WildSnow Weekend — Ute 40th — Trak Bushwacker?


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 16, 2017      
Left to right, Jim Ward, Lou, Bob Wade at Ute Mountaineer 40th anniversary party.

Left to right, Jim Ward, Lou, Bob Wade at Ute Mountaineer 40th anniversary party. Lots of history in this photo. Along with his lengthy career as an all around outdoorsman, Jim was one of my instructors at the “Ashcrofters” mountaineering camp during the summer of 1966. Coolest camp ever, back in the halcyon days of outdoor education. The skis we’re holding?

Well, “Big Jim” worked for years as a founder of the 10th Mountain Hut system, as well as doing the first big “cross land” ski traverses such as slogging from Denver to Aspen. He loved covering ground, and swears to this day that the best ski for that is the Trak Bushwacker, a fat short “sliding snowshoe” with fishscale base. “I even used the Bushwackers for a few days of skiing with the snowcat powder tours,” he says, “They’re great!” I think Jim was hinting that the Wades should start selling them again since his favorite pair had a chainsaw cut halfway through the tip and he needed some new ones. “Clearly, that damage happened during a Forest Service approved trail cut,” I asked? Absolutely.

Whoops, almost forgot, yes those are Norrona reindeer covered nordic touring boots, footwear of choice for long distance ski sloggers of the 1970s.

This past Friday, Ute Mountaineer mountain shop in Aspen celebrated their 40th anniversary. The party was huge — filled up their retail space in Aspen with three generations of climbers, skiers and assorted other active folk. Owner Bob Wade came to Aspen around 1975 and immediately began working on opening a shop, really Aspen’s first true mountain shop. Over the years, “The Ute” with Bob at the helm remained heavily involved in local human-powered sports. They implemented and sponsored the first “uphill” ski races on the ski mountains, and worked with trail advocates to create the amazing trail system we now have in the upper part of our valley. Recently, now that Bob has passed off much of the day-to-day to his daughter, he’s been involved in wonderful projects such as creating Aspen’s community climbing area at a rock outcrop called Gold Butte, as well as working with various non-profits. Congratulations Bob, and thanks for all (even if your carabiners were too expensive)!



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Comments

4 Responses to “WildSnow Weekend — Ute 40th — Trak Bushwacker?”

  1. Patrick April 16th, 2017 10:26 am

    Instantly recognised the Trak orange.
    Back in the day (1977), I bought a lightly-used pair at Fred’s mountain gear shop, Driggs ID. Came with bear trap bindings, which fit my work boots just fine. I’d skied forever, so I could downhill with em. Made my first tentative tele turns on side-country slopes at Targhee ski area. Skied Teton Pass with them (before parking problems were invented). Apres ski, the Traks were cool, just leaning outside the Stagecoach bar in Wilson.
    The fish-scales sang going downhill on packed trails. Maybe coulda climbed a tree with the traction they had.

  2. Bryan Wickenhauser April 17th, 2017 4:30 pm

    Congratulations Bob Wade!

  3. Allan April 19th, 2017 8:48 pm

    Lou,
    Tell Jim I’ll give him a pair of my Karhu Catamounts if he’d like, he just needs to cover shipping. It’s the same profile as the Bushwacker with a slightly different base; Karhu Kinetic base and Trak Omnitrak base and added metal edges. I still have two pair of these kicking around as loaners for visitors but they haven’t seen use for a few years.

  4. Greg November 29th, 2017 8:41 pm

    I have a pair of those bushwackers with 3 pin bindings and a set of cable bindings I am looking to sell if interested email me





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