Online Guidebook Generates Hate Mail from Wolf Creek Locals

One of the purposes of this web site, in addition to posting ski news, equipment reviews, tips, and ski conditions, was to create an online backcountry ski guidebook with route descriptions, pictures of routes and skiing, and detailed maps.

On March 4, I received several threatening, hateful emails from 3 Wolf Creek Pass locals. The reason for the email is that three or 4 locals (supposedly more but only 4 wrote email) are outraged that I had published backcountry ski route information on “their” personal ski area on the North side of Wolf Creek Pass. This article is my response.

I received threats from Cox and Morton

One of the purposes of this web site, in addition to posting ski news, equipment reviews, tips, and ski conditions, was to create an online backcountry ski guidebook with route descriptions, pictures of routes and skiing, and detailed maps. I had pretty extensive coverage of Teton Pass, and sporadic coverage of Colorado areas. Up to this point, the response has been great and this site is getting a lot of hits and ranks quite high in Google searches.

And then, on March 4, I received my first two HATE E-Mails from Howard Cox of Del Norte, Colorado. The reason for his emails, and all the hate emails I have received from the Wolf Creek locals, is that they are outraged that I published backcountry ski route information on “their” personal ski area on the North side of Wolf Creek Pass .

The first E-Mail Howard Cox sent shocked me so much I deleted it immediately, but I can remember enough of it. He called me every foul, hateful name he could think of. He also threatened me; he said that it was not “safe” for me to come down to Wolf Creek Pass anymore. I really didn’t know how to respond to this E-Mail, so, as I said, I deleted it.

Then I received Cox’s second email and I started to get angry. Here is the exact text of Cox’s, email:

Fortino, let me amend and revise my comments.  you can hide behind the lame rationale for guidebooks in general but lets face it: this is about the size and turgidity of your penis.  Why don’t you go out and get laid instead of jacking off to your computer to bolster your delusional ego with your pathetic plea for recognition and self adulation. Go skiing you small, small man.

As you can see from Cox’s E-Mail, there really isn’t much of an argument or plea for me to take down the Wolf Creek Routes in my online guidebook. He pretty much just spews hate and vitriol.

The following is the exact text from an email I received from Deb Morton of Pagosa Springs, subject line, “you’re in deep shit“:

Pat, do you realize how much we despise the advertising you’ve done
w/ your bullshit website?  Your ass is going down in this part of
  Even your old buddy Vince is pissed off at you.  Word of mouth
is okay, but really Pat, what’s the point of putting routes on a
website for the whole fucking country to see?  Do you get paid?

We (Steve & I) would be more understanding if it were a bigger area
here.  But shit, it’s access is quite limited; terrain will be ruined
with lots of people.  I wished I’d known about your “guidebook” when
I ran into 3 of your buddies MLK Monday.  Found out it was Gordon
Banks that skied the crap out of the Plunge after a terrific storm.

You’re a fuckhead, Pat, & we are ALL pissed off at you,

Again, a blatant threat: “Your ass is going down in this part of CO.” I think I can sum up Deb Morton’s argument for taking down my guidebook in one sentence: We don’t want anyone to know about our private ski area…you fuck head.

And here are excerpts from a third E-Mail I received from Steve Hartvigsen of Pagosa Springs. Steve’s letter starts off with an insult: “I find it incongruous that I would need to write the following to a fellow skier that should know better, but I obviously gave you more credit in judgment than you deserved.”

Good point Steve, and a great way to convince me to listen to your argument. I hope I have enough good judgment to analyze your argument.

Steve goes on to say, “You can’t possibly be ignorant of the highly publicized Wolf Creek Village.” I am aware of this development Steve, and have written a letter to protest this development. But a millionaire developing a resort and backcountry skiing guidebook are two different things. And let me ask you this: If you, and Howard Cox, Deb Morton, and the supposed angry others are the only ones who know about Wolf Creek skiing, who will help you protect this area from snowmobilers, ski area expansion, and development?

I am definitely concerned about motorizied users and more development coming to this area. In case you don’t remember, I am the one who told the Wolf Creek locals about the Backcountry Snowsports Alliance (BSA) and I’m the one who told Backcountry Snowsports Alliance about Wolf Creek Pass. (Backcountry Snowsports Alliance is non-profit organization that helps to negotiate with the forest service to protect non-motorized areas from snowmobiles.) At the time, you were all quite lackadaisical about it. You still had your heads in the sand and couldn’t see the future coming. Well BSA did include Wolf Creek Pass in it’s agenda and has worked hard to alleviate motorized use on Wolf Creek Pass.

And here’s another of Steve’s points: “Too bad you never sacrificed your time in attending many of the Wolf Creek Task Force meetings as I, and many of my skiing partners, did.” Because I live 5 hours away from Wolf Creek, and because many of the meetings occurred during the week when I work, it was not practical for me to attend the meetings. Instead, I volunteered to help redesign the website at Backcountry Snowsports Alliance and have maintained it for two years now. For free. I have over 100 hours of free labor in that web site. Is that enough commitment to make me worthy?

You hateful letter writers at Wolf Creek Pass need to consider that there might be other reasons for the increase in skier traffic. If you think my web site is responsible for increased skier traffic at Wolf Creek Pass, you’re ignoring several obvious facts.

  • I published the Wolf Creek routes on my site on January 17, 2007 and these pages saw very little traffic until February. So it was not my guidebook that brought skiers to Wolf Creek. It was the snow, or lack of it, in the 2006/2007 ski season. The central mountains of Colorado have had a meager year. California has no snow. Utah, until mid February, had almost no snow. So when people see that Wolf Creek Ski area got 31 inches of snow in two days, guess what? They drive to Wolf Creek Pass, foaming at the mouth. Also, you can find snow totals on the Colorado Ski report. Have you sent hate mail to too?
  • You locals have had Wolf Creek Pass to yourselves for more than twenty years. Be thankful for that; it must have been wonderful. But the population is growing everywhere, especially in the West. There are more people here now. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.
  • The sport of backcountry skiing and snowboarding has exploded in this country. Due to great equipment, half dozen magazines dedicated to backcountry snow,, and the high publicity of backcountry skiing, everyone wants to do it. Again, I wish it were like the old days when there were a small number of granola-eating hippies in the backcountry. Those days are gone.
  • I have nothing to do with development in the Wolf Creek area. That kind of thing is handled by millionaires, of which I am certainly not.

My justification for the ski guidebook, other than masturbation, penal turgidity, and ego, was to spread the word, to share this wonderful area with other backcountry skiers. I happen to think that backcountry skiers should join together to share AND protect what they love. If no one knows about Wolf Creek Pass, then who will help you protect it? You were more than happy to use Backcountry Snowsports Alliance to help you fight the snowmobile lobby on Wolf Creek Pass. Did you expect all the skiers from the Denver metro area to write letters on the behalf of Wolf Creek Pass, but never come down to ski it? And if they come down, should they just stumble around in the backcountry looking for the good runs? Shouldn’t we tell them where to go so they too will love it like you do? If they don’t know, if they don’t care, if they don’t love it, they won’t write letters to protect it.

