Southern hemi is shaping up. Portillo looks thin, but Anton over at Ski Arpa, 26 miles to the west as the whirlybird flies, recently told me they’ve been getting good dumps to set up their cat skiing operation. Will the Andes winter deliver? Let us know if you’re down that way.
I got an email from Elan announcing the opening of their skiing museum. While getting across the border from Austria to Slovenia requires proof you’re an alpinist, and they might want to check you for possession of lederhosen, if you’re cruising around western Europe consider stopping by. “In addition to a large tribute to alpine skiing, the museum exhibition also hosts displays for Elan’s other manufacturing divisions such as sailing vessels, airplanes, gym equipment and blades for wind power stations.”
Interesting reading if you’ve got the time. Up eastern way in Adirondack Park, the bureaucracy appears to be responding to the concerns of backcountry skiers. What will go from words to action, and what kind of action, is of course to be determined. Apparently a new management plan received a vote. Anyone know the outcome?
For those of you who might tend to ignore the ramifications of your own risk taking, this is a good article about that tired phrase “they were doing what they loved.” We love seeing people love what they’re doing…but realism about dangerous sports is perhaps a positive character trait?
What indeed is the greatest failure in mountaineering history? Back in 1978 my buddy Michael Kennedy teamed up with Jeff Lowe, George Lowe and Jim Donini for an attempt on an enormous technical wall route on Latok 1 in the Karakorum. If they’d succeeded, Donini claims “It would have been just another hard Himalayan climb lost in the dustbin of history.” I disagree. The quartet was ahead of their time. I like to think they were so far ahead they might as well have been Christopher Columbus attempting to sail to the moon. But unlike Christopher’s chances of success, the boys pretty much made it. In turning around just below the summit due to Lowe being seriously ill, they didn’t satisfy their own ethic of a complete route, nor did they meet the common criteria of the time. Thus, ever since that day folks have wanted to hand them the prize for being “first,” including myself, but in alpine culture the route is still considered unclimbed; footnoted with an amazing attempt. Summer reading: Boulder, Colorado writer Chris Weidner unpacks the legend. It took 4 days and 85 rappels. To get down.
Antitheses to the relative purity of above: people paying a bunch of money to climb the same route and summit as hundreds of others, and leave a pile of trash in the process. Perhaps they buy carbon offsets to bandage the guilt? More here.
Now for good news. Instead of pumping out their carbon effluvium in the U.S., bitcoin miners are favoring places where electricity is cheaper e.g., Venezuela. That might be part of the reason (at least according to this chart) our fair land shows the largest reduction in CO2 emissions of any country in the world. I heard someone is handing out wings and halos.
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.