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Sit Next To Rosa Parks At The National Civil Rights Museum


The Montgomery Bus Boycott exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum features a vintage city bus. Visitors can go inside the bus and sit next to a figure of Rosa Parks.

In 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis became America’s first major museum to paint a broad picture of the civil rights movement. Its content hasn’t changed much since then. But this Saturday after a nearly $28 million renovation that took 18 months, the museum will re-open with a new design that aims to appeal to an older generation as well as a post-civil-rights-era audience.

About 200,000 people each year file into the courtyard of what was once the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. They gaze at the second floor balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before he was assassinated.

That site marks the epicenter of a cultural earthquake. Executive director Beverly Robertson said it was time to take a fresh look at the civil rights movement through the eyes of the people who gave it life.

“We recognize that it was the everyday regular old person who said, ‘I’m going to take a stand for justice,’” she says. “And they stood up, and they spoke out and they made a difference.”

To inspire the conscience of a younger generation, the museum first had to find new ways of getting inside its head. Over 20 years ago, its founders covered the walls in text to make up for what they thought was missing from history books. But students today, with Internet access and shorter attention spans, were skipping past big chunks of history.

“We had to blend history, technology, information boards, artifacts, audio, video to create what we believe is an engaging museum,” Robertson says.

The new exhibits immerse visitors in major chapters of the movement. They can sit at a segregated lunch counter, in a courtroom, or on a vintage city bus next to Rosa Parks. News reports and famous speeches fill the air with urgency. One highlight remains the same: the hotel room where Dr. King spent his final hours. For curators, the biggest challenge was relating all of this to a post-civil-rights-era audience.

“For an older generation, the master narrative says that we are moving toward overcoming — for a younger generation it is that we have overcome,” says Dr. Hasan Jeffries, an associate professor of history at Ohio State University.

    ~~~~    READ MORE/LISTEN    ~~~~

San Juan Mountains 24 hr. Storm Totals~~ Thursday, April 3, 2014~~11:00

Moist and energetic flow continues to favor RMP and north for snowfall, with widespread sluffing in the Gorge.

Snow totals as of 7:30 this AM.
24 hr snow/water
Monument 10″/.7″
RMP 7″/.5″
Molas 5″/.45″
CB 9″/.75″

The Existential Photographer/Selfie

(apologies to Vivian Maier)

Leica 75-1000852

Aspen artist, photographer, gentleman, skier extraordinair~~Bernie Arndt


Bernie Arndt as a teenager.  Billy Roos center.



Kayenta Red @ Aspen 3.31.14~~ Bernie Arndt


San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast~~Monday, March 31, 2014~~09:15



If you compared snow accumulation with dust from yesterday’s storm, there is probably 1″ of mud. The ferocious winds carrying desert grit (SIGN OF THE TIMES) did a lot of damage to our snowpack that will help melt our Snow Bank prematurely this spring.  The weather this week into Thursday looks like a spring mix. Wind/snow/rain/sleet with occasionally warm temps. & clearing skies.

By tonight the jet will push the next low pressure trough into Colorado on SW flow with precipitation favoring the central & northern Colorado mountains leaving the San Juans warm and windy with possibly another round of dust, but not like yesterday’s event.  The NW trough will be the weather producer through Thursday, morphing from a closed-low to an open trough bringing the SJ’s unsettled spring action with more wind and some moisture. Maybe see 2″ of new by tomorrow.




San Juan Mountains Weather/Dust Storm Update~~Monday, March 31, 2014~~08:25

pink-capsThe mountains received more wind than snow out of this storm. An unhealthy dose of dust accompanied the ferocious south winds yesterday, late afternoon into the evening. Wind speeds have decreased, but remain gusty. Yesterday 1 hour averages ranged from an amazing 50-61 mph with several hours of gusts into the 90s and a peak gust of 102 mph. 




Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come


Greenland’­s immense ice sheet is melting as a result of climate change. Credit Kadir van Lohuizen for The New York Times


YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.

Organic matter frozen in Arctic soils since before civilization began is now melting, allowing it to decay into greenhouse gases that will cause further warming, the scientists said.

And the worst is yet to come, the scientists said in the second of three reports that are expected to carry considerable weight next year as nations try to agree on a new global climate treaty. In particular, the report emphasized that the world’s food supply is at considerable risk — a threat that could have serious consequences for the poorest nations.

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the intergovernmental panel, said at a news conference here on Monday.

