Someone asked if I’d publish the text for the Sheriff’s letter. No problem. It’s quite benign and reproduced below:
As mentioned, I don’t have any problem with making sure my route descriptions have adequate warnings about hazards myself and my editors deem worthy of inclusion, but since Holy Cross is one of the easier climbs, one wonders how much I really need to add for that particular peak. More, if I change the writing style for Holy Cross and add more safety info, should I not do so for all the routes in the book? As far as I know Holy Cross is nothing special when it comes to safety issues.
In the bigger picture, Sheriff’s letter begs the question: Automotive travel is known to be the most dangerous thing people normally do, and some say you’re safer from injury or accidental death in the backcountry than you are while driving. If that’s the case, should not the Sheriff ask for more warnings and safety information to be printed on things such as road maps? And come to think of it, the trail maps at ski areas could use a lot more safety info. Where does it end?
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.