That Bloggin’ Life

Post by blogger | October 27, 2010      

Winter hit hard here the last few days. Took me totally by surprise. I’m out of sync. It seems like just weeks ago we were at 14,000 feet on Denali, hunkered like trolls under a snowstorm, obsessing on just what day would be THE weather window for a summit ski descent.

Backcountry skiing snowmobile storage.

One of today's projects. On the snow tomorrow? We shall see.

That kind of trip is so all consuming, so committing, you get back home and sometimes the reentry is hard. If you’re at all introspective, you find yourself re-evaluating what you do and how you do it. That’s been the story of my summer and fall: lots of introspection, evaluation, taking stock of things.

Blogging in particular.

Back in 2005 I converted this website to a blog, and it’s been a roller coaster ride ever since–a wild journey that’s been unlike anything else I’ve experienced over my more than half century of life.

The long and sometimes strange trip has included being privy to industry debacles that could change the bottom line of whole companies. Sometimes I’d be sworn to secrecy, other times going public didn’t seem appropriate as opposed to letting business take its natural course. Still other times we did go Richter, such as when we covered the Dynafit Tri-Step binding flop or the Salomon Quest tech fittings debacle.

Along with that, becoming what PR folks call an “opinion leader” in the sport I love has also been a crazy journey. Yeah, such status has included a bunch of interesting travel and allowed me to have a stint as a “pro” blogger thanks to our advertisers. But where do I go with that? Do I start waving a magic ski pole around, pointing at things and thoughtlessly saying “this is it,” or “this is not?” If I ever do that, or have done it, I’m an idiot or at least temporarily insane, so put me out of my misery.

The original concept for a web log, which came to be known as a blog, was a running journal of a life. That soon evolved to a running journal about any subject — it didn’t have to be personal. Still, the personal ones are where the magic can happen.

It was easy going more personal while mentoring my son in the mountaineering arts, and it’s easy to wax philosophical when on the road or doing something new and different. But getting that stuff out of the day-to-day grind is harder.

Take today. My agenda is this. First, move snowmobile out of yard in position for loading. Next, figure out some way to get the toilet tank in the camper emptied without loading the camper and hauling it all the way down to the nearest dump station (amazingly enough, Carbondale sanitation district doesn’t provide a dump station.) After that, move Jeep out of workshop and store for winter under tarp in yard. Oh, and that binding mount is waiting on the bench. Then get those office hours in, doing paperwork and WildSnow backend projects.

Meanwhile, my wife is headed to work. Her job is hard. So, while the day fills up I’m trying to think of what I can do to be nice and make her day easier. I frequently mess up on this task. Problem is I forget that simple things like keeping the house tidy or repairing something are gold coin of the matrimonial empire. Most married guys know what I’m talking about. But theory is one thing, practice quite another.

I do know this: My wife’s support is a big reason (and probably the main reason) you can sift through more than 2,000 WildSnow blog posts.

So today, on top of shuffling all the toys around, I’ll fix the fence. Then tomorrow, I might go skiing and blog about it.



17 Responses to “That Bloggin’ Life”

  1. Nick October 27th, 2010 10:49 am

    Lou – thanks for keeping this blog running – it is a truly invaluable resource for BC-skiing info.

  2. Dostie October 27th, 2010 11:23 am


    Introspection after climbing Denali or Denial seems par for the course. Had a different summit result, same post climb reaction though.

  3. dongshow October 27th, 2010 12:12 pm

    thanks for the great blog Lou, keep it up!

  4. Lou October 27th, 2010 12:17 pm

    Ah, dongshow, good to hear from you. Blow off any firecrackers lately 😀 ?

  5. cory October 27th, 2010 12:32 pm

    If you have a capped sewer clean out (designed for snaking the line w/o going into the house), you can use it to empty the tank. Simply open the cap, insert the sewer hose, hook up the garden hose and turn it on.
    If you don’t have one, hooking one up is a days job. Dig down to the line, cut sewer line and hook up a T fitting. Run a stretch of PVC to ground level and attach a threaded cap.

