Backcountry Skiing News Roundup

Post by blogger | July 13, 2007      

More about the sad skier death last weekend: Reports make it obvious that Thomas Metcalf did take a sliding fall and was unable to stop himself. He ended up plunging headfirst and slammed his head full-on into rocks. It’s interesting to see comments here and there that imply a helmet might have helped Metcalf. I truly doubt a helmet would have made much difference. Better is to have some method of arresting your sliding fall, or at least turning your body around so you hit feet-first. Beyond that, not falling in the first place is of course the gold standard in extreme skiing. Wearing clothing that isn’t too slick helps as well, though dressing that way is tough in today’s fashion climate that requires nylon shell pants if you want the look.

More here.

Here at World HQ, we’re having a bit of an epic with our Silverado. It began driving funny about a week ago; lots of stuttering as if the fuel pump was going out or the injectors were clogged. I slapped a code reader on the thing. Readings indicated the problem was indeed possibly clogged injectors. I ran a bunch of fuel system cleaner, but the problem persisted and worsened. My steed finally decided to to tie up to a hitchin’ post for a rest on the side of the highway, and was rescued by a Ford. That should have woken Silve’ up from his slumber, as pride knows no rest. But alas, he kept sleeping and is now here getting TLC.

Silverado has a new friend.

On the global warming (GW) front, in their continued effort to cause a massive shift in public policy and individual life styles (what else could make it worth being so negative all the time?), the Union of Concerned Scientists says that GW will virtually eliminate skiing in the North Eastern United States (defunct link removed 2015). The report says that since the Northeast is a leader in global carbon dioxide emissions, they can indeed make a difference by doing significant reductions in CO2, though how this can be accomplished without wrecking the economy more than giving up skiing would is not made clear. More, with China recently surpassing us in emissions, as well as the developing world proceeding with industrialization as fast as they can, one has to wonder if any CO2 reduction efforts the Northeast makes might be too little and way too late.

The most interesting tidbit in the report is the conclusion that the Northeastern US needs to eventually reduce emissions by 80 percent below year 2000 levels. That’s a stunning figure. The 50% standard is what I’ve heard bandied about, and even that sounds all but impossible. Going to 80 percent is mind boggling — does it mean all residents of the Northeast need to stop breathing?

Enough doomsday stuff (especially dying trucks). On a more positive note, our summer dog days finally broke here in central Colorado and we’re getting some good rain with cooler temps. With August fast approaching, the first dustings of snow are hopefully just around the corner! Our son is on day 27 of his NOLS course and we’ll be heading back up to Lander, Wyoming next week to pick him up, drink some cowboy coffee and take in the western ambiance. I’m a total DAD on this one. I check each day of the course off my wall calendar, and pull out my Wind Rivers map at least twice a day and try to guess where his course might be climbing peaks or landing trout. Yeah, I know, like a tennis dad or something. Oh well, take my word for it, you just can’t help but obsess.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


6 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing News Roundup”

  1. pete anzalone July 13th, 2007 8:53 am

    Lou, I would have had old-man Palazzi tow the pickup; he’s very colorful and is very adroit at using the same kind of language you used in the photo caption.

  2. Tom July 13th, 2007 1:46 pm

    There’s no way to know if a helmet would have helped him or not. Judging from the description it sounds like he hit the rocks directly and pretty hard. Perhaps it would have made no difference. Although there are many situations where a helmet would not save your life, there are many that do not involve the forces of a direct hit where it could make a difference. They may not be perfect, but a helmet will always give you more protection than a ski hat.

  3. El Jefe July 13th, 2007 3:01 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Why don’t you start an Old NOLS course…….being 35 i would love to take something like that…..

  4. Mark July 13th, 2007 5:28 pm

    Sorry to hear about the truck. You can be thankful you’re already in CO. Soon I’ll be there too, but imagine 1700 miles of 10 mpg or less in a rental truck. Let’s see, at about $3.10 per gallon…

  5. Eric Steig July 14th, 2007 9:47 am


    You say that “… Northeastern US needs to eventually reduce emissions by 80 percent below year 2000 levels. That’s a stunning figure….”

    Did you know Germany already has a plan to do exactly that (actually, 80% below 1990 levels, by 2050). Whether they can do it is another question, but they are pretty serious about it. What may seem impossible may be possible. If they do it, and we don’t, NOW we’re talking about wrecking the economy (since we’ll be forced into buying German technology…)


  6. laseranimal July 17th, 2007 5:51 pm

    helmet probably wouldn’t have helped but I’ve yet to hear of a story where a helmet has killed someone

  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