There is no doubt that guidebooks bring more people. In this case, it will bring more skiers. But more skiers will mean that there are more people to help protect this valuable area, and also provide me with turgidity, sex, and an ego boost.

In closing, I think all of you could learn a lot from this expression: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The letters I received from Howard Cox, Deb Morton, and Steve Hartvigsen attacked me personally and made very clear how much they “hate” me. More importantly, they just made me angry and less than willing to comply with any request they might have. After all, if the locals already hate me, what do I have to gain or lose by doing anything they ask? My first thought was to publish every bit of information I know about Wolf Creek. And I know a LOT.

I completely understand that they are angry about the guidebook. I don’t, however, agree with why they are angry. Wolf Creek Pass is public land. They don’t own it, and it makes NO DIFFERENCE that they happen to live there. Locals don’t own it or have any more right to use it than I do or any other person on this planet.

If they had written a letter such as that written by Vince Spero, this might all be over by now. I might have actually complied with their request to “take it down. take it down. take it down.” Here is what Vince had to say:

I found your website a few weeks ago and told [the locals] about it. I too do not understand why anyone would produce such a guide when one skis these great areas. It has already taken a toll on Wolf Creek this winter. There has been mobs of people from all over the place everywhere we ski and we thought the snowmobiles were bad! Anyway I am quite disappointed and ask that you remove the Wolf Creek version from the web.

You will notice that Vince said he was “quite disappointed,” and I can probably assume that he is very angry with me, but he didn’t stoop to the sophomoric tactics of name calling, insults, or threats. I am very sorry if Vince is angry with me because I considered him a friend. But Vince’s argument is the same as theirs: NIMBY (Not in my backyard). They all live in a remote area and like how quiet and isolated it is. But that is a dream. The reality is that there ARE more people and will CONTINUE to be more people and they are coming to all backcountry ski areas. Again, I have nothing to do with that.

I have decided that I probably don’t want to be in the business of writing ski guidebooks. Even though I think your reasons for hating me are pathetic and self centered, I nevertheless don’t want to be the brunt of so much hate. But I will not even consider discussing the existense of this guidebook with Wolf Creek locals until I receive a written apology (posted in the comments section of this article) from Howard Cox, Deb Morton, and Steve Hartvigsen for their personal attacks on me. Until then, the Wolf Creek routes stay.

Reader Interactions


  1. jonas says

    Well, I am sure that this discussion will continue till every last place we (quite backcountry enthusiasts)love has been developed. It is sad really. Why is it sad you ask? Simply put we are all the same petulant little kiddies that continue to throw sand in each others eyes and fighting over what is in all practical terms some pretty trite s**t. All the while, the D-10’s and ski lift manufacturers are quietly ama*sing.

    The argument here if I am so bold to paraphrase it here is, people don’t want thier stashes broadcasted on the web (NIMBY), they say it is accelerating the use and deterioration of said area. The other side of the argument maintains that well, the popularity of the WC pa*s area has skyrocketed before any maps were published. Well I think everyone is right here, the motives however are entirely opposite, I want to comment on motives and thier consequences, so excuse the diatribe and condescendtion.

    First I need to predicate all of my comments on the fact I am a Front Ranger and former mountain town vetran for plenty enough years I think I pretty much hit the mold for 95% of the population that get only a modest amount of days on my skis (backcountry, frontcountry, or resort), so in all reality I really can’t take myself too seriously and exert the SoCal (or should I say SoCo) surf nazi attitude.

    So, kiddies, play nice, stop throwing f**king sand in each others eyes, stop s**tting in each other’s kiddie pool and listen up. The WC pa*s area is likely what Berthoud, Loveland, Vail, Jones, and Cameron pa*ses were 10-15 maybe even 20 years ago. The fact is you (WC locals) don’t have the luxury of figuring out how to manage and maintain your sandbox in 10-20 years, it is happening NOW! So, I would first and foremost would make nice and stop acting like petulant children, the map is up (it could come down, but that is likely not going to make a bit of difference, and you know it!), and whether you like it or not, user days are skyrocketing in all BC and FC areas, so are you or are you not willing to be a part of the solution. In the formidable and poetic words of Roger Waters,

    Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

    The developers, snowmobiliers, and ATVers, are all salivating. They have numbers in terms of membership, lobbying power, MONEY, and connections. We as a user group don’t have much of a pot to piss in to be honest. Brian Holcombe (the new Executive Director) of the BSA is getting people together, but he can’t do it alone, we NEED a unified voice here. Ryan hit it on the head, unite and have a voice, or divide and splinter, and hope you can get used to ski-in/ski-out backcountry lodging. Don’t think so? Remember every 20 years or so, some twisted motherf**ker of a politician decides it would be a good idea to liquidate Federal land to pay for government services. Well, let’s just say Red would love to see his village grow, maybe even on the north side of the pa*s. So SoCo vibers (I won’t name you, you know who you are), I would bet it is better energy spent to become a positive presence in your area and leave the petulant child thing behind, you know grow-up. Also, if you pulled that s**t and attitude like you did to Ryan, I can’t say that I wouldn’t have gotten in your face and told you to stop being a d**k(s), and the thought of that scenario makes it all the more sad. See, it was actually your attitude and not some silly map that really has caused all of this mess. So can you get past YOUR ego and self-aggrandizing on this matter, I am affraid it is a cla*sic case of psychological projection.

    Pat, we have had this exact same discussion up in the Cameron Pa*s area. Brian Gardel (aka Frenchy) has moderated and executed a good plan (well at least most of us think so) for this exact issue. I will attach the link;
    Good luck

    Have fun playing nice in the sandbox children!!

  2. Foam-Core says

    Tele Guy,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Seems like most people have a hard time controlling their emotions when discussing this topic. I think your argument that “The process of slowly being brought into the fold by those with more experience and knowledge has been a very rewarding and fun process, almost as great as the skiing.” is a valid and honorable one. I too have spent a lot of time looking for new places to ski and having great experiences doing it.

    But I have also used guidebooks when expediency was a priority. For example, if you are a weekend warrior/skier and come to Teton Pa*s for the first time, you can save yourself a LOT of wasted time by buying the photo book of Teton ski terrain or buying the simple map sold at Wilson Sports. Both of these will get you to the main runs. Or go to the Wasatch for the weekend. If you buy the wonderful terrain maps that are sold at most backcountry ski shops in the West, you will save yourself a LOT of time. Of course, you can discover it on your own. Like you said, that can be a great experience.

    Unlike you, I sometimes use guidebooks. I was an avid climber for years and found them invaluable. And I have used them for mountain biking and hiking. The main reason is that I often don’t have the time for discover and explore through trial and error.

    Regarding people giving me route information for my guidebook. I guess I was pretty naive to think people would send me information. Having worked extensively in software development, I thought maybe the ski community might join together like opensource software developers did to create some of the best software ever designed. Also, I created the guidebook project originally for Backcountry Snowsports Alliance, a non-profit organization in Colorado that helps lobby for non-motorized backcountry ski areas. Many people from BSA were going to contribute routes, but it never happened, so I decided to write all of the routes myself. And that’s fine. I have dozens of routes I can add if I decide to pursue this venture.