  6. Lou October 27th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Cory, the danged cleanout is in my crawl space!

  7. Caleb Wray October 27th, 2010 2:06 pm

    Thanks for the dedication Lou. Not too many people in the world that have your combination of skills and passion. The internet would be a lesser place without you man, and so would my morning coffee.

  8. Dan October 27th, 2010 3:38 pm

    1.Fix Fence
    2.Go Ski
    3.Other stuff

  9. Kevin October 27th, 2010 4:10 pm


    For those of us not in mountain towns, or anywhere near big vertical, your blog is like winning a mini-lottery every day. We’re meeting our responsibilities too, so we hear you on that front, but our skill set doesn’t allow us the geographic freedom to put beans on the table and go for a ski before we head to work. But, a check-in at WildSnow at some point during the day keeps us motivated at work and to head to the gym, so when we do get to play with big gravity we don’t totally embarrass ourselves. The tips, tricks, instructions, and links to all the resources help us make decisions about allocating our play budget for the tools that make most sense for our own individual adventures and goals in the back country. IMHO the blog’s headed in a good direction with the “staff” of guest’s contributing – you should be able to set strategy, do some introspection, and attend to the odd honey-do item. You’re not working for the man,… you are the man in this case. So, no pressure, but your community is behind you and this reader is pulling for another couple thousand posts.

  10. Lou October 27th, 2010 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement you guys! No plans on slowing down, just always pondering what a “blog” is and where WildSnow fits in. As is our usual rhythm, we do try to hit more gear reviews and tech stuff this time of year, then segue to trip reports till the OR show in January, when we go back to gear again. With a gear interlude when I’m in Europe.

    I hope you guys enjoy the guest bloggers. I really think they’re all great.

  11. Lisa October 27th, 2010 6:26 pm

    Sweetie, the fence looks beautiful! I have a great life, thanks to you. You are wonderful and I’m lucky to be Mrs. Lou Dawson.

  12. Bar Barrique October 27th, 2010 10:36 pm

    Keep up the good work! Oh yeah; I did go skiing today, and, yesterday, but so did my wife. There are plenty of things that needed doing at our house, but hey, maybe we will try to get at them tomorrow. 😉

  13. Mark October 27th, 2010 10:49 pm

    Ah, keeping up with the small things does make a huge difference. I sometimes lament my inattention to these things too, but understand fully how getting such things done can make for a happier home.

    Thanks for sharing Lou. Wildsnow provides a lot of good things for a lot of people in the realm of the backcountry world. We collectively appreciate such a many-faceted repository.

    Dostie, what climb did you do this summer?

  14. Dostie October 28th, 2010 12:11 am


    Summer is for sailing, not climbing. Learned kite-boarding. Theoretically the skills can be translated to snow, but I suspect I need another year of “practice” before letting loose on frozen water. We’ll see. Need to pick Andrew’s brain a bit on that one.

  15. Matt Kinney October 28th, 2010 6:40 pm

    hey lou,

    You have a real good site full of real ski stuff. Your moderation is appreciated and your topics are on topic: SKIING

    My wife is also the main reason for the same reasons as yours in many, many ways. We are very lucky.

    Sold my 1995 Polaris Wide-Track within two hours on Craig’s List last Monday pm, ironically to a Tok wolf trapper. 😆 Good machine and got plenty of use out off it hauling everything from clients and firewood to 1000 pound generators back and forth to the Chalet…before the plow truck.

    Saw the pic above……Just a note that you may want to store your machine with the track off the ground or at least the back-end propped up. That takes the weight off the track and struts, etc thus saving wear and keeping things springy under the butt. But then my machine weighted much more than that “speedo” you have so it may not be necessary.

    It also keeps the track from freezing to the ground, which is a real issue in AK.

    There are a few “greenies” out there who know those type of things….. 😉

  16. Sean Lohr October 29th, 2010 10:32 am

    Well, I got to go skiing yesterday on some of this October powder and I’m hoping to sneak away with my buddies for some more this afternoon. This blog has just reminded me that if I’m going to do that then I need to get this house in tip top shape by the time my wife gets home. Thanks Lou! I’m so distracted by the new snow I almost forgot about the important stuff.

  17. Lou October 29th, 2010 10:38 am

    Sean, right!

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email 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 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