   ~~~~    READ MORE    ~~~~


U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities

“The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans” and the world is mostly “ill-prepared” for the risks that the sweeping changes present, a new report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

The report also wastes no time in pointing a finger toward who is responsible: “Human interference with the climate system is occurring,” reads the first sentence in the scientists’ summary of their work.

As NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel tells our Newscast Desk, the panel “includes hundreds of scientists from around the world. Its past reports have made gloomy predictions about the impact of climate on humans. This time around, they’re also trying to prepare us. Chris Field, the co-chair of the new report, says improving health systems, making transportation more efficient, and beefing up disaster response can make a difference.”

“Things we should be doing to build a better world are also things we should be doing to protect against climate change,” Field says.

In the summary of its findings and recommendations, for instance, the panel suggests that ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency, switch to cleaner energy sources, make cities “greener” and reduce water consumption will make life better today and could help reduce mankind’s effect on climate change in the future. While all people will continue to feel the effects of climate change, the report concludes that the world’s poorest populations will suffer the most from rising temperatures and rising seas unless action is taken.

Still, The Guardian says the report concludes that climate change is “already having effects in real time — melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters. And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said.”

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” says Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC.

The BBC calls the report “the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world.”


    ~~~~    READ / LISTEN    ~~~~



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Sometimes its too much, the drama~~Bernie Arndt

Pyramid Mkiii 3.29.14-0531-Edit

One Documentary Later, Rumsfeld’s Inner World Remains ‘Unknown’


Donald Rumsfeld, shown here on a 2006 visit to Iraq, was the Secretary of Defense during the beginning of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Errol Morris spent over 30 hours interviewing Rumsfeld for his latest documentary.

Filmmaker Errol Morris is famous for trying to get inside other people’s minds and understand the motivations behind the choices they’ve made. In his most famous film, The Fog of War, Morris sat down one-on-one with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to talk about the decisions McNamara made in Vietnam. During the course of the conversation, McNamara makes the stunning admission that some of his actions amounted to war crimes.

In his new film The Unknown Known, Morris takes the same approach with Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense who oversaw the U.S. war in Iraq. He saw with Rumsfeld for hours and hours of interviews. But this time, his results were different — and much more disappointing.

Morris talks to NPR’s Rachel Martin about why Rumsfeld, despite being cooperative and sincere, was a frustrating, difficult man to interview.

                               ~~~~    READ/LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW    ~~~~

The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld (Part 1)

When I first met Donald Rumsfeld in his offices in Washington, D.C., one of the things I said to him was that if we could provide an answer to the American public about why we went to war in Iraq, we would be rendering an important service. He agreed. Unfortunately, after having spent 33 hours over the course of a year interviewing Mr. Rumsfeld, I fear I know less about the origins of the Iraq war than when I started. A question presents itself: How could that be? How could I know less rather than more? Was he hiding something? Or was there really little more than met the eye?

Many people associate the phrases the known known, the known unknown and the unknown unknown with Rumsfeld, but few people are aware of how he first presented these ideas to the public. It was at a Pentagon news conference on Feb. 12, 2002. Reporters filed in to the Pentagon Briefing Room — five months after 9/11 and a year before the invasion of Iraq. The verbal exchanges that followed provide an excursion into a world no less irrational, no less absurd, than the worlds Lewis Carroll created in Alice in Wonderland.

      ~~~~    READ 4 PART SERIES OF INTERVIEWS    ~~~~

A Borderline Where Women Bear the Weight


Moroccan women face a dangerous daily toil, carrying large bales of duty-free goods back from the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla.

MELILLA, Spain — It was 9 a.m., and hundreds of Moroccan women, many of them older, were already at work, bent over and straining, trying to inch up the hill to the border post here. Many had bundles as big as washing machines lashed to their backs.

Dozens of others, too afraid to go farther, waited off to the side with their packages, exhaustion and defeat on their faces. Up ahead, men in yellow baseball caps, some using their belts as whips, tried to control the surging crowds with little success.

“My children need to eat,” said one of the women, Rkia Rmamda, who was watching the mayhem and sobbing. “What am I going to do? I need to work.”

