Backcountry Skiing News Roundup

Post by blogger | November 8, 2006      

Incredibly strong and successful alpine ski racer Daron Rahlves quit ski racing last spring, now he’s focusing on pro skiing, X Games and the backcountry. He hails from the Tahoe, California area. After being skunked when Alaskan weather shut down filming last spring with Matchstick Productions, Rahlves says he’ll be staying local and trying for some footage in “amazing terrain” that they access by snowmobile in the Sierra. Take note: sled skiing is big and will only grow.More here.

Is celebrity backcountry a trend? Snowboard champion Gretchen Bleiler wants to become a more multi-talented rider. How? She’ll be hitting the rails, and yes, going backcountry according to an article in the Aspen Times. And what’s it like being a celebrity cutie snowboarder? Among other things, you get pressure to expose your famous flesh in skin pics. The article tells a funny story about Bleiler posing for a rearward shot and covering her derrier with a sheet, only to find the published shot lacked the strategic coverage. Still just her rear, so what was the big deal? According to her mother,”She hates her rear end… she wouldn’t be able to do what she does without one, but she was very, very upset!” Sounds like it’s time for Gretchen to get out in some peaceful backcountry where the photographers are more interested in backlight than backside (at least while they’re shooting).

Sad events in Canada. An ice climber was killed in an avalanche this past Sunday in the Banff area. The ice climber was seconding a pitch when a wet slide hit and buried him under about eight feet of suffocating slop. He was still attached to the rope and his partner tried to dig him out using an ice ax and helmet — without success. More here.

A mission here at the WildSnow household is to get our son a good college education. I think he’s wondering how you ski and do that at the same time. Last evening he discovered an Outside Magazine article about freeskier Justus Meyer having a Harvard degree. Perhaps the boy will by headed for the ivy now? I’d better sell more advertising.

Back to Colorado: I can report that we’ve got a typical early winter happening. Lots of snow on the ground, but clear days and nights that are starting to scare me. Such leads to surface re-crystalization that makes a good surface for avalanches, and worse, might start cooking up some sugar snow near the ground. We don’t need tons of snow to prevent these occurrences, just regular dustings and cloudy nights. Watching and waiting.


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5 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing News Roundup”

  1. David Doughty November 8th, 2006 5:36 pm


    The good news is that harvard and princeton will meet all need through grants (you never have to pay more than what they think you should pay), and yale meets all need except for 4000 dollars per year.

    Of course, my friends tell me that colorado school of mines has a pretty sweet geology program!

    When I applied to college, my father sat me down and said, “son, you are going to college to learn, not to ski”. It’s good advice, and i somehow have managed to fit skiing in too.
    I will say that you must watch out: at college, one is exposed to all manner of varying viewpoints and may tend to stray from the straight and narrow, case in point, I have started to free the heel occasionally at college.

    Wishin louie the best

    -David (who has two more years of undergrad to go)

  2. Chris Marth November 8th, 2006 7:12 pm

    Send the boy to MSU-Bozeman. You will not find a better school to both get a get a solid education in a wide range of disciplines and also live “the life.” The names of the skiing immortals (Doug Coombs, among others) that have graced both that institution, Bridger Bowl and the nearby backcountry should speak for itself. I haven’t lived in Colorado that long (and Highlands Ranch might as well be suburban Detroit in my book), but there is something really, really special about Montana…

    – Chris (who wishes he never left Bozeman)

  3. Lou November 8th, 2006 7:19 pm

    Thanks guys, excellent info! We also got an email about Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and that might be the ticket as well.

    Thanks for the warning about dread telemark influence from college, we’ll watch out for that (grin).

  4. Hamish November 8th, 2006 8:26 pm

    To Gretchen (and all the strong femmes who rip):
    Listen to Odub: javascript:Player(‘../../../player/single_player.cfm?songid=3866230&q=lo&ref=2’);
    “Why do men stand there blinkin? Half cuz you’re strong and half cuz you’re smokin'”

    You have the most beautiful HEELside we’ve ever seen. Ride on!

  5. Mark Worley November 8th, 2006 9:25 pm

    I attended MSU and skied a good bit during that time. I’m terribly biased about the school, and the area, but if you want some detailed info about certain schools within MSU, I can likely get what you want (my family’s been associated with MSU for about 40 years). As to Westminster, I believe my friend’s wife was the Dean of Nursing there for a few years.

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