    Again, thanks for the comments.

    • Justin says

      Hello, I know this is over a decade later but I am a Wolf Creek local & avid snowboarder. I’m sorry for the harsh letters you recieved, I think it’s great what you were trying to do. Like you said, there are too many other factors to put all of the blame on you for the area’s growth. I’d love the opportunity to take a peek at your maps if you’d be so willing! Thanks

  3. Reality Check says

    Guidebooks are here to stay – love ’em or hate ’em. If this website takes down its WC info another will put it up. You can’t stop it from happening – the real questions is how you want to deal with it.

    Like many others here I only found out about this site because of the controversy the locals have created. Now people from are going to get in on this as well.

    In a free society information is supposed to be free. Yes you might get a patent and protect your knowledge for a time, but after that it enters the public domain so that all people might benefit from your knowledge. It is this process that has lead to modern civilization. None of us would have the free time to ski with high tech skis without modern technology. Without the sharing of knowledge we would still be hunter gathers limited to living in tropical climates. Even the Eskimos had considerable technology and shared it freely with each other so that they could survive in the harsh conditions we now play in.

    The good news for locals and all human powered back country skiers is this – most people simply won’t put out the effort to hike and skin for their turns. Yes there are more BC skiers now than there were before, and guide books do provide knowledge faster and more conveniently. That is the reality of living in an area with an increasing population of outdoor oriented people.

    I hope that this website doesn’t take down any information – even if it does the info will just show up somewhere else. I also hope that the locals decide to peacefully and graciously share the public lands that they live close to. When the WC locals come to my backyard I will welcome them and freely share my knowledge.

  4. Jim says

    What exactly does “local” mean? Is there some sort of time period required in the surfer code to establish residency? Or, just to be fair, should all backcountry stashes be ceded to pureblood Native Americans?

    I’ve lived in a nice town near some fine stashes for three and a half years. Dragging my knuckles in the backcountry is one of my deepest loves. Should I have never gone up there and just sat at home because I’m relatively new in town? One thing is for sure, even though I feel like the revealing of this stuff on the www could in fact construe a betrayal, treating people with like interests poorly is one of the shallowest of behaviors.

    Bottom Line, which someone else rightly noted: I wouldn’t have had a clue about this site or where to ski/ride in the Wolf Creek Backcountry if “locals” hadn’t started foaming at the mouth.

  5. Tele-Guy says


    I just started backcountry skiing a few years ago. I guess that makes me part of “the problem” in some sense. I started like many people by learning to tele in the resort, then taking an avalanche cla*s, then moving into the areas adjacent to some of my favorite ski areas, and eventually meeting some nice people who had a lot of “secret” knowledge that they slowly began to share with me.

    I have never used a guidebook to “discover” a place. I don’t think I ever will. The process of slowly being brought into the fold by those with more experience and knowledge has been a very rewarding and fun process, almost as great as the skiing. It has helped me to grow as a backcountry skier and has helped me to appreciate the backcountry in a way that no guidebook ever could. My group of ski friends has expanded organically over the past 3 years, and I am now the proud bearer of quite a bit of “secret” knowledge about primo stashes in certain places all over Colorado that shall remain unnamed.

    There is nothing like being in one of these places and “bumping” into someone who I know, who I have skied with, and who I respect and appreciate. There is nothing like arriving at one of these places and being able to identify who has gone before me just by the way they have laid down their skin track. Thankfully, most of these stashes have remained top secret, and I have honestly never seen anyone there who is not somehow connected to our group of ski friends. To me, this community of skiers is one of the best things going on in the backcountry. I feel lucky to be a part of it.

    Let’s be clear. I do not feel like I “own” these places or like people should not be allowed to ski them. But when people ask me about them, I laugh and tell them exactly what I was told when I first wanted to know where to go. “If you want to know where I ski, come ski with me.” And I mean it. That doesn’t mean I will reveal the best stash on day one. I won’t. It does mean that I am willing to share the beta with people if they come ski with me and are willing to take the time to get tuned in.

    The problem with a guidebook is that it allows people to skip this whole process. The book allows skiers to join the club without gaining the experience and understanding of backcountry ski etiquette that is required if we are going to share what is ultimately a finite resource. By allowing people to skip these important steps, it seems to me that we turn what was once a community experience into an ugly race to get to the goods first.

    I suppose this attitude is just symptomatic of the larger problems that our society faces, namely the rise of self-interest and the fall of our communal sense of self. But I sure hate to see that spread all the way into the backcountry. After all, part of why I like to ski is because of the sense of shared experience that accompanies it. I like to look back at the hill and see that I have left plenty of untracked lines for whoever follows me.

    I’m under no illusion. You will publish your guide. But you can forget it if you think I am going to help you out. And I sincerely hope everyone else out there decides to ignore your silly request for free beta on secret stashes. If you want to know where I ski, you’re going to have to come ski with me. And frankly, at this point, you’re not invited.

    Good luck!

  6. Deb Morton says

    Tele-Guy, who are you? The comment you posted is beautiful! You are so right on with your perspective. You write about the “process” of being introduced to the backcountry by those with more experience and knowledge and how that has been almost as great as the skiing. How true!

    I love how the focus of your comment is geared towards the appreciation and respect to those who have turned you on to backcountry skiing. I agree with you, Tele-Guy, that the community of skiers is one of the best things going on in the backcountry. I, too, feel lucky to be a part of it. When Pat’s online guidebook was discovered amongst us “oldtimers”, that honor and respect was somehow vilified.

    You state how guidebooks allow people to skip steps of the whole process and the experience turns into an ugly race to get to the goods first. I feel that online postings, if not used carefully, can cause this problem you mentioned: The rise of self-interest and the fall of our communal sense of self. I see so much of that in generations raised on chat rooms and the internet.

    Your parting paragraph is comforting and gives me hope. I’m so happy to read what you say. Thanks for putting into words what I feel in my heart. Your prose is in such contrast to the threads I read on telemarktalk; depth vs. shallowness. I would love to know who you are!

  7. Ryan Miller says

    Deb, I got your email. Thanks for the apology, it is accepted and greatly appreciated. You are right it is surprising how small our skiing community is.

    I agree with Tele-Guy to some degree. It is important to be mentored as you begin your backcountry career. It is akin to the old mountaineering and climbing tradition of being mentored by an experienced climber. However, once youre in the fold and you are a seasoned mature backcountry skier, guide books are a great help when exploring new terrain. Road trips to other ski destinations are great fun and expand your skiing horizons. Whether it is the Tetons, La Sals, Wasatch, Rogers Pa*s, or the volcanoes of Chili, guide books are invaluable. I ski my backyard stashes every weekend but I also travel quite a bit all over Colorado and occasionally to other states to ski other places. Guides like Lou DawsonҒs have helped greatly for this.

