How Localism Is Ruining Backcountry Skiing

An attitude of nativism has spread to a remote Colorado valley, besmirching an experience that should be joyous for everyone.


Somewhere near Telluride, Colorado is a super-top-secret valley. You can find it on maps, but if you attempt to make the trek there, you might not be so lucky. The highway sign pointing the way has disappeared so many times the department of transportation gave up replacing it. Lost drivers are pointed the wrong way and given directions out of town. Unsuspecting posters to social media are scolded for hash-tagging the name of the town in photos. Some inhabitants of this unnamed valley don’t want the outside world to know it exists. It’s The Valley That Must Not Be Named.

This Shangri-La does not have a single store or restaurant or paved roads. It’s the middle of nowhere. But with a bunch of other people and houses and dogs roaming free. “Settlement” is a better description, although it technically has a mayor and town manager.

It also has epic backcountry skiing. And certain skiers go to great lengths to keep it a mystery valley because if you can’t find it, you can’t ski it.

Two beautiful canyons are easily accessed from town and provide sweeping views of the high alpine, gnarly couloirs, perfectly pitched tree runs, all often covered in plenty of powder. If you have trouble finding fresh turns in this vast valley, it’s due to extreme laziness or lack of creativity. It is the antithesis of the Disneyland that is the nearby ski resort of Telluride. Peace and solitude reign.

Skiers have been protective of their powder stashes since the day they first strapped long wooden planks to their feet. Powder is a finite resource and when this valley is good, it is gooooooood. But the attitude of some valley skiers goes too far. It is an attitude of hyper localism.

Localism has long been rampant in surf culture and is now spilling over into the valley’s backcountry skiing. Parking wars have become frequent. Passive aggressive notes are being left on vehicles. Would-be backcountry skiers who reside one or two towns over are made to feel like unwelcome outsiders. Acting like the self-appointed steeze police, a few local skiers try to determine who has the street cred to ski there and who does not. To be fair, not all the skiers of the valley have this attitude; some longtime residents are embarrassed by their neighbors’ actions. But the ones that do have this attitude are ruining it for everyone.

In a world where resort skiing is increasingly a sport reserved for the rich, backcountry skiing is the great egalitarian equalizer. Freed from the tyranny of expensive lift tickets, touring requires little more than the will to go uphill. That is the main reason residents of The Valley That Must Not Be Named need not worry about their ski runs getting discovered and tracked out: Most people are just too lazy to do the required 3,000-feet-plus vertical on an icy skin track. The valley and its people are nothing if not hardcore.

But there is another reason the harassment of visiting backcountry skiers needs to stop. In a time when our country’s administration is seeking to alienate and exclude certain sectors, this animosity toward fellow skiers smacks of nativism: the policy of protecting the interests of established inhabitants against those of immigrants.

This attitude of I-found-it-first-now-I’m-closing-the-door-behind-me is a shame, because one of the joys of recreating in wild places is sharing them with others. Getting there first doesn’t mean you can hoard the outdoors for yourself. Let’s face it: Nearly all of us are transplants to these mountains and few of us have been here in this tiny southwest corner of the state longer than a generation. Being a “local” does not give anyone the right to intimidate others who are simply enjoying the very same thing they share a passion for.

Localism goes against the backcountry spirit of camaraderie, friendship, and community. The love of skiing should unite, not divide. It shouldn’t be cliquey; it should be inclusive. It is not a place for barriers. Skiers should be free to bring their friends to their favorite ski runs without the fear of being heckled and hassled.

Most important, these mountains are public lands open to and owned by everyone. If you are willing and able to earn your turns, you have just as much right to be there as anyone, with or without proof of residency.

The ranks of those initiated in beacon checks, kick turns on skin tracks, face shots, high-fives on ridgelines and celebratory after-beers in the parking lot always has room for more members. The skiers of The Valley That Must Not Be Named should hope that they don’t succeed in scaring off their backcountry brethren. Because after all the effort to make sure they are the only ones out there, they might just find out it’s lonely at the top.

