An individual named Tap Tapley is a lesser known pioneer of our present day outdoor sports world. Tap trained with the 10th Mountain Division of WWII and was one of the soldiers along on the Trooper Traverse, when a group of young men made a high altitude winter ski from Leadville to Aspen, Colorado. He then went on to help found Outward Bound USA, and ultimately worked with Paul Petzoldt around 1965 to start NOLS. Tap is receiving a great honor from NOLS, as they’re naming their historical archive after him. Tapley is 87 and still enjoys diving off Baja, quite a fellow.
Do you enjoy skiing Crystal Mountain in Washington? I ran across what has to be the most complete report of summer resort hiking and ski area improvements ever accomplished. By the looks of things you Crystal skiers are in for a lot of new stuff this winter. Crystal is interesting because they just got approved for a major expansion, which of course includes the requisite opposition by those uncomfortable with “profit of a private company.” Of course those same folks don’t seem to ever mention that the same expansion might actually be enjoyed by “public people,” but when it comes to vilifying those evil corporations the negative is always more important than the positive. Right?
Crested Butte resort in Colorado is also vying for expansion, and naturally being opposed. What’s amusing about this one is that Crested Butte Resort actually had approval for their expansion from the halcyon ski area building days of the 1960s, then they sat on the approval until it expired. Dumb and dumber? Yep, for years Crested Butte Mountain Resort was not exactly known for its business acumen, though that appears to have changed.
At any rate, now CBMR wants to re-up their expansion and build lifts on a somewhat pristine area known as Snodgrass Mountain that’s used by backcountry skiers. Much of the opposition is coming in the form of trying to second guess how business smart the expansion is, which I guess in one sense is viable. After all, if the resort doesn’t really need the terrain why take public land for it? On the other hand, I know for sure that some of those opposed really could care less about the foibles of private business, and due to environmental or recreational concerns simply don’t want ski lifts built on Snodgrass. Thus, for me, when outfits such as “Friends of Snodgrass” come up with business arguments they always sound specious. But such arguments are perhaps a necessary evil since the US Forest Service is all about, yes, business.
Hey, a bit of toot my own horn style news: Welcome our new supporters K2 Telemark and Cloudveil! Click on their banners, find their contact link and leave them a message about how wise it was for them to advertise here at the penultimate backcountry skier’s blog.
Randomeo is up to good stuff over on his website as well. I laughed reading Steve’s prose about a recent road trip that included a stop for mystery burgers at some choke-and-puke he and a buddy picked at random. I guess the idea was you ate with a fork in one hand and fly swatter in the other. Apparently Rando needs a Probar sponsorship — my guess is he probably went to work on that after getting his stomach pumped. As they say, LOL.
Back to WildSnow… I’ve been working on my carpel tunnel syndrome producing a map tileset for a new guidebook website I’ll be going public with shortly. Amazing what computers can do these days. Back when I built the map sets for my Fourteener Guides, it took me several days of work to make a decent annotated digital topo map. It’s still a time consuming process, but I’ve got it down to about 1/4 of that. But no free lunch — 25 maps takes some time, not to mention the hours taken building a whole website. I hope people find it useful. More about that soon when I do the public launch.
Have a great weekend folks!
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.