Photoshop didn’t exist in 1965. It must be real. The Beatles went skiing! Apologies to fans. I listened to quite a bit of Fab-4 music but didn’t catch much in the way of Beatles visuals. Too busy tromping around the mountains myself. Apparently the boys filmed ski scenes for their 1965 movie “Help!” in the Austrian ski resort of Obertauern. At that time they also did the short promotional cut for their song “Ticket to Ride.”
We know skiing is the best thing on then planet. More, if you enjoy any Beatles history you know they got their mojo by playing endless hours in Germany. So the European connection is alive, and if the Beatles had not skied that would have been downright weird. More, it’s possible they even walked up the hill, so they ski toured!
We’d prefer to call the highest mountain in North America ‘Denali.’ It is not out of peer pressure or political correctness, but simply because the Athabascan word (translation: ‘tall thing’) simply seems more core than the name of a past president (however deserving). So we’re delighted that President Obama used his power to get the job done. More about the Athabascan translation here.
On the other hand, we are thinking individuals and trend to thought experiments. For starters, is there a Mount Obama anywhere yet? Check it out here, used to be “Boggy Peak” on the island of Antigua. According to Wiki, Antiqua is known as something like Waladli by the region’s indigenous people. I could not find the indigenous name for “Boggy Peak,” but perhaps they’ll name it back to that in a hundred years or so like Obama did to President Mack?
Another thing to keep in mind regarding the desire to go back to naming things their “original” is how do you pick which language? Presently there are 13 recognized Alaskan tribal entities, apparently many if not most of them have entirely different native tongues. One has to ask, what other names for “Denali” could Obama have picked from if he wanted to be 100% PC? It took me all of two minutes to find a few other Alaskan indigenous names Obama could have used. For example, Wiki says “the Dena’ina people used the name Dghelay Ka’a, anglicized as Doleika or Traleika.”
Or should we start using a variety of names for any one geographical entity? Doing so is not unusual. In Northern Italy, for example, most maps show both and Italian and a German names for cities and such. Perhaps Denali should be McKinley-Denali-Traleika.
I ran accross this article about changes in land use at Eldora ski area near Boulder, Colorado. Eldora is infamous for not allowing uphilling and can do so because the resort is on private land. I was hoping this indicated the owners might be more open to human powered skiing in the form of uphilling ski slopes, but apparently not. Clyde?
From Utah, this item just gets a big question mark. Some of you might remember when in 1998 a helicopter crashed during a rescue in the Utah Wasatch. Victim Dave Anderson’s wife had finally become comfortable with doing memorial markers. She put them in her car, then some skel came along and stole the Subaru and the stones! We pray Melinda gets everything back. I can’t imagine how harsh this must be. Article here.
Our old friend (and actually a former WildSnow intern from years back) Mark Synnott wrote a compelling profile of photographer Jimmy Chin. Both guys are nothing less than penultimate mountain boys. Fun to read one writing about the other. Go Mark and go Jimmy and go Kit. Check it here.
Back to news down under. The explosive growth of ski touring is hitting everyone. As is common in North America, some resort operators in New Zealand are having trouble figuring out how to deal with unruly “skinners.” It all comes to a head when dangerous grooming equipment is operating where people want to ski, or resort managers need to close access during construction projects and that sort of thing. More here.
Lastly, it looks like I’m again on tap for a huge winter of ski journalism travel. How to know? We’ve got a full raft of site sponsors again. They expect us to get on the case! Press trips will bring you guys the latest news on gear. ISPO delivers the European ski culture flavor. My goal: balance the hype with peaceful moments in the mountains as we go there and receive their good tidings. The sifting of a golden aspen leaf. Firewood gathering. First snow. Crackling wood fire and a warm wine. Friends sharing the meaning of life. Clicking ski bindings under a cold December sky. Soon.
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.