Update, Nov. 10. Wow, this post lit a firestorm of excellent comments. Instead of bumping it down with today’s blog post I’ll leave it at the top of the page ’till this evening or tomorrow. Thanks everyone for adding to the record, I’d imagine that with things such as human and pet waste the Forest Service will have to weigh in eventually if we can’t control it ourselves. While there is plenty of debatable stuff here, I’d say that feces on the trail is something we can agree should be stopped? Dog owners, do you think you have the right to have your dog squat on the trail and provide us with brown wax? Speak up! I had some experience with this last winter when a crew showed up in Marble, Colorado with three dogs, one that was clearing its lower intestine quite frequently. We were following these guys, and I got out my avalanche shovel twice to clean up their mess. Met them up on the route but didn’t say anything, perhaps I should have, but confrontation like that usually blows the day’s high. Below is original post:
“Arrggg,” you say, “I’m an outlaw and don’t need no stinkin ettykit.” Fine. But for the rest of us, here are some thoughts on backcountry skier’s manners, guest blog from Cory. Idea is to get us thinking. Comments are ON! I’d like to hear some thoughts about all this, especially about people bringing dogs and letting them poo in the middle of the ski runs and skin tracks. I amazes me that someone who’s sensitive to the aesthetic environment as a backcountry skier could let that happen, but I guess if it’s your dog you look at their brown leavings differently than a stranger does. Along these lines, we published a backcountry skier’s code a while back, it’s here if anyone is interested. Following are Cory’s ideas:
1) Only if they get along well with people and other dogs.
2) If they poop or pee on the trail, kick it off to the side.
3) If your dog likes to walk on ski tails, make sure it’s only YOUR ski tails.
4) Take full responsibility for your dog and realize that they have been known to set off and get caught in avalanches.
1) First and foremost it must be in the safest avalanche route possible.
2) If it’s a high use area stick to the traditional route.
3) If you’re putting in a new route try to avoid places where someone could piece together a few turns. Ski up the side of a field as opposed to stumbling right up the middle.
4) Make each step count. Avoid excessive traversing or downhill skinning if possible.
5) Don’t go too steep. When breaking trail, you often get better traction than when you’re the 4th or 5th person. Going too steep will often find you sliding backward on your second lap.
Dealing with others
1) If someone is skinning up behind you step off the trail to avoid them having to break their pace.
2) (This one is definitely personal opinion) Everyone should use the same trail. Fortunately, skis are large enough to float over boot and snowshoe tracks. By having everyone use the same trail, we avoid disturbing the untracked snow that we are all out there for. (Furthermore, snow travel is like evolution…we only boot hike and snowshoe for so long before we realize there are more efficient ways of doing things.)
3) Be friendly. We are in a sport which generally attracts nice people. Say hi and leave your ego in the car.
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.