I’ve truly been having fun with the WildSnow Facebook page. The fan (like) thing seemed like a gimmick at first, but when I saw all you guys’ faces it really hit home. Thanks so much for your support, some of you over many years! I figured out how to embed you all in a blog post, so here you go. Your mugs now have their moment of fame on Wildsnow.com!
(Max the panel below will show is 100 Fans, refresh your browser for a different set of 100.)
You probably heard about the death of Fredrik Ericsson’s partner Michele Fait while on their attempt to ski K2, but I’ll include in this roundup anyway. Ericsson and Fait were on an acclimation and practice descent when Fait simply took the kind of minor fall any of us can stumble into, only he didn’t stop and took a long drop to his death. Very sad, and shows just how serious these endeavors are — when your practice slope is a “fall you die” ski descent. More here at Ericcson’s website.
They’re baaaaaaack… Powderhoe’s released their trailer for their annual backcountry skiing fest, titled “Flakes.” The snow prostitutes are of course big on the tele whacking, and the skiers they film take genuflecting on planks to levels of athleticism that few people could ever consider. Press release says the boys and girls used remote control helicopters (for carrying cameras, not people, but I still wonder what Andrew thinks of that?) for some of the filming. They’ve been playing around with that for a while and the results are always terrific. Trailer has a nice spirit, am looking forward to a peek at the whole deal. Their website. We’re waiting for the remote control snowmobiles (ride it up, joystick it back to the bottom of the run for the next ride.)
In more “obit” type news, incredible pioneer climber Riccardo Cassin has died after a century of living large (as in, Cassin ridge on Denali, for one example.) Check out this huge Cassin article at Climbing Magazine online. Highly recommended reading, a sample “THREE WOMEN DETERMINED MY SUCCESSES IN LIFE—without them I would not have become the climber I am today. My mother, Emilia, would cook for me; my sister, Gina, would take care of the sporting-goods store for me to let me go climb with my friends on the weekends; and my wife, Irma, would sew my climbing outfits out of scratch: backpacks, crampon laces until 1 a.m. in the morning.”
You want to draw the ire of every environmentalist from here to China? Dick Bass, who owns Snowbird, is part owner of a company that’s submitted permit applications to build a coal mine directly on top of prime salmon fisheries feeding the Cook Inlet in Alaska. Nearly all the coal excavated from the mine would be exported to coal markets in China and other Pacific Rim countries.
I’m no more a fan of burning coal than anyone else, and supplying our coal to China so they can continue their radical build of power plants seems insane. But, why China can’t just go nuclear is mysterious to me. Japan and France are doing fine from what I’ve heard, and are they not our energy mentors? Especially France? We of course burn zillions of tons of coal in this country because the nuke power industry pretty much went into stasis after 3-Mile-Island, but in my view we should put nuclear power back in play other than just limping along with our existing nuke plants (which amazingly still provide about 20% of our electricity, carbon free, thank you very much). So, Dick, how about building a nuke plant to power Snowbird?
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.