Wow. It was 23 years ago I registered the domain name “WildSnow.com,” and seventeen years ago, to the day, December 21, I converted the site into a blog. As is our Wildsnow tradition during the holiday psyche-up, I pause, think back on the ride, and remember some of the nearly 4,000 blog posts we keep archived here.
My favorite nostalgia post is a year-2004 ditty regarding our family contributions to Couloir Magazine. Not because of the words, but rather the picture of our young son on his unicycle, shouldering a Christmas tree. Living the dream in the mountain town! Check it out.
Gear coverage? I’d go with two instances. For starters, being in the same room with Dynafit when they set the ski touring world on fire with the TLT 5 boot, both in performance and price. Especially price.
During the Dyanfit presentation, program manager Federico Sbrissa spent forever extolling the virtues of the shoe, but never alluded to the price. During the Q&A, a journalist shouted, “what’s the cost?”
Federico was silent for a moment, looked into everyone’s eyes (Italians are good at that), then voiced a single solitary word: “Mille.” Several observers gasped, at least one cursed in German. Never before had a ski touring boot broken into the thousand-euro price point. I loved it. Here was the technology our sport deserved, at a price I was certain was justified. Blog post here.
Number two gear post fave? We came up with the concept of the “Ultimate Quiver” ski review out of frustration. Too many skis; too many average skis. Because I never intended WildSnow to be a dedicated gear review site, I figured we had permission to cherry-pick, and simply review the gear we liked. So we did. The reader response was like the cheers of an entire football stadium. Here’s the first one, follow the linkage. The photos remind me: building and using our WildSnow Field HQ was another WildSnow highlight, beyond cool, heaven-sent. We have an entire porta-hut category, and check out HQ post number one.
It’s a toss-up for my all-time favorite, but the combined posts from my first trip to Europe in 2007 dredge up memories that still split my face with a perma-smile. If this trip had happened recently, and I’d YouTubed “Guess that Pastry,” I’d probably still be pulling in six figures from the vids. Oh well, the sucrose was worth it no matter what. Start here.
But wait, it’s not a problem picking my favorite. That would be the posts in 2010 covering our WildSnow Denali expedition. Specifically, the post covering our summit. It was as if my entire career as an alpinist had led me to those few minutes, the summit hug with my son, the tears, then skittering down the white ice and wind packed snow to ski the peak of my dreams — not just for myself, but for my boy, and for the amazing readers who made WildSnow.com what it was then, and still is today.
Thank You All, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Best Wishes… from The Dawson family.
– First blog post December 21 2004
– Seventeen years as a blog in the sense of journal files forward/back linked. Over the years, we backfilled with nearly all our pre-blog content.
– Domain name registered 23 years three months 25 days ago, August 28, 1998, the first website published a few days later.
– And perhaps most importantly, about 86,800 comments to date.)
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.