    As backcountry skiing continues to grow guide books will continue to be more plentiful. I dont see this as a problem though. It should only help to further unite and organize our small but growing community. Imagine if BSA ( grew into an organization like the Access Fund. We would have a much better chance of fighting off the snowmobiling lobby. The snowmobile lobby is growing, is well funded, and is far better organized then the backcountry ski/snowboard community. Anything that helps to pull our small community closer together is invaluable for us right now. Once snowmobiling is allowed as part of a forest plan in your secret stash it will be very difficult to change the use paradigm.

  8. Murray Zenk says

    Interesting, it looks like Wolf Creek Pa*s is the new hotspot for BC skiing :-). I think the NIMBY attitude expressed by the locals is the true failing of the modern environmental movement. This elitist attitude is one of the greatest dangers facing our wild places – that’s why I consider myself a conservasionist and NOT (any longer) an environmentalist. As many have expressed, if the BC is off-limits, then no one will care when it is closed off completely (liability concerns, privatization, whatever).

    In the past, efforts were made to get people out in the backcountry – with these attitudes Logan Pa*s would never have been built, there would be no lodges in any of our National Parks, in fact there might not be any National Parks, or they would be like Banff with ultra-expensive hotels in the most spectacular spots and the campgrounds for the common folk next to the RR tracks.

    Also, I hear talk about “impact on the backcountry” ??? Of all outdoor activities I can think of BC skiing is probably the lowest impact of all – it is truely “no trace” use – as soon as the snow melts, there is no trace of anyone’s pa*sing.

    I post my trip reports all the time, though I admit it’s an obscure website smilies/grin.gif. But I freely share beta with people I meet on the trail, because I know most people I meet aren’t as interested in skiing the trees. If I had run into those locals I would have a*sumed they were from a large city, as my experience has always been that rural folks are more open and friendly (though I would venture a guess that they are all originally from a large city, judging by their attitudes).

    I hope I never have the displeasure of skiing with any of the WC locals – not likely as I’m in the PNW – we have plenty of snow – and you’re all welcome to come up and ski it. ‘course it’s not dry Colorado powder.

  9. jonas says

    depth vs shallowness? You and your cohorts expressed the grandest token of shallowness in this whole foray. It is my understanding that you still may not see the point here, unless of course your judgement on this subject is clouded by your unmoving principles. You encountered people unknown to you (who were just exactly the good people tele-guy spoke of mind you), and you were complete jerks to them! And that was not the first time either from what I gather!

    Now on a different note, certainly tele-guy’s comment are really cool, yes that is what the community is all about, sharing, experiencing, expanding, but where did you and your cohorts attitude about this go?

    People, we are talking about maybe 100’s of people (not thousands) that will view these threads and actually make turns. There is a complete sense of xenophobia and your “secret” stashes. Side note, one of the “secret” stashes we have up at Cameron Pa*s requires a 2 hour skin in just to access the goods, (guess what?) it is plenty busy on good snow days, AND there is no detailed map on the web on how to get there. So what does that tell you?

    The very fact that you get all excited when someone introduces the idea of personal and meaningful communication and friendly backcountry demeanor, and talks about punishing a fellow who puts a map of an area that is surrounded by a busy highway on three sides, something just doesn’t make sense. I think there is a need for you to reconcile some confounding statements and actions. I.e. you lack the credibility to carry on a meaningful conversation on the subject, until well you say sorry to Ryan for being the jerks you were (sorry Ryan gotta stand up fer ya here). He is easily one of the nicest people I know. Make sense? You and your cohorts have really offended people that at thier base, fundemental components, are very likely, kind, generous, lovely people. My guess there are a lot more of them out there Deb than you may want to hear about, it is so much easier to vilanize people than to bring them in and share. But hey, you clearly are not into making friends, or are you?

    When am I going to see people who have that supposed depth of character and apologize for being rude (there were three of you in this case)? You did it so as to repell people for not skiing your snow, now that is shallow, no?

    Good luck reconciling your position…

  10. jonas says

    Well, I think that I had put the proverbial cart in front of this horse. Sorry Deb, for flaming on you just now, it was unneccesary and harsh. My zeal for the subject heightened my emotions and well, we are technically no better off other than just saying sorry (and you never did anything to me personally!).

    So, here we are on the path to making-a-mends in what I consider a pretty awesome community. When people start saying sorry I become humbled and I think I should bow out and let the people who are really a part of the discussion conclude and move-on towards a better more unified community (and finish this blasted thesis of mine!).

    Good luck

  11. Charlie Rafferty says

    I’ve been lurking on your site for some months now, but when this came up I felt I just had to weigh in.
    All of the places that I’ve come to love, for the most part I found myself. Yes, these are indeed public lands, and ayone can say anything that they coose to about them – this is still (marginally) a free country. But – I think discretion and discernment is advised when we decide with whom to share our beta. I am pretty much against guidbooks for all but the most trammeled of areas, say rock climbing crags, for instance.
    I can’t think of how many times I’ve gritted my teeth when a place in which I formerly found solace and solitude was blown all to hell by an article in Outside mag or some such.
    Let people find these places on thier own, if they’ve curiosity enough to look on a map and the gumption to take themselves there.
    I dunno how he feels these days, but when I last checked, our mutual pal Jim T. in Ridgway would be scandalized about beta posting on certain areas near and dear to my his heart and mine.

    Your a good guy Pat, and I like skiing with you. I’m sorry you’ve been reviled, but this is an emotional subject for many. – All the best, C. Rafferty

  12. D. Steuer says

    First, Deb, you would be well served to take a lesson from Tele-guy. You praise him and his words, but still don’t seem to publicly acknowledge how far your actions are from his words. I suspect even he would find your apparent treatment of bc skiers you have run into on the pa*s distasteful. And I find it sad that you praise him for his depth, and put down TTips for its shallowness. Could it be that he’s deep and TTips is shallow because he agrees with you and TTips (as a generalization) doesn’t? Do you get it at all? A huge number of backcountry skiers from all over the country think you have been totally out of line, and all you can do is praise the one guy who somewhat agrees with you and put down all of the many who disagree with you.

    Tele-Guy, I understand and respect your point of view. I don’t tend to give out “secret stashes” publicly. But I do give directions out to friends (and strangers) if asked, in general. To me, that is different than publishing them on the web. But we’re all on a continuum here, you only give them out to people who will ski with you, I only give them out in private “conversation”, and some places give them out more widely. The fact that you choose to spread the knowledge differently than me or than Pat doesn’t mean that you are not spreading awareness of the secret stashes. The march of population and life and society is inexorable. And none of us (including Deb, since she seems ok with your point of view) can really doing anything to stop it. Nor should we, if we want to smile on our fellow man and woman; I don’t suspect you’d be ok with an attitude of “I will never show a single soul these backcountry stashes; they’re all mine!”

    Lastly, Ryan has my point of view. As a backcountry skier, I have secret stashes in my “backyard” (and many more I need to find!), but that doesn’t mean I don’t like travelling to new places. And if I have any hope of making those travels really worthwhile in the short time I have, guidebooks help. They’re no substitute for local knowledge and local introduction, but I don’t know people in every nook and cranny of the country. Guidebooks are also no substitute for backcountry knowledge. But if I don’t have that knowledge, I’m in trouble whether I am in my backyard without a guidebook or somewhere else with a guidebook. Guidebooks aren’t evil, and they aren’t the enemy. And the fact that they led to the spewing of such vitriol and hate from some backcountry skiers from my own state, from the mountains that are in my heart, is truly sad.