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Showing 36 comments
  • Leah
    Reply

    Great article. I’ve noticed this attitude becoming prevalent in many parts of CO, this idea that you and your friends are more “deserving” of access to an area or sport than other “transplants”. Of course many of the people with this attitude ARE transplants, they’ve just been here longer. Nativism is such a strange concept – people have literally no control over where they were born, but we have control over where we end up, and just because your parents happen to give birth to you in a specific place is by no means an accomplishment on your part.

    While overuse is certainly a problem with some areas in CO, I think it’s always a good thing to get more people involved in the stewardship of outdoor spaces. Especially these days, public lands need all the advocates they can get.

    • Fearful
      Reply

      One thing that’s annoying with this mentality is its effect on visitors to the area. When I read
      people’s account of how locals are treating visitors to their areas, it’s a little annoying that the
      help that locals could be giving to visitors to their area is unfortunately lost in the mix. First,
      I’d suggest having a friendly face for new skiers to the area, and rather than leaving a letter
      resting on someone’s windshield, maybe talk to them and give them a freindly reminder of
      citable parking offenses (especially when there’s not good signage). Just remember that each
      of us love getting out skiing fun backcountry areas, and there’s no one is going to steal your line.

  • DanO
    Reply

    I’ve had the same reaction from some locals while fly fishing out of state, especially when you are on a pool that they thought was “their secret honey hole”. I was even questioned once by two locals in Grand Teton National Park on if I was local and how I had come to stop at a very nondescript spot on a road and work my way down an arroyo to a hole. To be fair, I had been given directions by an old local fly fishing legend to the hole and there was no other reason anyone would end up there, but these two were aggressive to the point of failure. I told them both to stuff it, that they should have kept driving if they saw I was already there, and that if they handed me any more crap I would put the spot on the internet the moment I left the state. They wandered back to their truck with me following to get their tag in case they decided to mess with my rental. The whole deal sucked and left a bad taste in my mouth the whole day.

  • Bill Geise
    Reply

    There is mucho back country out there.Find your own. Make it difficult to find, when you do, it’s all yours and worth it. Everyone, in the internet age, thinks they are entitled to all info. Keep it secret. Secrets are a rare, and marvelous thing.

  • Andrew
    Reply

    The rule is -if you act like that your officially not allowed to ski or ride anywhere else, period. Because it’s at that exact moment you become the worlds largest hypocrite.
    It’s ok to keep your mouth shut about a location, but acts of aggression should always be met with more savvier acts of aggression. It’s not ok to feel a sense of entitlement to any public location. So smarten up locals. We’re all local somewhere…

  • Bryan Graham
    Reply

    Thanks for this. There is no place for this sort of attitude in the BC community. Lately, Colorado has exploded in population making everything from single track to parking spots a contentious issue. I am a native, and it is hard to drive to old camping spots that I have stayed in for over 30 years,on a Friday only to not find a spot because it is brimming with cars. However, while our neighbor is working hard to sell it’s public land off, Colorado has protected land because it’s people value it. This is surely because many of the people moving to Colorado do so for our public land, which has tipped the balance in favor of land protection. Look I have a hard time seeing my lines get skied out too, I think we all do, but the land was here before us, and will be long after were gone, so stop trying to own it. On the contrary, dont post locations on social media people.

  • mk
    Reply

    DanO – Did you happen to mention how you found out about the location? You don’t mention that above.

    You were a visitor to a place where you are a stranger and had insiders information to a spot that you would have otherwise never have found on your own, and you feel that telling them “to stuff it”, then threatening to post on line was an appropriate response and way to best manage the situation?

    If your day sucked after that encounter than part of that is on you.

    • Jack Smith
      Reply

      mk- Its irrelevant who or how he got the information about the spot. That doesn’t change that its still public land and he has the same right to be there as anywhere else. Whether he found the spot by luck, info from a stranger, or discovered it yourself. Most likely those ‘locals’ didnt discover the spot someone else told them about it.

      For instance, what if it wasn’t a stranger but his cousin who grew up there, who gave him the info. Does that some how make it more ok for him to be there? How many experiences would you have if the bar was “otherwise never have found on your own”?

