News Roundup — Election Done, Let Them Ski

Post by blogger | November 16, 2016      
Backcountry skiing news.

Backcountry skiing news.

With the undeniable explosion in ski touring numbers, the issue of skiers on avalanche slopes, with other groups in the same “risk arena,” is real. On December 19th, 2015 a man who was solo on Kendall Peak at Snoqualmie Pass went missing. He was in a situation with avy danger, and other people in the area. Avalanches occurred.

It’s somewhat of a mystery whether the Kendall Peak accident resulted from tree well entrapment, a slide, or both. But the NWAC report is out and makes instructive reading. What occurs to me is just how complex things get when multiple groups are sharing the same terrain. What is more, the man aparantly had a beacon but searchers never acquired his signal, resulting in more than 3,000 man hours of SAR time being expended. Take a look at the report, what do you think?

Other than the occasional allusion we stay away from United States presidential politics here on Wildsnow. Plenty of other things to talk about, and plenty of places to go elsewhere if you do want to hang (yourself?) online with your political persuasions.

Let’s just say we are glad this election is done, agree with Hillary about the rule of law (transcript), and agree with Trump if he decides to deregulate skiing. Best would be to see both current presidents and their spouses make some turns together. Could happen. You read it here, first.

(My comments above are not a license to hijack WildSnow with a bunch of rabid presidential opinion screeds — on either side. Please refrain. A little non-insulting humor or very brief commentary might be ok, we shall see.)

Moving along, ahem,

The Atlas Mountains of Morocco have actually been a ski destination since perhaps as long ago as the 1940s or even 1930s. They’ve developed their services for both ski touring and lift skiing to the point where going is still an adventure, but perhaps not too much of an adventure. CNN covered it recently.

You may have heard, our home mountains here in Colorado are looking a bit sparse in terms of frozen precipitation. We might actually get a real winter snowstorm this coming Thursday and Friday, then who knows. We’d need a very consistent series of “events” now through Christmas to recover a normal snow season. I’d say the chances are 50/50 at this point. Joel Gratz always has a good take at Open Snow.

We wish Vonn the best, but perhaps it’s time to stop beating herself up? Or, could the best ski racer who’s ever lived have the biggest comeback from the comeback from a comeback in sports history? In case you live under a rock, news is she broke her arm. More here.

This might be the biggest news in ski touring in a decade. Or it might be a dud. Parks Canada has taken control of the defunct Glacier Park Lodge on Rogers Pass. This place was once legendary in backcountry skiing, and could again put the crown on a ski touring mecca. Sadly, here is the official take (from Revelstoke Review) :

“Next steps will be to remove the buildings, remediate the sites and draft plans for any redevelopment in the area to meet visitor needs as well as improve the ecological condition of the site.”

“Any potential redevelopment will involve public engagement and consider present and future summer and winter services, visitor safety, and cultural and natural resources.”

Of course, the lodge is probably not considered a “cultural resource,” though it actually is (advance apologies for it not being a saurian skeleton). Let’s hope they don’t turn the place into a pretty wildflower meadow used for snow removal storage in the winter. Could happen. Public engagement might be key.

Ski touring racing is on the path to the Olympics. Economics proves it. The sport just tied a long deal with a big sponsor. The International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) signed a media and marketing agreement with Infront Sports & Media that’s locked until 2021. Infront will continue to produce high quality content covering the World Cup, five 15-minute magazine highlight for all weekend races as well as a long form magazine for the World Championships. Presumably this will continue on through the Olympics.

Thing is, I went to the ISMF website and for the life of me could not find any links to this much vaunted Infront content. Anyone know where it might reside?

More importantly…

Stand by. This is all going to be fun. You want to go to the Olympic games as an insider? If you’re a backcountry skier in the U.S. or Canada, chances are you already know someone who will probably be on your Olympic skimo team. Perhaps they need a wax coach or yoga instructor? Or a fiance? More here.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


21 Responses to “News Roundup — Election Done, Let Them Ski”

  1. Matus November 16th, 2016 9:33 pm

    Who needs arms for skiing? Knees are the keys! Just kidding.

  2. Bard November 16th, 2016 10:00 pm

    Proud of Colorado in this election, Lou. I cannot say the same for my home state of Utah, where my vote got wasted in a sea of……..

  3. Jeff November 17th, 2016 1:57 am

    Also notable on the NWAC accident report site is the Granite Mountain fatality. Seems like we have at least one fatality there every year – frequently snowshoers without any avalanche equipment or training (although apparently one of this party did have some training).

    Being that it’s close to town, a short hike into consequential terrain, and the fact that it’s a pretty mundane summer hike seem to make that mountain a magnet for poor decisions.

  4. See November 17th, 2016 3:11 am

    The system really is rigged– the candidate who received the most votes lost. Still, we need to find a way to work together. Divided, we fall.

  5. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2016 5:23 am

    See, oddly enough, the Electoral College is actually designed as a way to help the states work together rather than a few populated states dominating Federal politics. Study up on it. No wish to get into a debate about it here and I have mixed feelings as well, but it’s definitely something that can be looked at from multiple viewpoints. First step in looking at it is to move past which side you are on. Lou

  6. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2016 6:55 am

    Matus, indeed, she’s probably glad it wasn’t a knee!