  13. Ryan Woods says

    Note: Due the hate mail and extreme agitation from the Wolf Creek Locals, I have removed the route descriptions for the North Side of Wolf Creek Pa*s. If you are interested in the story behind this, you can find it here: Online Guidebook Generates Hate Mail from Wolf Creek Locals

    BOOO! Don’t reward bad behavior! You’ll further only enable their jerk attitude.

  14. Jim T says

    I understand the argument about keeping local stashes “secret”. I have my own ski maps of Red Mountain Pa*s. I have only showed them to one other local.

    On the other hand, the one time i went to Wolf creek Pa*s, i skiied 90% of the runs no Pat’s map with no help from locals and no guide book. These runs are all within spitting distance of the highway. And even worse, there are chairlifts accross the street. I cant help but ask if any of these “Backcountry” locals ever ski the lifts there? Those of you who do ride chairlifts, it would be safe to say you are supporting the development of that area. Where chairlifts grow, development and more skiers will follow. BC skier traffic on Red Mountain Pa*s has grown by an order of magnitude since Silverton Ski Area went in. I was very sorry to see those lifts get built.

    Wolf Creek locals might consider moving someplace that does not have chairlifts, and has more terrain. The place is extremely limited for terrain.

    Another note, i noticed that there are no maps of teton pa*s in pat’s guidebook. He skiis there. :-

    jim t from Ridgway

  15. D. Steuer says

    I came back to this site to give the link to a friend of mine, an avalanche professional new to Colorado, and was very disappointed to see that you took the guidebook down. After all the fuss had died down, it didn’t seem to be causing much of a stir anymore. Oh well, I’m glad I saved it to my local computer.

  16. D. Steuer says

    I came back to this site to give the link to a friend of mine, an avalanche professional new to Colorado, and was very disappointed to see that you took the guidebook down. After all the fuss had died down, it didn’t seem to be causing much of a stir anymore. Oh well, I’m glad I saved it to my local computer.

  17. Howard Cox says

    Dear Pat,
    The foaming has stopped. Let’s talk. I apologize for impugning your manhood. I am however just the tip of this iceberg. Let me make a few points. Look at it from our point of view: We have been hanging it out down here for the last eight straight years fighting off the machines and the Village. The last thing we expected was an attack from friendly fire. The ethics of guidebooks have always been controversial, and I am acutely aware of the hypocrisy of having used them myself. I staunchly oppose the creation of more; anywhere. People are free to discover Wolf Creek the way you and the rest of us did. Let them. Guidebooks are not the avenue of constituency building; they are the magnet of death to not yet overused areas. How about a temporary cease and desist while we all talk about it.

    Some other feedback on your narratives: We have seen numerous slides in the Plunge and Suicide over the years including and especially this one. I can’t imagine how it was that you were not there to see them. It is pretty irresponsible to claim otherwise.

    Skier Compaction in the backcountry is a dangerous myth. Suicide gets skied every day of the week and we have had several significant slides there this season following allot of traffic. I refer you to Marc Mueller @ CAIC for this discussion.

    Please, this guidebook is elective and unnecessary.

    Again let me apologize for my rage, though I hope you are not surprised that it was elicited. I would like to rebut several a*sertions in your piece:

    Wolf Creek is not “our personal ski area”, though with ever increasing use it is becoming more and more like a backcountry ski area every day. Wolf Creek is indeed public land for all, and sacred ground for some. We (the locals and with some a*sistance from BCA) have defended it as would naturally be the case. You are correct that no one has any more “right “to the place than anyone else. Equally no one has the “right” to accelerate the degradation of a public resource via increased use from a guidebook whatever the motivation. The reasons to hate a guidebook are as pathetic and self centered as the reasons FOR writing one. Backcountry skiers have a proud tradition of independence and self sufficiency. God knows we’ve been doing this for a long time and we are not dead yet, even without a guidebook. Let our comrades learn their skills and routes in the time honored tradition.

    While it is true that we are swimming against a demographic tide and the obscenity of the “village”, it is no one’s interest to help turn Wolf Creek into yet another packed out backcountry attraction.
    I am sorry I hurt your feelings and personally offended you. You shocked me. I hate the guidebook. You were just the author. HC

  18. crowded bc says

    as former avie tech at berthoud pa*s and long time savorer of “patrol stash” i feel the pain of watching old stash getting tracked out fast or at all…berthoud was never backcountry but rather “side country”: quick access to radical terrain

    we definitely skied bc snow packs then (this was ’76 through ‘8smilies/cool.gif

    now i have to smile at how the next generation hucks and tracks unbelievable lines, along with tracking up what used to be “our” first and only tracks. there’s a guidebook for berthoud too and the snooze you lose rule applies more than ever

    thanks to howard for the real apology, bc experiences are for me the opposite of animosity and i bet for him too, there is really room for all of us, times change, pure feelings never do

    phil sa*so

  19. Vince Spero says


    I’d like to respond to a few things.

    The Wolf Creek backcountry cannot be described as anyone’s “private ski area”. Many people from all over Colorado and elsewhere ski here and all, so far, have done so by independently discovering where to ski or by being shown some of the routes by people who have been here before. That is how all the routes in the Wolf Creek Pa*s area have been learned, not in 15 minutes of reading a guidebook and looking at the routes detailed on a map. Because of this independent discovery people that ski the Wolf Creek backcountry have found a true sense of ownership and a spirit of protection. Someone who is given all the information will probably not feel this sense of ownership. They are only finding places on a map to ski.


    I think I know the answer to this question. Many backcountry skiers have paid their dues out there and see no need for details of the best places to be given out. Let people come and do what backcountry skiers have been doing for a long time SKI! Backcountry skiers do not need guidebooks, just a group of friends and great snow.

    Pat. You have been skiing here for over twenty years with many of us and I trusted you and others at least hoped that they could trust you. That is why the responses were so harsh; it really was shocking to see Wolf Creek laid out on a platter after all these years of skiing up there. Most of us have been very friendly and helpful to new skiers but I think it is their responsibility to find their way around by themselves.

    PS: Don’t give me too much credit for my initial response to the Wolf Creek guidebook. I think that providing such detailed information about the Wolf Creek backcountry is one of the sleaziest things that a friend and fellow backcountry skier could do. Watch out Monarch, Rabbitears, Silverton, Lizardhead, Red Mountain, and especially Driggs, Idaho. Guidebooks may be coming soon, hopefully not.

    Vince Spero, South Fork, Colorado

  20. Deb Morton says

    I think you miss the point. I’m not upset because “we don’t want anyone to know about our private ski area…” (as you stated). I’m upset because I don’t understand why you want to hasten the spoiling of WC backcountry. You claim your reasoning is that those people who ski it will then in turn help “save” the backcountry from development. I don’t have much faith in that reasoning.

