In our department of Which Side is your Bread Buttered On?, it is interesting to watch the brouhaha surrounding Exum Guide Stephen Koch’s little illegal snowmobile foray to Mount Moran in the Tetons.
Skiing the classic Skillet Glacier route on Moran during winter requires a possibly brutal slog across about five miles of flat frozen lake, including challenges such as slush (or water) under powder, wind and more. Adding insult, ice fisherman can range around on their sleds all they want, but as a skier you’re denied, since using a snowmobile on the lake for anything other than fishing is a crime. (Note, my understanding is that in past years snowmobiles were used legally for this, but the rules were changed some time ago.)
For some reason (Koch wrote in the Jackson Hole News that it was a “a lapse of my good judgment”), the senior Exum Guide and three companions decided to not only do the crime this past February 7, but also make a YouTube video out of it. Busted. News article here, vid from YouTube embedded below.
See Jackson Hole News.
Looks like fun to me — and a good example of the convoluted and sometimes strange mechanized access rules we constantly rail against here on WildSnow.com. If skiers can’t use snowmobiles on the lake, how come fisherman can? Should we ban ’em both? Your thoughts, esteemed WildSnow commenters?
More from the Tetons, a snow freak from up that way named Chris Larson has put together what may prove to be the model for the ultimate snow information website. He’s tried to integrate a ton of information under one roof. Great potential and perhaps a model for other future sites? See tetonsnowinfo.com
I’d better swing my news compass back to Colorado before I get in trouble with the Jacksonians. For that, let’s turn our radar to an interesting avy incident up on Front Range fourteener Torreys Peak. On February 15, a man attempted to solo ski a major line on the peak’s easterly face. Before the skier got into the thick of battle, he triggered a slide and lost both (or possibly only one) skis, ending up standing on the fracture shouting “help.” Okaaaay. If it wasn’t enough to read the official report of this Darwin Award attempt, said Award nominee logged on to trusty 14ers.com and attempted to rally a crew to help retrieve his skis. Result is worth a read. Get out your corn popper and check it out.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.