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

  • Outdoor and Lifestyle Magazine: Hi I am a new reader, but will keep reading :) Have a great day...
  • Mammut Dave: Thanks Lou and Lisa! I think most of the questions in the comments have be...
  • Brandon: Is that a ski leash attachment on the left hand-side in the image of the Ma...
  • Slim: I know almost nothing about ski mechanics/technique. Do most people prefer...
  • Pete H: I just learned last summer Scarpa means "boot" in Italian. So if youre skii...
  • benwls: Aaron, I'd love to see your F1 mod. I'd also like a slightly more upright s...
  • benwls: If you completely undo the top buckle on Maestrales the articulation is mor...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Andy, I think the deal with Maestrale was it peaked during a time when ther...
  • Eric Steig: Any updates to the F1?...
  • WestonD: Rad skiing with you Louie, hopefully we get to do it again sometime!...
  • AndyDangerous: Coming from a skimo fast and light background, I've wondered for years how ...
  • Matt: Hi Louie, Do the maestrale and maestrale rs keep the cuff alignment bolt...
  • etto: New RS looks sweet! Never wrong to shave off weight and have the same perfo...
  • Tom M.: Hi Lou & Louie, Do you have any thoughts on the Faction Vacuum skin?...
  • Scott Mellin: I tried on the new Alien RS at the OR Demo after stepping directly out of m...
  • Brad: In one picture I saw of the new Maestrale and the RS, it looked like the RS...
  • Scott Mellin: I think that for those of us that have skied the Alien 1.0 for years now, t...
  • Ted: Does the middle buckle fold up out of the way when released or hang out to ...
  • Louie Dawson 3: Mike - I agree! those Dalbello boots look sweet. We have a pair on the way ...
  • MIke: Better yet y'all seem to have some pull in the industry. Could you call up ...
  • MIke: Thanks L3! Any way you can call up Dalbello and get a pair of the new 17/...
  • Louie Dawson 3: I did get a look at the Alien RS, and tried them on quickly. They are stiff...
  • Travis: WANT! These boots are just what I am looking for. Very excited about the lo...
  • Kristian: Hope that I am wrong, but the S4 toe tech insert look scary dangerous for r...
  • Aaron: I'm part way through my F1 lean lock mod to lower it from 20 deg....why 16 ...
  • Gary: Will the boot sole length be the same? Hoping I wont have to remount bindin...
  • MIke: Thanks Scott, how's the wear on the tread after 3 seasons? L3, any chanc...
  • Scott: Mike - Definitely! I have been skiing the RS as my inbounds boot, 50+ d...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I clarified information about which boots have the S4 toe tech insert. Just...
  • Paddy: Kind of hoping that a future part of this is a test of the new Alien RS. Li...

  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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