    What I find disturbing about your letter, Pat, is how surprised you are to get negative feedback. I am so glad to read that, the first e-mail sent shocked me so much I deleted it immediately…. I say to myself, “good, people with pa*sionate responses had the effect on you it should have”. I find it hard to believe that your detailed descriptions on the internet of the North side of Wolf Creek Pa*s would just be hunky dory with all of us locals. Reading your letter, I’m incredulous to your lack of understanding as to why we’re outraged.

    Okay, so you wanted to write a guidebook and include the north side of WC pa*s as one of your links. That’s not such an evil thing. Would it have been possible to first discuss it with several of us? Maybe tell us why. In reading your guidebook, I find it personally offensive that you have the gall to use names we thought were unique amongst us locals. It must be what musicians feel when their music is copied and/or plagiarized.

    I respect your view that backcountry skiers should join together to share AND protect what they love….Did you expect all the skiers from the Denver metro area to write letters on the behalf of WC Pa*s, but never come down to ski it? On this statement, how do I or anyone else in this area, know that many letters were written by folks in the Denver metro area? I find it hard to believe that a significant amount of Denver folks took the time for meaningful input.

    Pat, you write, “You locals have had WC Pa*s to yourselves for more than twenty years. Be thankful for that; it must have been wonderful. But the population is growing everywhere, especially in the West. There are more people here now. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.” It can remain wonderful. However, posting detailed route descriptions, complete with the special names we have for the area, does not help keep it wonderful. Do you understand why we’re angry, Pat? It’s not that we don’t want to share the backcountry. We happen to be excellent guides and very hospitable when it comes to showing “friends” where to go. It’s a stab in the back to have those “friends” turn around, and, without consulting any of us, advertise those runs for the WORLD to see on the far-too-available internet.

    I don’t “hate” you, Pat. I’ve always given you the benefit of the doubt. Even when a certain friend derided you for bringing a vanload of your buddies down to ski the backcountry, I stuck up for you. I said you were a nice guy. I think you have great qualities. I wanted to believe in you, but you’ve overstepped your boundaries. We are all just very disappointed.

    In conclusion, the situation created by a certain online guidebook is a cla*sic example of the bane of the internet. Information technology can be a wonderful, magical tool. With knowledge of how to use this technology, prudence coupled with self-restraint must be considered.

  21. Foam-Core says

    I am not looking for more arguments or justifications for or against the Wolf Creek Guidebook. All I need to take it down is two simple, one sentence apologies from the personal attacks. Deb? Steve?

  22. Deb Morton says

    I admit my initial written response to you was not well thought out. I used e-mail irresponsibly; to vent out anger. My attack should not have been towards you, Pat. I apologize for my choice of words. I agree, had I gone about expressing myself in a more civilized way, my point to you would have been better received. I am deeply sorry for spewing forth ugly words directed towards you, Pat.

  23. Eric, March says

    Pat, As a resident of Pagosa Springs, CO and a frequent backcountry skier at Wolf Creek pa*s I ask you to remove the Wolf Creek “guidebook” from your website. As stated in other e-mails, let people find wolf creek themselves without being led there blindly. It’s already moving along at quite a rapid pace. I’m not sure how many people frequent your website but wolf creek is a small area that gets tracked out quickly. Over the years since I’ve been skiing up there it gets harder to find fresh tracks each year with this year being the worst yet. Most weekends left the Lobo Overlook area, Suicide bowl and the powerline looking like ski areas. Many more people will come to wolf creek with the knowledge from your guidebook than would without it. You have to pay your dues to learn local stashes, explore on your own, meet friends to show you new places, etc. That’s the way backcountry skiing works. Nobody wants their secret stashes plastered across the internet. It’s true that population is growing out of control and backcounrty skiing and boarding is exploding but that doesn’t mean that you have to contribute to the problem, if you care. When I moved to Pagosa Springs I learned the backcountry from exploring on my own and friends who showed me new places. Enough people are discovering the area that way, the way it should be done. Writing a guide book will just expedite people getting into places they shouldn’t be and get them into trouble. Some things shouldn’t be learned from a guidebook, backcounrty skiing is one of them. I’m not surprised by the responses of other locals. They feel betrayed by a friend. I hope you will consider removing the information to try to right the wrong. Sincerely, Eric Polczynski

  24. Willie Smith says


    You sure like to poke the hive, I thought you were allergic to
    I for one have really enjoyed your web site this year, your boot experience was like a phone call from Fortino, it has been nice to keep up with what you are up to, pics included.

    I don’t know how many hits your site is getting but not enough,
    I think we need lifts and condos everywhere, Then we could all eat and drink as much as we like, and we would never know who got the pow, it would just be gone.

    I think the folks in the W.C. area wear their underware to tight, or they missed kindergarden.

    As always you catch more flys with sugar than salt.

    Keep up the good work.


  25. Steve Hartvigsen says


    Have read your responses and have this to offer.

    Re: your question as to who will help protect Wolf Ck from development, besides us “angry” ones? Well, there have been innumerable folks in Pagosa, Durango, the Four Corners, and beyond who have fallen behind the effort to stop the “Village”, certainly numbering in the thousands. I only know of one who advertised the backcountry on the net.

    Re: being “quite lackadaisical” about motorized users on the Pa*s, you are quite mistaken about yours truly. There were a variety of informal complaints about snowmachines on the Pa*s for several years. What spurred the Forest Service to initiate an effort that became the Task Force was a formal citizen letter, penned by me, to Pete Clark and Cal Joyner, Forest Supervisors for the Rio Grande and San Juan NF’s, respectively, at that time, expressing a need to reserve the North side of the Pa*s for non-motorized winter use. My supervisor, District Ranger Jo Bridges, was pissed, since I went over her head, and forbid me from serving as a rep for the human powered/non-motorized clan (though I still attended nearly all meetings). I continue to press my agency to understand the need to delineate non-motorized areas for the quiet ones.

    Re: your comments on increased skier traffic, I at no point in my letter stated that your site had led to increased traffic, except to state that two skiers, claiming from Ft Collins, spoke of your website. (It was their first visit to the area, as stated by both participants to Deb, and then me.) My contention throughout my letter was that your site could lead to an exponential increase in traffic – far greater than the increase we’ve seen since we began skiing here in the early ‘80’s. I still firmly believe that, because the net has that scope of influence.

    And as you mentioned, I know those days of the past are just that. But why contribute to further degradation of the qualities that Wolf Creek has been known for? I still contend that it’s one thing to write a “guidebook”. It’s another to crank the ante via the net.

    In a scolding tone you remind us that the Pa*s is public land. Being a Forest Service lifer, I think I’ve got that concept. But we in the agency know of special places that we don’t advertise; we let the public discover them on their own. Why? Because the public’s “love” for those special places puts them at risk. Just as we both agree that the agency’s mantra of multiple use is not appropriate across the board, providing maps and route descriptions for Wolf Creek lines to, literally, millions of people is not appropriate as well. Simply put, the net reaches too many.

