I was organizing the new WildSnow office and ran across these images from early days of Colorado big mountain skiing.
1980 in the Colorado Sawatch mountains: Bruce Adams and I backcountry skiing on French Mountain, 13,940 foot “centennial peak.”
I’m thinking this was probably the first ski descent of French Mountain (13,940) if not from the summit then our route on west face most certainly. Steep by the standards of those days, a few sections just over 45 degrees, but easy for today’s ski mountaineers. That spring of 1980 spring we had about 30 consecutive days of clear-cold nights and beautiful bluebird mornings. I skied 30 high Colorado peaks in 30 days, definitely a personal best that’s now a sweet memory!
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.