There is probably no more abrupt economic fault line in the world than the fences that surround Melilla and Ceuta, Spain’s enclaves on the North African coast. Here just a few rows of chain link and barbed wire separate the wealth of Europe from the despair of Africa. So faint a barrier it is, and so tempting to breach, that migrants from Africa regularly try to swarm the defense. The latest attempt was a coordinated assault by about 800 people who tried to scale the fences on Friday.

      ~~~~    READ/WATCH    ~~~~

THE NEXT PITCH by Peter Lev~~~A Mountain Memoir~~~Part III

Today, Sat. March 29, {early this week, it’s usually every Sunday} Rōbert Report will share Part III of The Next Pitch by Peter Lev & each subsequent Sunday morning, serialized just like the old pulp fiction novels of the 50′s or getting the NYT on your weekend doorstep, until the story is told. Or you can read it all at once by simply going to the hyperlink at the bottom of each week’s posting. I look forward to sharing Lev’s mountain adventures with you and believe you’ll enjoy the ride, this very cool trip with a real mountain person.




by Peter Lev


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Valhalla Canyon, far below Rick Medrick in Exum guide mode in the mid-1960’s, near the summit of the Grand Teton on the Owen Route in early season (in those days only the clients wore helmets). We learned the guiding craft from the more senior guides. It was very much a master/apprentice system. The main senior guides whom I worked under were Bill Byrd, Jake Breitenbach, and Barry Corbet. I learned Exum-style guiding efficiency and the many things which could make the difference between enjoyment on a climb for a client, or between life and death, including that of the guide. I also learned that when one is in a guiding situation, one has certain safety parameters to operate within, whereas – maybe – if you are climbing on one’s own, one might be more willing to push the envelope a bit. This was all part of my mountain education.

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Al Read, in guide mode 1960, leading the Double Crack pitch high on the Exum Ridge, Grand Teton

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This photo dates from the early 1980’s, and shows a group of Exum guides of that day going through the paces of the annual June training clinic. One’s peers also become mentors, whether one is conscious of it or not. Just like any population – or any group of climbers – there are different personalities. I found that with some of these guys (no women allowed in those days) I simply had a hard time and just couldn’t work with them. Bill Briggs was one such person, though socially and as friends I liked Bill, and Bill was hard not to like. Bill is in the foreground stepping down (we were all supposed to follow him). Bill was a great talent and was the first to ski the Grand Teton, but I just couldn’t handle Bill’s ‘style.’ To me, Bill was what I call a ‘guru’ personality, meaning around clients he was always on stage as THE GURU. When guiding, everyone around Bill had to dance to that tune due to the force of his personality, which for me was overwhelming. After a while I asked Glenn Exum to not send me out co-guiding with him.

Chuck Pratt, bald and in the green turtleneck standing in the middle back of the group, was someone whom I admired greatly and tried to imitate, both as a climber and guide (no chance of imitating his greatly superior climbing ability, however). Chuck was a master of simplicity and he significantly contributed to many of the Exum guiding techniques at that time. He was also a pioneer Yosemite climber, and in the 1960’s was considered by many to be the most talented rock climber in the country. He was also a very solitary person, but always seemed open to my visits and questions.

Jack Turner, seen standing behind Briggs to the right (in photo), was a gifted climber and congenial guide. He eventually became president of Exum Mountain Guides and deftly guided the management of the company through a painful transition from an aging ‘old guard’ to a younger group of new owners. Today he is a successful author.

Al Read, seen in the front far right of the photo, was the person who brought me to Exum in August 1960, as we had been climbing partners on a number of Teton climbs, including a new route on Mt. Moran’s No Escape Buttress. Later in 1963, we also were participants with other Exum guides Rod Newcomb, Jed Williamson, and Fred Wright, on our successful East Buttress Denali expedition. Al and I became very good friends, and were so for many of our Exum years. In 1978 Glenn Exum sold the business to Al, Rod, myself and Dean Moore (who we eventually bought out). Al became president of Exum and held that position for about 15 years, succeeded by Jack Turner. Sadly, a variety of circumstances arose during the later years of Al’s tenure as president which resulted in some Exum management disagreements. After so many years as friends, Al and his wife Susan and I had a falling-out. I wish I could have my old friend back.

Herb Swedlund is seen in the photo to the right of Jack Turner and in front of Pratt. Herb had also been a climbing mentor for me during my early visits to Yosemite. He was a very talented person on many other levels and had originally studied to be a concert pianist. However, he proved to be a very difficult person who became crazier over time, and a nasty racist who Glenn Exum even had to call out on one dramatic occasion. In the early 1970’s it was amusing to guide with him. For example: Herb to a client who was sliding dangerously down the snow slope above Spalding Falls on the way to the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton; “That’s right, just do it any old fucking way!” The client (a woman) was so shocked she recovered and arrested herself in the nick of time. Ten years later Herb was beyond the pale, and this kind of comment – and much worse – wasn’t funny anymore.