    • DanO
      Reply

      MK- No, I didn’t mention who had given me the info on that spot. Why would that matter? They did not ask that question in a friendly or mild manner. Their posture and language was like bullies on a playground. Their super-agressive behavior didn’t warrant any explanations of anything.

      I was given the info by someone who knew I was a catch and release guy who would not abuse the spot, and would not share the info without his permission. I respect secret spots and I like them. Had they not acted like this NATIONAL PARK was their fiefdom, that they had some inherent right to question me like they were cops rather than fellow anglers, I would have offered them their choice of pools and eventually we would have talked about how I ended up there and agreed to keep it secret. My threat to hot spot the location was empty, just not my style, but they didnt know that. The fact that I felt I had to walk up to the cares behind them to get their tag and make sure they didn’t vandalize my car says it all. These two were A Holes, not because they were locals or even that they felt it was their hole. Their ACTIONS made them A Holes. I’ve fished all around the world and most anglers are great about sharing and being polite. These guys were the exception. If you feel they were in the right, all I can say is “you had to be there”.

  • Aaron Johnson
    Reply

    I can understand the locals point of view, and even tolerate their methods of keeping a pristine area hard to find through removing signage and being secretive. What I can’t understand or accept is a blatant negative attitude towards an outsider who has done the research and made the effort to find and ride the area/break. I’ve surfed for almost 40 years and have seen the ugly selfishness and violence of localism more times than I would like to remember. It’s childish and disrespectful of everyone in the lineup, and it typically ruins the whole vibe for the session. I really hope this doesn’t happen with backcountry skiing and split boarding. A smile and a wave goes a long way people, let’s keep it fun and positive out there!

    • natek
      Reply

      well said.

  • Jeff
    Reply

    Only thing that says the same is the fact things are always going to change 😉

    People will come. Lots of them. BC skiing is inherently harder, as the article does a good job at implying. But yeah, its only going to get more popular, not less.

    The only thing I’d like to point out that this fails to mention is the uprising of “newer” back-country skiers. Skiers who perhaps aren’t as well versed in the trade of alpine skiing, forgoing the traditional path of learning at a resort, honing the required skillset for a decade before jumping past the ropes.

    This is the undercurrent, that in my opinion, has served just as big of a catalyst to the riff. People who might be more of a “liability” out there, not observing all the BC travel etiquette and safety protocols making it a bit more dangerous than it otherwise should (or would) be.

    But yeah, nobody owns it! Come one. Come all.

    • Stovepipe
      Reply

      Right On Jeff !

  • Nick K
    Reply

    “In a time when our country’s administration is seeking to alienate and exclude certain sectors…”

    I’m not at all a fan of Trump and strongly oppose his Muslim ban… but I really wish the above line weren’t part of the article. Adventure Journal is a place I go to escape politics, and the article 100% works already without the injection of a Trump reference here.

    • Adrienne
      Reply

      While it’s often uncomfortable to see a reference to Trumpism in an article like this, it was actually quite useful as it made me consider my own tendencies toward Nativism which I hadn’t truly scrutinized and the hypocrisy of slamming others for their nativism while also trying to protect my secret spots. Great article. Thanks for helping us all be more aware of our actions.

  • Michael Sanchez
    Reply

    I have always laughed at what a mean spirited bunch the “locals’ are in their surf spot. I have been threatened at the beach by these loud mouths. It got to me so bad that I finally stopped surfing.

    Luckily, I still have rock climbing and backpacking. Everyone is always helpful. “Hey did you try this climb or that hike?” they would say. Climbers even share knowledge and their ropes: you climb on my anchor while I try yours. Everyone says hi and you might even meet up again and end up being friends.

    What’s funny is once you move to a beach town from the city you now consider yourself a “local.” However, the other locals might not see you that way just yet.

    This article is right, Nativism does not belong in our outdoor sports locations where we go to be in our happy place to enjoy our favorite sport.

