Ski touring this morning. In pristine Wilderness. Some bozo is flying a drone around. He’s looking at a hefty fine if caught flying in legal Wilderness, but who can catch a drone outlaw? The buzzing obnoxiousness disappeared. I didn’t think anything of it. Then we hear the Aspen airport has a bunch of canceled flights due to some kind of GPS issue. Lisa looks into it, and finds this article. Some GPS satellite stuff was indeed going on. Was that faint crunching sound wafting on the morning breeze the sound of a drone falling out of the sky? If so: thanks U.S. armed forces for helping preserve Wilderness. And everyone else, be advised your GPS can indeed quit working despite your best intentions. Meet me at the coffee shop for for free map-and-compass lessons, former drone pilots welcome.
Sometimes you strike gold on the ‘net. For who knows what reason, an article explaining the history of pointy shoes showed up as a link on Hacker News. Perhaps hackers are fascinated with shoes? In any case, an eternal mystery in the ski touring world is why the folks in Montebelluna like to build ski boots with pointy, squeeze toes that keep boot fitters in business. My theory, for years, has been it’s some kind of European style sense that’s persisted through hundreds of years. It appears my theory might be more than fantasy. Check this out.
Talk of skimo being in the Olympics has been going for what seems like a century now. Recent discussion alludes to having spectator friendly events such as the time trial “sprint,” but not producing a bonafide ski mountaineering race. Sprinting uphill on a resort slope with ski gear is not ski mountaineering, nor is it skimo — though I guess it’s “racing.” Is this a gateway to having real skimo in “The Rings?” If so, shut my maw, otherwise let’s just move along and forget this entire sad affair.
This weekend, I was haunting our spring ski touring haunt up at Independence Pass. Thirty cars filled the parking, average of 2.5 people each, 75 happy skiers. Lots of terrain, no problem. But I remember a day there might have been three cars here on a weekend. Yep, we have gone mainstream as magazines that cover military rover trucks and the latest bigfoot revelations. Popular Mechanics? Is it all WildSnow’s fault?
Remember risk homeostasis? Check out this interesting study. In my view, nearly anyone takes more risk in proportion to the more safety gear they use. How much of an increase is the question. With some of us, I’ll bet it’s an inconsequential increase. But consider an enduro mountain biker blasting downhill at 50 mph. Would they do that without a helmet? Or how much of the avalanche terrain you ski would you really, honestly do without a beacon on your person?
As some of you may remember, I’m fascinated with the possibility of being eaten by a wild animal. This article brought all that home. It is the end-all in youtubie journalism.
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.