been already said…. epic is worthless, TGR has a lot in common with wildsnow

  30. Pierce September 14th, 2009 8:28 am

    Have to agree with Slave and Collin on the lack of real crossover on epicski.com and also with the TGR comment. TGR has some worthy and useful content, but lacks the class of your site, as an understatement. I’m not sure you want a direct link to them, as such. I would have to expect 95% of people on this site know of and occassionally use TGR, as I do, and not sure of the value of adding them to your site.

  31. nick September 14th, 2009 8:44 am

    Another vote for ditching epic. However, as said above, a mtbr type review site would be nice…

  32. Lou September 15th, 2009 2:31 pm

    All, you guys are awesome and really got me on the correct path with all this. I’ve turned off the EpicSki links and will explore other linking possibilities. But mainly, I have faith in you guys and things such as Google to find the goods…

    The EpicSki linkage system I was using is probably totally appropriate for a smaller blog looking to build their traffic. it would also be great for search engine favor if EpicSki was ranked higher than the site they were linking to. Neither is the case for WildSnow, but I wish the other bloggers well who chose to do this stuff.

    Ultimatly, for me this was a case of “link greed” versus using my real estate wisely in ways that benefit you readers the most. Sometimes, one has to know when to quit chasing links, and when to concentrate on making content.

    Now, back to blogging!

  33. Eric September 15th, 2009 2:46 pm

    Good choice Lou,

  34. Jason Mitchell September 17th, 2009 11:06 pm


    The crew at EpicSki.com has a good goal to revive the site and make it relevant to the masses, but its appropriateness to a site like yours and mine seems to be questionable–yours even less than mine.

    I signed up with their program April 15 and I’m still on the fence with it. Originally, I thought that only my ski-related posts would be pulled into EpicSki and thus reciprocally tagged on FeedTheHabit.com. As it turns out, they place links on biking and hiking-related articles too, which seems completely irrelevant.

    For what it’s worth… all the links on EpicSki yield just over 100 visits/month. A simple link on your site gives me 85. That simple link is much mess obtrusive and much more powerful pound-for-pound.

    I’ll stick with it for awhile, but I’m still in the air as to whether or not I’ll re-commit come April.

  35. LeeL September 22nd, 2009 4:49 pm


    I’m really glad you de-linked from Epic. I had disagreements with the overly-moderated nature of the site comments and asked them to pull all my posts (perhaps a bit of an overreaction but I wanted no association with Epicski). A lawyer associated with the site sent me a letter in a poorly veiled attempt to get me to drop my request. Fortunately I’m a specialist in intellectual property law and responded accordingly. Nothing really to add further other then, not only is their readership and content almost completely useless insofar as it pertains backcountry skiing knowledge but I loathe their bullying business practices.

    I agree that TGR has so much garbage that its very hard to find the gems but its a strong runnerup for useful content. TetonAT, FeedtheHabit are the best alternative pure knowledge sites, second only to Wildsnow in this category IMO.

    There’s a new entry skiingthebackcountry.com – but so far the majority of their articles are puff pieces without substance so it remains to see how they will do.

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