    Re: us locals being “..more than happy to use [BSA] to help you fight the snowmobile lobby..” on the Pa*s, it was great having a fine communicator like Kim to a*sist BUT it was the face-to-face communication that began to make a difference. That included our buddy, Howard, who served admirably as a rep for over two years. It wasn’t the “snowmobile lobby” that was the problem – it was the hybrids. In the end, some members of the Colo Snowmobile a*soc fell behind Howard and Kim in realizing the North side could be set aside for non-motorized.

    Lastly, re: your characterization of my letter as “hate” mail, I again disagree. I made no threats. I made no mention of body parts. I used no expletives (except “damn”, as in there are “damn well enough” means for folks to discover the Pa*s). I am guilty of questioning your judgement, your foresight, your awareness of all the pressures that are currently, and in the near future, bearing down on one of the few places in the state, or in the West for that matter, where there is winter-round access to a high elevation pa*s with playable winter terrain and consistent snowpack. Though I obviously touched some raw nerves with my letter, I do hope you thought about my question, about visualizing/counting the few places in Colo/the West where all the aforementioned variables gel together. Perhaps we can find common ground on how to work towards protection of these incredibly few and special winter playgrounds while showing great restraint in advertising. (I do appreciate your efforts with BSA; that’s a good thing.)

    So, I apologize for the tone of my letter and the questioning of your intent. I still stand behind the bulk of my letter’s content. (We may agree to disagree.) That’s as honest as I can be.

    Steve Hartvigsen

  26. Erik Su says

    I used to live and ski in Jackson Hole for many years, where the backcountry is not much of a secret anymore. The one thing that always really annoyed me about the place is the attitude of the locals (many of whom were my friends). While most are very friendly, locals can often have a strange sense of elitism and entitlement when it comes their terrain. I got this attitude frequently – and from people who had been there less time than I had.

    In addition to being a backcountry skier, I am also a climber, and there is a parallel in the climbing community. Anytime a new climbing guide is published, you have locals screaming bloody murder and lamenting the influx of outsiders who “ruin” the isolation that used to exist. I always wondered about this – do they really think that they deserved to have the place to themselves? Why do they feel so threatened by other users? I for one get excited about seeing new people at my local crag.

    There are those who would like to keep backcountry skiing an exclusive club, complete with talk of “paying their dues” and pa*swords and secret handshakes. I think that the recent large increase in interest in backcountry skiing is a positive thing, in that it creates a greater appreciation for backcountry areas. When ski areas want to expand or snowmobilers want greater wilderness access, the main reason why most of the public shrugs and says “Sure, why not?” is because there is precious little appreciation for what non-motorized backcountry is all about. Anything that helps out a fellow backcountry skier is a good thing, in my opinion. If one of the side effects of this is that my secret stash is no longer so secret, then so be it and I’m willing to accept that as a reality of the situation. In answer to one person’s (presumably rhetorical) question, “DO YOU HAVE A GREAT PLACE YOU SKI THAT YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS HAVE DISCOVERED? WOULD YOU LIKE DETAILS AND MAPS ON HOW TO ACCESS THAT AREA PUT ON A WEBSITE FOR EVERYONE TO VIEW?” I would honestly say that I would not have a big problem with that. I guess I would just have to get up a little earlier to get freshies or start exploring some new areas.

    Whenever I explore a new ski area or climbing area, I get information from every source I can get my hands on – other people, guidebooks, web forums, web guides. Some commented that info should be communicated “the old way” – smoke signals? Papyrus scrolls hidden underneath rocks? Secret pow-wow sessions? Get with the program: people now communicate through the web. This is now one way information gets disseminated.

    Have I skied at Wolf Creek Pa*s? No. Will I? Probably one day, and I know someone pretty knowledgeable about the area from whom I can get some good beta. I would also appreciate the extra info from guides such as the one posted here.

    As it is, I don’t really have a strong opinion one way or the other about this particular guide. I’m just getting really tired of the phenomenon of the “bitter” local. Chill out and be glad that someone is enjoying some backcountry turns as much as you.

  27. Jim Sutton says

    Mr.F. Your guide to the wolf creek pa*s area is just another example of poor judgement and big ego. You are right in saying that wolf creek has grown, but a guide to the backcountry; bad idea. Wolf creek is a finite resource and your guide contibutes to the “tragedy of the commons” in effect it exploits the resource and for what gain to add more skiers to the mix, continue the growth at an unrestricted rate. After living in the area and skiing wolf creek for the better part of 15 years, I accept (unfortunately) the growth. I have had my share of discoveries and days with friends when I was shown a new line, but to publish a guide and betray that trust of others, never!
    I have a 10 year old daughter who is making breif trips with me in the backountry; she is learning about self reliance, developing her skills, and but most all self discovery. When she points out things like Dad “lets ski over here or lets ski down through those trees, I realize how guidebooks dull the senses and provide us with the coobook perspective of what lies ahead and what to expect. Leave up to the individual to find the untracked spaces, there are not many left.

  28. Deb Morton says

    Pat, you got the apologies you asked for. What are your thoughts now regarding our concerns? Are you willing to take the north side of WC Pa*s off your website?

  29. Ryan Miller says

    Deb, Steve.

    So you are the ones we ran into at Wolf Creek. We (Ryan and Marilee) are the skiers from Fort Collins that you shared the skin track with. I have to say we were very disappointed with your lame local surfer style, ”this is my wave man” attitude. After skiing many different backcountry places in Colorado and Utah that was the lamest encounter with locals I have experienced and the first time people have refused to give general information about an area. I have always been willing to give visitors, especially those that are not going to ski the place every day, information.

    To put the record straight, the only reason we were down there was because we bought lift tickets for Wolf Creek at a BSA fund raiser. After skiing the resort one day we decided to sell our lift ticket to check out the backcountry. We did not look at the guide online and decide wow, let’s drive 8 hours south to ski Wolf Creek Pa*s as you allude to above. I doubt a website such as this will increase traffic dramatically. There are simply other destinations that are better – Utah, Tetons, Red Mountain Pa*s, etc. The guide does help the causal pa*ser by like us get acquainted with the area.

    The funny thing is I believe several of the people skiing in your group are Forest Service Backcountry Ski rangers – mentioned by another group that met you that same day. Isn’t it their job to be engaging the public and support the use of OUR National Forest lands? I posted the encounter on for a public decision about the encounter: creek

    I agree completely with Pat. I greatly appreciate and support websites like Foam-Core-Skier. Sites like this enable our small community a chance to unify to some degree. My view is that the more backcountry skiers that appreciate a place the easier it is to defend that place from snowmobiles and other activities that jeopardize our (skiing/snowboarding) recreation. That is exactly the strategy that snowmobile groups are taking. Look at Red Mountain Pa*s. Snowmobile groups are advertising the area in order to increase use and establish historical use so that they can gain a foot hold in the Forest Planning process. This is going to continue to happen throughout the west as the snowmobile organizations gain strength.

    We (quite backcountry recreationists) need to stop fighting among each other accept and support each others RIGHT to use an area and post information about it. If we don’t we’ll never be able to adequately fight highly organized snowmobiling lobbies.

    So Deb and Steve its time to loose the entitlement and become part of the solution and not part of the problem.