Don Mosman, seen on the far left in the photo, was a very tall, big, strong, and arrogant person—a bully in fact, as far as I was concerned. He was a talented climber and guide, of course, but not someone easy for me to be around.

Partly hidden in the background of the photo are two good friends and great guides, Dave Carman to the left, partly hidden behind Mosman, and Jim Kanzler to the right, between Herb and Al.

Jim Kanzler and I had lived and climbed in Montana in the late 1960’s. We also worked the rock climbing program together at Minnesota Outward Bound in the late 1960’s. I believe Kanzler was the first to import and use ‘nuts’ or chocks from Britain. As far as I was concerned, Jim was ahead of his time in the climbing world. Sadly, Jim suffered lifelong with many demons from his family past. He killed himself in 2010.

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Dave Carman and I developed and ran guide training courses at Exum for aspiring guides in 1970’s before the current national certification programs took hold. The photo above is on the summit of Mt. Owen during an early season guides training course, with the North Face of Grand Teton in background. We also developed the rock climbing program, along with Kanzler, at Minnesota Outbound School in the late 1960’s. I ended my guiding career at Exum in 2005, and continued on as a Director and partner until 2009. Dave and I officially retired together from Exum in 2009. This occasion called for a big bash at the Climbers Ranch, in summer 2009

                                  ~~~~    PLEASE READ MORE OF LEV’S ADVENTURES    ~~~~


San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast~~~Sat, March 29, 2014~~~10:20



A pleasant but windy day on tap with increasing clouds later this afternoon & tonight. Much like our Wed/Thur storm, vicious winds will again create another dust event putting desert grit in the air & snow mixing with Sunday’s precipitation. Currently a Gulf of Alaska system is merging with a low off the NW coast bringing moisture, colder air and typical spring weather into next week.

This unsettled atmosphere will impact the San Juans, favoring southwest through west facing aspects beginning Sunday afternoon/evening and continuing into Monday.  We could see 3-6″ of new snow from this spring storm.  Models are not in agreement on handling the next low pressure trough that is forming by mid-week, but show unsettled and wet weather through most of next week. Really enjoy the uncertain spring mix in our southern mountains.




Industrial Ski Tracks…Aspen Highlands by Bernie Arndt

…pick your poison

Winter Mtns Mkiii 300,70-200-0526-Edit

Humans’ First Appearance in the Americas

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In Piauí, Brazil, archaeologists say stone tools prove that humans reached what is now Brazil as early as 22,000 years ago, upending a belief that people first arrived about 13,000 years ago.

                                  ~~~~    WATCH VIDEO    ~~~~

Amid Chants of ‘¡Huelga!,’ an Embodiment of Hope Hero Worship Abounds in ‘Cesar Chavez’


Michael Peña as the title character, who led a grape boycott in 1965, in “Cesar Chavez.”


“Cesar Chavez,” directed by Diego Luna, is a well-cast, well-intentioned movie that falls into the trap that often awaits film biographies of brave and widely admired individuals. The movie is so intent on reminding viewers of its subject’s heroism that it struggles to make him an interesting, three-dimensional person, and it tells his story as a series of dramatic bullet points, punctuated by black-and-white footage, some real, some simulated, of historical events.

Michael Peña plays Cesar Chavez in a forthcoming film directed by Diego Luna.Cesar Chavez Film to Avoid Immigration DebateJUNE 12, 2013
In spite of these shortcomings, Mr. Luna’s reconstruction of the emergence of the United Farm Workers organization in the 1960s unfolds with unusual urgency and timeliness. After a rushed beginning — in which we see Chavez (Michael Peña) arguing in a Los Angeles office and moving his family to Delano, a central California town, before we fully grasp his motives — we settle in for a long, sometimes violent struggle between the workers and the growers. Attempted strikes are met with intimidation and brutality, from the local sheriff and hired goons, and Chavez and his allies (notably Dolores Huerta, played by Rosario Dawson) come up with new tactics, including a public fast, a march from Delano to Sacramento and a consumer boycott of grapes.

As is customary in movies like this, we see the toll that the hero’s commitment takes on his family life. His wife, Helen (America Ferrera), is a steadfast ally, but there is tension between Chavez and his oldest son, Fernando (the only one of the couple’s eight children with more than an incidental presence on screen). Fernando (Eli Vargas) endures racist bullying at school and suffers from his father’s frequent absences. Their scenes together are more functional than heartfelt, fulfilling the requirement of allowing the audience a glimpse at the private life of a public figure.

We also venture into the household of one of Chavez’s main antagonists, a landowner named Bogdonovich, played with sly, dry understatement by John Malkovich. He is determined to break the incipient union, and the fight between the two men and their organizations becomes a national political issue. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Jack Holmes) takes the side of the workers, while the interests of the growers are publicly defended by Ronald Reagan, shown in an archival video clip describing the grape boycott as immoral, and Richard Nixon. Parts of “Cesar Chavez” are as rousing as an old folk song, with chants of “¡Huelga!” and “¡Sí, se puede!” ringing through the theater. Although it ends, as such works usually do, on a note of triumph, the film, whose screenplay is by Keir Pearson and Timothy J. Sexton, does not present history as a closed book. Movies about men and women who fought for social change — “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is a recent example — treat them less as the radicals they were than as embodiments of hope, reconciliation and consensus.

