Short Lou Dawson Resume Bio Profile

Lou Dawson and WildSnow.com

Louis (Lou) Dawson
Born: 1952
Home: Carbondale, Colorado.
Favorite Mountain: Mount Sneffels, Colorado.
Interests: God, family, computers, old Jeeps, history, elk stalking, photography, music, and of course mountaineering (especially of the skiing flavor).

Please contact Louis Dawson by using the contact link in menu above.

Backcountry Skiing

Lou Dawson during 2001 Trooper Traverse.

Mountaineer, writer and photographer Louis Dawson climbed his first peak at age nine. Since then his mountain adventures have ranged worldwide. In the 1970s and 1980s he made his living in outdoor education and as a carpenter. During that time he did a notable amount of pioneer rock and ice climbing in Colorado, then combined his ski skills with his mountaineering savvy to become one of Colorado’s most prolific ski mountaineers and backcountry skiers.

More than three decades ago Dawson began his career in outdoor media with the publication of his first book, Colorado High Routes (re-editioned as Dawson’s Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, and now out of print).

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame for his contributions to Colorado backcountry skiing, including his being the first person to ski all 54 of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks.

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.

Lou’s writing is soulful, insightful, and at times controversial. While much of his work is basic exposition of mountain routes and equipment, he’s also known in the backcountry skiing community for his history and opinion writing. In the 1980s and 1990s he reviewed backcountry ski equipment for Couloir Magazine, specializing in highly technical randonnee ski bindings. He also works as a website creator and publisher. His own website, WildSnow.com, is famous among backcountry skiers for its tips and details about backcountry skiing equipment, and for Lou’s backcountry skiing weblog — the first such blog for North America.

Lou Dawson backcountry skiing.

Lou Dawson ski touring in Europe in 1980s.

Dawson is the first man to have skied down all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks. His grand adventure began with a ski descent of Castle Peak in 1978.  He soon added a few others to his list, then in 1987 he set out in earnest to ski them all.  He accomplished his goal in May 1991 with a climb and ski descent  of Kit Carson Peak in the Sangre de Cristo range of southern Colorado. A few of the “fourteeners” offer wide and gentle ski slopes, on others, Dawson contended with pitches of 45 to 60 degrees.

Now in midlife (he was born in 1952), Dawson still does a prodigious amount of ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing, but says he does not consider himself an extreme skier. He climbs and skis the high peaks for the joy of exploration, spiritual awe, athletic challenge, and fellowship with family and friends. “Nobody does what I do for bragging rights,” he says. “It is too hard and it’s too dangerous — you’re there for other reasons.” You get a feel for those reasons when you enjoy Dawson’s words and images.
[shortbio for media use]
[full length resume]
[Interview with Lou]


Lou is a man of many talents, and hires out his expertise
in the following fields:

Internet marketing and WordPress publishing consultant
Backcountry guide (working through licensed outfitters)
Writer (features, advertising copy, web content)
Photographer and digital image creator
Website development
Digital cartography
Multimedia creation and presentation (digital video, sound, speeches, etc.)

Following images are copyrighted and for media use only, by
permission:

download high-res print tif version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian
Litz

download high-res print JPEG version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian
Litz

download high-res print version of Lou mug, credit Joe McBride

download high-res print version of Lou portrait, credit Brian Litz

download high-res of Lou portrait, Denali 1973, credit Louis
Dawson collection

download high-res Lou portrait, Denali 1973, blue parka, credit Lou Dawson collection.

download high-res shot of Lou’s first peak, age 9, credit Craig Dawson Sr.

download high-res shot of Lou skiing Crestone Needle, credit Glenn Randall

download high-res shot of Lou during Elks traverse 1979 –
8 MB Tiff version
(credit, Lou Dawson collection)

download high-res shot of Lou powder skiing in 1980s, credit
Michael Kennedy

  Your Comments

  • Carl: I have found how the boot is buckled has a huge flex impact as well. Boots...
  • Carl: looks like a great thing to have in the pack. Site looks like it works, di...
  • Jack: hmmm. I wonder how hard it would be to instrument the boot liner to measu...
  • Omekim: Ummm.... The machine looks to be at room temperature. They should probably ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Tom, it would be easy to do something crude using a torque wrench on an art...
  • Lou Dawson 2: From what I know, unlikely all the boot flex ratings in the industry are an...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, I seem to remember that back in the '80s Ski Magazine (the American on...
  • Bill H: Maybe SkiAlper can rent some time on the machine for next year's issue :)...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...

  Recent Posts


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.

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. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error 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.

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