It’s been well reported that the late Pope John Paul II (given name Karol Wojtyla) was a skier, but a recent Skiing Heritage obit, Seth Masia tells the rest of the story. “…In his youth, and into middle age Wotyla had a reputation as an earn-your-turns skier. An indefatigable hiker and kayaker, he scorned lifts and preferred to climb…” In his later years, Masia writes, Wojtyla rode lifts more frequently as injuries and age slowed him down, but he “preferred to ski off-piste, and was quoted as saying ‘it’s unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly.'” One can only wonder what the Pope would have said about telemarking: perhaps “it’s a turn — not a religion!”
As for turns all year, here we are coming up to July. With a good skiing June under our belts, we’re going to try making a few runs over the next months so we can get TAY for 2005. It’s not as easy to do that in Colorado as other places — but that just makes it more fun. The trick is to get a few summer turns the first days in August up at Montezuma or St. Mary’s Glacier, then towards the end of September pray for snowfall that will smooth out the summer snow surface, which by then can become virtually unskiable.
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.