“Outside” the magazine has been off my radar since the Pleistocene — but while killing time in places such as airports I always notice the covers. Lance Armstrong’s photoshopped T-shirt was bad. But what’s with the covers depicting a guy with that constipated male model look, who looks like he’s been locked in a bathroom stall without his razor for four days? Take the latest ish’. Buried in there you’ll find a one-pager about Christy Mahon, first woman to ski all Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks. Christy looks good — super model good. They could have put her on the cover instead of some actor riding on Aron Ralston’s fleece tails, an actor that yes, looks like he’s trying, really, hard.
And weirder yet, not one photo of Christy skiing or climbing, just some environmental portraits that are totally staged. Along with that, an out-of-context quote by me that makes it sound like I’m making a negative take on Christy’s mountaineering style.
Backstory: When Christy was finishing up her fourteeners last spring, a couple of other women were getting close to their 54 as well. Christy and her husband Ted kept their project somewhat private. On a personal level I thought that was wise, though from a selfish publisher’s perspective I found it disappointing. Christy and Ted were wise because doing a bunch of blog posts and Facebook about the project would have fanned the media flames, and it’s just human nature to have that stuff affect you to one degree or another. More, competition in mountaineering can lead to poor decisions. On the other hand, keeping your inspiring athletics and feats private can indeed be inappropriate, as you are depriving others of the joy and fun of spectating. The latter concept is what they quoted me about, but in a way I was not impressed with since they applied it directly to Christy, and that was not my intent.
To sum up, Christy is quoted and it rings true: “I think there’s an incorrect noting these days that if something doesn’t happened online, then it never happened.”
To me she’s saying don’t sell your soul — once in a while just go out and do something you don’t blog about, don’t Facebook, and perhaps don’t even tell anyone about. Just sit and remember as you sip a cold one. Shoot, I might even do that myself one of these days!
(In case you guys are curious, the quote from me is “It can actually be more selfish and ego-driven to keep your accomplishments secret than it is to share them,” and is from this blog post about balancing humbleness with sharing accomplishments.
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.