    Peace out

  • Kathryn
    Reply

    What exactly do you mean by harassment, heckling, and hassling? And what actions by neighbors are some long-term residents embarrassed by?

  • Rick Armstrong
    Reply

    So what is my experience there? I grew up in the four corners area, Durango to be specific, and I think my family is now on it’s 6th of 7th generation there. I also have many of the first ski descents of the high peaks in that area, a few of us did those back in the mid-eighties when I was but a pup and there really wasn’t many doing that kind of back country skiing. I know the location because I also have had many friends that have lived in said valley.
    So what do I know about localism? We’ll I was lucky enough to move from that area to Jackson Wy. I soon became friends with the JH locals and they shared their spots with me. We formed a bond and brotherhood and sisterhood around the shared experience. We had each others back. The rule was to not talk about certain areas for multiple reasons, one being, the areas where in closed (which is no longer the case.) second being we wanted people who knew what they were doing back there, thirdly to keep it from getting over run. As time went by that same brotherhood got together and fought to open our boundries to give all access. Sometimes, I do look back and dream of those days of secret untouched powder for weeks after a storm. Sure, now I have to go a bit further for the same experience, but many other people have gotten to experience the beauty of that place. It is my hope that each one of them is inspired by the breathtaking beauty that is held within that special place and they come to a mindset that makes them want to protect these environments for future generations. I have taken hundreds of people back to these places over the years and for that I have no regrets. Sharing those experiences has made my life better and hopefully made those peoples lives better.
    In closing, localism is what messes up surfing in so many places. We as a community cannot let that happen to skiing. It has no place. If you feel the need to be alone, feel free to ask me, I have a stack of topo maps I have collected over the years and I promise you I can send you to a place where you won’t find tracks or people.

  • Charlie
    Reply

    I think there is a bit more to this. Our country and people in general are becoming more angry and self centered. I live in an awesome surf town where this same localism culture as been around for many years. I stopped surfing in my area because I just didn’t want to be around these type of people or associated with this type of culture. Kudos to the people that want to fight this trend.

  • Jared Bella
    Reply

    This is a great article, we’re working on a similar situation in Taos, it’s different however with a similar entitled attitude from certain persons is present. After decades of specific individuals working with the ski partrol here creating a “ski patrol vs. the locals” attitude towards skiing in the backcountry; they have been ducking their own ropes and skiing in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness for years and at the same time chastising locals by pulling their passes and threatening some of us with bannishment from the mountain and arrest – which they cannot do, only federal citations can be written fro illegally crossing ropes, which the US Forest Service has stated previously is entirely legal to do along a boundary just not closures within a ski area’s permitted operating area. This attitude needs to end, there are no “secret lines” on OUR Public Lands, at the same time these lands are not meant to be private and exclusive access points for billionaires and their buddies to enjoy. If it’s on public land managed by the US Forest Service and or BLM, EVERYONE has the same rights for Equal Access! If you’re interested to read more about our developing situation in Taos Ski Valley, check the Community forum on NNMAE.Org.

  • FaceOnMars
    Reply

    First and foremost, I’m sorry to hear the author encountered negative waves in what ought to be a positive experience for anyone seeking to access the backcountry. Likewise, anyone who assumes any sort of “quasi authority” to thwart another’s right to access to public lands ought to be called out for sure! I suppose it would be difficult to write an article such as this and name names, but I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be more appropriate than citing an entire “unnamed” town? Maybe it just couldn’t be avoided in effort to tell this story and an “unnamed” town simply had to suffice.

    Having said that, this article definitely made me think about my own mind’s tendency to sometimes connect “dots” with respect to larger constructs that might not substantially exist in reality, yet I’m convinced there’s something larger at play behind the scenes. Not trying to say whatever happened or has been happening at said location was not real or significant, but rather that it could be far more the exception to the rule if you truly flushed out the perspectives of all town residents and visitors alike. On a similar note, maybe what might be perceived as an “institutional bias” by the town might actually be an effort to regulate as fairly as possible in the midst of a growing tragedy of the commons with respect to limited parking. If said “town” is truly more of a “settlement”, perhaps it doesn’t have the resources to create more parking and simply needed to hit the “reset” button to make the best of the existing resources it can offer to visitors. If we’re talking about 3k horizontal feet to a trailhead, does not the issue then boil down to a matter of convenience?