  7. Bruno Schull November 17th, 2016 7:31 am

    Hi everybody. Lou, See, others, lots of interesting things to discuss. I teach at a school in Europe, and it might surprise people how intensely interested and concerned young people here are about the United States election, justifiably so, I would say. I literally spent most of my class time last week listening to students’ hopes, fears and concerns, reviewing the election, taking about the history of the electoral college, and other aspects of US politics, and so on. Lou, I have always understood the electoral college to be mostly about what you said: to balance the power of more and less populated states. However, there is another, less well known, reason that the electoral college was created, that I believe relates to this election in an interesting way. The architects of the government were afraid to place the power to elect a leader directly in the hands of the general population, they did not trust the judgement, intelligence, and so forth, of the “uneducated masses.” I think that the demographic that swayed this election–white people with little education–has sensed and felt this attitude, patronizing and condescending as it is, though perhaps warranted–for generations. They wanted to be recognized, and they wanted change, rightly or wrongly. The results of this election, in which one candidate won the electoral vote but not the popular vote, do seem implicitly unfair to me (I believe it’s the fifth time this has happened in US history), but I think they raise deeper questions about democracy, how it should be organized, who should or should not vote, and so on. These are big, deep questions. I know this is not the place, but I would really appreciate a forum to discuss these kind of things, in a considerate, respectful way. Does such a forum exist? What about forums for specific issues, such as global warming? Lou has created an open, fair, respected and respectful community–does such a thing exist for political or environmental discourse? Probably naive to even ask….

  8. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2016 7:37 am

    Bruno, frankly I’m too busy running a business most of the time to participate in a poll forum, so I don’t know which would be best, if indeed there is such a thing, as you ask… But I’ll bet there is something out there. Most are indeed rude and rowdy, and while amusing to some folks are probably nothing more than amusement. Lou

  9. See November 17th, 2016 9:07 am

    I have studied up on it Lou, and I still think it’s wrong that your vote counts more than mine (nothing personal).

    I agree with you that maybe Lindsey Vonn should transition to skiing bc powder. Pro athletes often sacrifice their health and well being in the pursuit of fame and fortune. That’s their choice, but my choice has been to stop following most pro sports.

  10. Bard November 17th, 2016 12:59 pm

    Bruno, you can find some decent content out there in the forums if you can sift through the trolls/ serial posters. Maybe the most constructive conversation you can have is that which you are having with your
    Lou, I really appreciate the class with which you run this show.

  11. ptor November 17th, 2016 1:19 pm

    Amerika blew it super all- time big and didn’t vote for Gary Johnson….the skier, climber of everest and non-puppet. Maybe the Canadian puppet will speak out for something good at Rogers Pass.

  12. Eric Steig November 17th, 2016 1:22 pm

    I think it’s GREAT that Lou’s vote counts more than other peoples! If that ain’t an argument for the electoral college, I dunno what is! 😉

    (This says nothing about whether I was happy with the outcome. If you are wondering, just consider: I’m a scientists, so I tend to vote for reality-based candidates).

  13. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2016 3:16 pm

    Ha! The Wildsnowectoral college is where it’s at!

  14. See November 17th, 2016 7:59 pm

    Re. the system being rigged: consider gerrymandering.

  15. VT skier November 18th, 2016 7:32 am

    Bruno Schull,
    Another ski luminary, second only in fame to his Bloginess has a backcountry ski forum with a sub forum here, that regularly will discuss politics, global warming etc.

    It can be a messy and ugly place, but at least the participants are backcountry skiers..
    (hope this link is ok Lou)

  16. See November 18th, 2016 7:42 pm

    Re. Vonn, of course, probably as important as fame and fortune is the fun of hauling ass down a race course.

  17. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2016 6:08 am

    I for one have no doubt that racing for Vonn is a lot more than just going for medals. Funny how when I think of her brand I always think of core strength, due to her workout videos. It would be cool if she would shift her brand over to somehow sharing her feelings and experiences while actually doing her sport. A well written tell-all would be good, 50/50 that could ever happen. She does have some kind of diet and fitness book out there.


  18. See November 19th, 2016 10:16 am

    Yeah, I imagine training full time is nice work if you can get it. I don’t follow the sport much these days, but she seems like a class act.

  19. RDE November 19th, 2016 7:45 pm

    Lindsey Vonn is simply the best female skier in the history of the sport. And if the small sample of individuals who have achieved greatness that I have met is representative, she is driven by far more than the six million dollar per year income her brand generates. Intense desire to succeed, perhaps magnified by personal insecurity. But ordinary individuals don’t achieve what she has.

    Speaking of core strength, I met Pernilla Wiberg, perhaps the best woman ski racer of the 1990’s when she used to train at Jackson’s Snow King. I’d always thought her as small and petite until I saw her doing sets of 50 inclined situps at my athletic club with 50 extra pounds on her shoulders.

  20. See November 19th, 2016 8:20 pm

    “Lindsey Vonn is simply the best female skier in the history of the sport.” Therein lies a big part of my ambivalent feelings about pro sports. I love watching elite athletes do what they do so incredibly well, but I hate seeing them get hurt. And I wonder about the example it sets for aspiring young athletes.

  21. Patrick November 25th, 2016 9:20 pm

    Fond memories of the hotel.
    Maybe 15 years ago, due to an accidental double-booking at Valhalla Mtn Touring, Dale Caton suggested that our gang (about a dozen) grab a week at the Rogers Pass hotel. We doubled up in rooms. After skiing, we’d take rotate duties. Tonight, apples supplied by our room, BYOB. Next evening, apples at neighbour’s room, and so on. Then we’d stumble down to the Dining Room buffet for hotel grub. (Veggie folks paid about 7 bucks for 3 rounds at the salad bar.) I’ve never had such full-on use of a hotel room – wet gear hung up everywhere, early in-room granola, prep a lunch for the mtn, and a hot pool at the end of the day.
    BONUS: due to the accidental double booking at VMT, Dale gave us a free week the next season at Valhalla!

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