Looking back at our origins as backcountry skiers. Many years ago, while researching ski touring history, I got this image from someone at the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) who found the photo in their library; permission was granted for use in my history writing. The image was lost in my scanned digital archives — I recently ran across it while attempting the ongoing challenge of organizing my office. The picture’s calm spirit and obvious skis gave me a pleasant “connective” glow to the past. Thought I’d share it.
The guys in the image are Don and Joe Buswell. Probably brothers. Apparently Joe was an active alpinist of that era, a quick google finds him credited as part of the second ascent team on Chimney Peak on Cimarron Ridge in the Uncompahgre country (western Colorado), 1934. I like the way one guy is smiling, holding a wood splitting axe and the skis. Funky cabins are fun.
The Colorado Mountain Club has a long history of promoting alpine recreation in Colorado. They’ve been kicking along at a good pace since 1912, not only having fun but working hard on conserving the state’s wonderful natural environment. They’ve had no small part in the booming popularity of ski touring.
First Creek Cabin is still there, said to be on Federal land, managed by CMC, and apparently being one of the only “non reservation” huts in Colorado. More googling reveals the place has been through some challenges as of late, with a squatter occupying and so forth. If anyone knows the status of the cabin, or if the present cabin is actually this same one from 1935, please comment.
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.