    Regardless, there’s absolutely no excuse for anyone (or any entity) to try and buffalo others away from fair and reasonable access to public lands!

  • Dylan
    Reply

    This article would have some merit if it were remotely true. I live in the valley and the picture is of my truck. The “Locals Only” tag was a joke written by a friend because I was parked at the trailhead instead of at my house a short distance away. It’s called sarcasm. Anyone who thinks the localism is getting bad in this area was not here in the 90’s when there actually was some, often misinterpreted, localism. Now I would describe the opposite. There is even a sign welcoming skiers and telling them where to park (that sign would not have lasted 5 minutes 15 years ago). I believe the author is confused by some new parking regulations the town is trying to enforce keeping skiers from parking in roadways. Turns out the snow plow needing to be able to clear the streets is more important than visitors parking within ten feet of the skin track. No doubt the recent popularity of back country skiing has led to a major increase in traffic in the area, but all things considered there is very little conflict between residents and users. I didn’t see any examples of the harassment in the article. Were folks harassing the author for skiing or for where they were parking?
    On another note, to compare the reality immigrants are facing under the current administration to the “vibe” (too many edibles?) some privileged Telluride skiers feel when they exit their comfort zone is a joke. no explanation necessary.

    • LG
      Reply

      Well said bro

  • Paul Emrick
    Reply

    Heather

    It would appear you are more interested in stoking a fire than trying to chill a situation that you are implying is contentious.

    I will comment on your article in the order you wrote it:

    The sign that is no longer on the highway was constantly being taken out by cars that ran off the road. Maybe some folks have stolen some, but I’ve lost track of how many times i’ve seen it plowed into by cars driving too fast on the slick highway.

    Myself and my neighbors are constantly giving people directions, I don’t know of anybody intentionally giving wrong directions, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

    Of course some people that live in this beautiful valley would love for it to remain undiscovered, can you blame them? But, aggressively trying to keep people out is extremely hypocritical. The Utes were here before us, and who knows who was here before them. Nobody owns the wilderness.

    The town doesn’t “technically” have a mayor and town manager, it has a Mayor and Town Manager, and a general assembly that cares very much for the valley, it’s citizens, and it’s visitors.

    We don’t go to great lengths to keep it a mystery, it takes no effort to just not advertise something. The only efforts involved are those that spread the word by spraying all over the internet. I understand that is the age we live in. If you discover a hidden gem, great. I also understand sharing it with your friends. But why advertise it for all to see? Part of what makes a gem special is putting the effort in to discover it. I suspect the spraying for all to see has to do with pumping up one’s own ego.

    I’ve been skiing in the valley for 24 years. I was gladly shown the ropes, and have shared my knowledge with countless people. I have not experienced the hyper localism to which you refer. The only bad attitudes I have experienced were those of new visitors who seemed very defensive to be engaged by another skier. The BC ski community is just that, a community. We rely on each other for information about conditions. We help each other when we or others are in trouble. We count on each other to make decisions that don’t endanger others. The way we ski in this valley has evolved over decades of experience, there is a method to the madness that isn’t instantly obvious to the first time visitor. So if a local engages you about skiing, be open and ask questions, you just might learn something valuable. Maybe it’ll save your life, someone else’s life, or keep you from putting a skin track in a glade that would have otherwise been an enjoyable ski.

    Maybe there are some locals that are giving the attitude to which you refer, if so I apologize for them. From my experience, the way you are characterizing the situation is radically exaggerated. There is no place for hostility in the back country. Unless, of course, some one is making decisions that endanger other people (which you might not even realize you are doing if you don’t take the time to learn about the terrain).