    Ryan Miller

  30. D. Steuer says

    I found the apologies really distasteful. Apologizing for a poor choice of words? After threatening him? That isn’t any kind of apology at all.

    This website isn’t bringing hordes of people down to your area. Abundant snow (when most places are hurting) and the natural progression of things is the cause.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves and your juvenile reactions.

  31. Ryan Woods says

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of in a LONG TIME, threatening people and getting THIS protective over road shots off a major HIGHWAY on PUBLIC LAND? STUPID STUPID STUPID.

    Sorry for the caps shouting but you people are BEYOND silly for this. 500 inches of snow not near enough huh? Colorado is a big state that is growing, you have only two choices: deal with it or MOVE and if you move you’ll just be taking the problem you are running from to some other place dealing with the exact same issue. I make it down there a couple times a year to do some skiing and hunting in addition to the other parts of this State and the rest of the country that I hit up for a little skiing but this makes me want to get a van load of buddies and head down there not because I read the guidebook but simply to SPITE YOU FOOLS. I guess none of you have ever taken a road trip anywhere to go skiing, or if you did never got off the groomed pistes for fear of poaching somebody’s stash. Here’s a hint: roadies are FUN, skiing new and different places is FUN and backcountry skiing is FUN. Try to go have some FUN. And, those apologies were no kind of apologies at all. There is no “but” in I’m sorry.

    Dan, don’t take down the guidebook. The people who might use it won’t ruin the skiing for these fools and may well improve somebody’s ONE SKIER DAY A YEAR on the pa*s.

  32. Ya'll are lame! says

    This whole ‘controversy’ is a joke! You folks who are bitching, moaning, and griping about having a guidebook created on “YOUR” area need to lighten up. Every oudoor sport has had a guide book made…. bait fishing, fly fishing, ocean fishing, mountain biking, road biking, backcountry skiing, resort skiing, cross country skiing, snowboard, kayaking, rafting, multiday river trips, multiday backpacking trips, hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, hot springs, ETC, ETC, ETC… anything I miss? Im pretty sure theres at least 100 more.
    In the past 15 years I have seen many guidebooks spring up. Have the guidebooks alone made a noticeable impact to the areas I frequent? Hell no! Most people dont even use guide books, they find their information from a variety of other sources.
    To the wolf creek locals: What is so excellent (or whatever) about *YOUR* area that mandates the need for this guide to be removed and people to be kept out of the area? Every statement you have stated reeks of the NIMBY attitude.. What is so special about ‘your’ area (which is on public land) that it should only be kept for YOU???

  33. Sco Ho says

    Those was some lame apologies! Keep the guide book up.

    I am not usually in support of giving away backcountry ski stashes, but the response from the whiney elitist locals makes me want to share this area with everyone now.

    The treatment by locals to newcomers as described in the TelemarkTips thread is unacceptable and I hope your precious little secret area is postholed by a hundred thousand snowboarders!

    (BTW almost 4000 views of that thread at this time!)

    Foam-not-so-core and the rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves, puttin out this dirty laundry for the world to see.
    I had no intention of skiing wolf creek, but I will now and I will also support the development of that area so I can ski it some more from the comfort of a plushy condo, and not have to drive my SUV back-n-forth – thereby saving the enviroment.

    Leave the guidebook up!

  34. Paco says

    I would love to see the numbers for traffic of the guidebook site before and after the hostile “vibe” was first mentioned at TTIPS. And now, I’m guessing, a huge spike in interest with the potty-mouthed threats and half-a*sed apologies. I know I never looked up the Wolf Creek guide until the hostile locals made it interesting. Now I’m thinking about checking the area out.

    Oh, the irony…

  35. Buck says

    Holy crap.

    I knew about the place but never thought too much about hitting it. Now I’m going to, and it will be to spite Howard Steve and Deb, and people like them. But especially Deb “Your a*s is going down in this part of CO” Morton. I don’t mean just a couple of tracks, but thousands of vertical feet of big fat turns, day after day. I’m gonna make it a mission, with powder as a bonus. The Plunge after a storm? Can’t wait. Then I’ll put some photos and descriptions up on ttips and tgr.

    It will absolutely NOT be because of the guide book, but because you are just such a*sholes. Just think, all that impact and YOU will be to blame. How funny. Maybe you’ll now get some hate mail complaining about YOUR direct impact on your stashes?

    Hope I see you on the uptracks, so I can laugh at you. I’m sure I’ll recognize you, probably by the stench.

  36. jim sutton says

    Pat, what are you triaging out the web mail now! I sent a posting yesterday, with support of my friends and for you to remove the guide book.I haven’t seen it yet so it looks like you have turned to selective postings after the tongue lashings you took from Howard, Deb, & Steve. Look you piece of s**t you were aided by the local community and you betrayed that trust; stop rationalizing. I know a good psychiatrist who can help with your big ego and self aggrandizing behavior. I’ll pay for the first therapy session in exchange for the guide removal.

  37. Foam-Core says

    Hi Jim,

    A couple of very nice emails you wrote; more insults and threats. You should have talked with Howard, Deb, or Steve first. They could have told you I don’t respond too well to threats and insults. It is this kind of email that keeps the guidebook alive. In case you haven’t seen it, check out this thread on…hp?t=32925
    They somehow found out about it because some out-of-town skier got a taste of the local “bad vibe” and he posted his experience in TT. Really, you should check it out; they seem to be having a good time with it. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

    One important thing to note when you read the thread: there seem to be some people in the backcountry ski world who DON’T agree with your NIMBY attitude. Not saying I’m right; just saying there are two sides to this coin.

  38. Drew says

    Sorry that you have received so much unnecessary hate-mail and adolescent threats, I’ve never seen this type of behavior before. I grew up skiing the San Juan backcountry and have a chief concern for everyone’s safety in the backcountry. As such, I can see this aspect of the guidebook being of concern, as uneducated people may use it irresponsibly, however, the reactions I’ve read appear to be mostly selfish and not aiding a friendly, safe backcountry atmosphere. This behavior is simply inappropriate from any individual or group and needs to change. I understand that’s it’s unfortunate to have your stash uncovered, but sharing the experience with others is a joy of the backcountry. This type of possessive behavior has significantly increased privatization of recreational lands in our home state. Try to be mature about it, share your stashes, and don’t be rude to others, especially in the backcountry!

    Anyway, I’ll be moving to South Fork in January and look forward to skiing with friendly folk. I’m about 92 underfoot, so hopefully I won’t take up too much of the apparent lack of snow in this region. I look forward to seeing you all out there and even though I’ll be encroaching on your territory, hopefully the atmosphere changes and we can work together to ensure backcountry safety.


  39. Clint says

    Everyone is welcome on public land. But they should have to get to know there own back yard. Those that put in the time should get the spoils and it should not be served up on an internet platter. If someone wants it bad enough to actually do some research and put some time into an area they earned the right to be there, those that allow strangers to follow a dot on there phone for there own profits (money or notoriety) at the locals expense should be called out.

    Stop putting everything on the internet and let people explore on there own…


Leave A Reply