    The “passive aggressive” notes on cars you refer to were printed by the town under the town letter head, as requested by the snow plowing crew. I, among others, were asked to help educate people about where it’s ok to park. It’s not just skiers either, a number of local residents can’t seem to keep their cars off the road and they get the same flyers. As a town we spend an inordinate amount of money to plow the roads and allow people to get to work and school on time. The only reason the general public has such close car access to these beautiful valleys is because we pay to plow the roads. So, yes, it amazes me when people are politely asked to park an additional couple hundred yards away so that the plows can do their job, and they refuse. The car problem was exactly that, a car problem, not a skier problem. Every town has parking issues. We worked with the local ski access group to come up with a solution that gets people a place to park and stays out of the way. The valley is actually a home to many people and a skier access second. We have every right to ask people to park where we need them…

    When people are ignorant of local customs (i.e. parking in the way etc), wrecking trails, putting trails in poor spots, it pisses people off. When people are respectful and try to learn the customs, they are welcomed. People are naturally protective of their special gems. If you show them respect, display a willingness to learn from them, and just be cool, you’ll be amazed how eager they are to share it with you.

    So if you run into me out there touring: give a smile and ask, “hows it going, where are you planning on skiing?” I might just share a hidden gem with you, or offer to let you park in my driveway as long as you leave your keys on the seat. The hills will only get more crowded, it doesn’t have to suck if we can all just be cool.

  • Todd
    Reply

    Being both an employee and resident of said valley, I would be really interested to know what experience the author had that has lead to what is seemingly a non-sensical and unsubstantiated article. It sadly deviates from the tenets of journalism and goes more toward “fake news” which seems to be a catch phrase used by the current administration. That is the only similarity I see in her writing with regard to the valley, its would be visitors and the current state of affairs surrounding exclusionary practices. Perhaps making some inquiries and doing some research could’ve lead to better more accurate reporting.
    Like any other municipality, we are looking to protect the safety and welfare of our citizens. That simply means, park where you are being directed to park and be considerate of those that live here.

  • Kyle Ledeboer
    Reply

    Great article, but none of this is going to matter if we don’t take immediate action towards the current political situation that threatens all of us.

  • Hopper
    Reply

    Reading some of the locals’ comments here reminds me of the situation in St. Mary’s – where the “town” is trying to close access to public Forest Service roads, and force people to park in their privately owned lot which requires a fee to use. That town has signs posted along the roads saying they’re closed and not open to drive on or to park on. These roads access public lands on which historic mining claims had been staked and worked for decades, The roads themselves are meant to be managed by the US Forest Service. It’s not legal what the town of St. Mary’s is doing, restricting access to public rights of way in this manner.

    I don’t know if the community mentioned in this article is conducting themselves in the same way as I’ve only driven past while heading to Silverton or Durango and never had any personal experiences there. It sounds like their concerns are about plowing and keeping the public rights of way clear, and a parking area is available that allows people to park close enough to, but not right at a known access point. If that’s the case, fine. If what the author of the article was saying is true, maybe everyone should take a step back and consider how important it is to not obstruct or attempt to restrict access to public lands even in a tiny localized community such as this one where the locals seem to feel it is “their” community, even as they choose to live in a small town surrounded by public lands. Looking at the maps of this area it appears the valleys mentioned are part of the Uncompaghre National Forest and hence managed by the US Forest Service, maybe it’s time for the Forest Service to build an established trailhead and maintain it so access points are clearly open and unobstructed, and people can park where it won’t interfere with the community’s road maintenance.

  • Mark
    Reply

    I am disappointed that Adventure Journal would publish this article that is clearly uninformed and based on assumption. To those of us who live in the valley that won’t be named, the story is a misrepresentation. I haven’t heard rumor of harassment by local skiers in a long time. Granted, I don’t hear it all and “localism” is an issue to some extent everywhere. But in this piece, the author is missing a key part of the story, having decided that emotion and exaggeration rule over fact.

    The town in question is an actual municipality, and it actually (not technically) has a mayor and a town manager, as well as resident plow drivers, who are hard working and underpaid staff members. Actual friendly, funky, people live here, with a growing herd of rosy-cheeked kids, in densely zoned homes on narrow, snow-drifted streets.

    If the author of this article, who apparently lives nearby, had taken the time to meet and talk with the town’s mayor or town manager, she may have learned a few things that might have balanced her journalistic approach to this topic. A key part of the story is that the town has a legitimate problem with all the vehicles that come with the backcountry enthusiasts. Unlike neighboring ski towns, the town is not set up as a tourist town, nor does it want to be. In those towns parking is a challenge. There is almost nowhere you can park for free, and often even locals have to drive around for quite a while to finally find a spot to park, quite a ways from where they want to be, and then pay to park there.

    The town being criticized in this article for its localism now has parking signs out. This is because over the past few years there have been so many out of town cars randomly, even thoughtlessly, parked wherever seemed convenient. The situation has gotten so bad at times, that snowplows have been unable to clear the roads and make them safely passable for the families who live here and are trying to get their kids to school and themselves to work.

    The town has realized it needs to take control of the parking situation. Epic signage and metered parking have been discussed. So far, the town has decided to go with portable signs that clearly ask people not to park on the roads but rather in the large plowed out area at the beginning of town that welcomes non-residents. Rather than issue tickets for those who don’t respect the town’s request, or have those cars towed, the town has opted for education, using a windshield flyer that is not “passive aggressive” at all. It is clear, informative and reasonable to anyone who doesn’t have an innate sense of entitlement:

    “Backcountry Users: Please no parking on town road right of ways. Please use the designated parking area at the edge of town on the south side of the street across from the maintenance barn. We would like to do our best as a community to provide adequate parking for backcountry travelers. Please help us maintain our ability to provide snow removal and access for emergency vehicles. The town and its residents greatly appreciate your cooperation by parking in the designated area. Have a great winter! Thank you and travel safe!”

  • Lou
    Reply

    Locals are people who can’t afford to travel.

  • nate
    Reply

    Oh for chrissakes, a little non-violent localism never hurt anyone.

  • LG
    Reply

    This article seems way out of proportion to what goes on in Certain Valley (that’s the name it was given in the 90’s when the last article like this was written). They had a parking issue, the Telluride Mountain Club and the town’s staff worked out a solution that helped alleviate parking problems in neighborhoods and still offers skiers a place to park near the trailhead. This was done with the good will of the town, they wanted to solve the problem, and did. Thanks Town. Otherwise, if you act cool, people will be cool to you. This is a universal truth. Try it.

  • Brian Mohr
    Reply

    Ummmm…Time to go skiing.

  • Ted Compton
    Reply

    Certainly localism is not “ruining” skiing; and the valley is definitely not “remote”; but how else do you get someone to read your essay. While the essay itself probably creates more problems(animosity) than it solves I do appreciate the discussion it generated. The main thing I’d add is that local-ism and a**hole-ism are two different things. Locals are awesome if you put in enough effort to get to know them and respect their home and the efforts that they invest to develop the recreational resource that non-locals get to use. They are a valuable resource from which you can gain 20 years of experience in just a few conversations. But watch out; it’s pretty easy to turn a local into an a**hole if you don’t show respect…or if you write mean things about them.

  • JohnQ
    Reply

    California’s Eastern Sierra have plenty of unnamed valleys to spare, so we all share, happily. CA>CO. How’s that for nativism? 😉

  • m r
    Reply

    There are more people born every day, that means more people, doing everything! Driving, skiing, surfing, consuming, climbing mountains, using computers…People have a right to live the lives they were given and did not necessarily ask for. We are born and then we have to figure out how to live. People need to explore and experience the world for themselves. Hopefully, we can do it in a way that doesn’t damage things for others. Until there are fewer people (?) everyone is going to have to get used to sharing! I dont think it is simply a case of the common lament; “skiing (or surfing) has become so popular!” There are just more people. People populate. Maybe we can all take a look at how we view these activities and what they mean to us, individually. I have “shared” a few mountain adventures on social media, but have come to realize that for me, getting into the back country is more of a private, quiet, solitary thing. I think all these comments contribute to a better understanding of how we all do things for different reasons.

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