Though Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993, has been honored and celebrated, the problems he addressed have hardly faded away. The rights of immigrants and the wages and working conditions of those who pick, process and transport food are still live and contentious political issues.

And if you read between the lines of Mr. Luna’s earnest, clumsy film, you find not just a history lesson but an argument. The success of the farm workers depended on the strength of labor unions, both in the United States and overseas, and the existence of political parties able to draw on that power. What the film struggles to depict, committed as it is to the conventions of hagiography, is the long and complex work of organizing people to defend their own interests. You are invited to admire what Cesar Chavez did, but it may be more vital to understand how he did it.



New Movie ‘Cesar Chavez’ Spotlights Chicano Movement Organizer

March 28, 2014 5:00 AM  Twenty years after the death of activist Cesar Chavez, he remains one of the most well-known Latino leaders in the U.S. He inspired the Chicano movement in the 1960s and 70s.

                                              ~~~   LISTEN   ~~~

‘Old Folks Boogie’



Little Feat comes to mind….’Old Folks Boogie’– when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill.



San Juan Mountains Snow/H20 Update from last night’s storm~~3/27~28/14~~11:00

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Profesor Tim Lane, Poet in Residence-Bar National – Santiago Chile, Avalanche forecaster/consultant for the Chilean mining industry, CDOT/CAIC intern forecaster (at 62) & legendary San Juan ski pioneer….

Ski cultures are territorial, especially the old ones. The locals band up like gorillas claiming large swaths of alpine territory. The troops get protective when others invade. Guarding the stash can become a way of life. The local chiefs are elusive and operate in the shadows. These full-timers are the real silverbacks. The local tribe knows more than god about the terrain and roams in the less obvious. Their timing always seems perfect as you gaze upon their tracks from a distant ridge and wonder. They lurk in the areas that we all want. They arrive there while we are drinking coffee. They have spent a lifetime looking for these places and have discovered them. The lines are not documented but recorded in the minds and verbal histories of the privileged. This is their land, their terrain, and you are a visitor. You might see their tracks, but sightings are rare. Tracking them can be dangerous prospect. They might feel hunted and reactions are unpredictable. You should stick to what you can ski from the road.

Lisa Issenberg – Artist, “Former” Ophircan and CDOT groupie.


This tribal phenomenon is rich in the Southwestern Colorado San Juan Mountains. This area is home to one of the oldest ski cultures in the country and is also one of the least developed. For example, there is no formal written documentation or publication of first descents and features are often unnamed; most significant information has transcended the generations through verbal history. At 13,000ft plus, alpine ridge crests develop distinctly segregated circles that separate the populations. This cultural division has always reminded me of the evolutionary history of minority groups in Southwestern China. Large groups of people separated by terrain that after thousands of years have distinctly diverged languages and traditions. Silverton, Ophir, Ouray, Ridway, Durango, Telluride all have separate castes of usual suspects operating in their respective terrain. They even have different names for the same futures seen from opposite sides. The explanation for this is simple. The terrain is constructed in such a way that discourages travel. One could ski tour from Silverton to Telluride faster than one can drive there. The biodiversity is limited. So is information sharing.

Asking about sking around the verbal history of the area is vague. I have picked up scraps of information in coffee shops, taverns, and road cuts. My casual research tells me the early ski explorers in this avalanche stricken terrain were some of the nations first avalanche forecasters hired by the state of Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and National Forest Service. Their job was to keep Highway 550 open for commerce. This effort was not in vain since during the winter of 2006 – 2007, CDOT triggered 464 avalanches with explosives for mitigation purposes. 159 of the controlled slides impacted Colorado highways. Veteran CDOT forecaster Jerry Roberts is a local living legend and wasAva mitigation philosophy, J. Roberts. Photo Johnathan Thompson part of the first the group responsible for most of original exploration and naming of the back country zones in the Silverton area in the late 60’s, 70′s & 80′s.  

                                            Señor Rō’bear

Due to the correlation with avalanche mitigation several of the ski runs here were named after slide paths that hit the highway. The only ski beta sold for years was the Colorado Department of Transportation slide path map. This is the most intact record of the San Juan ski history.

 The passes are still today mitigated by CDOT with artillery from a vintage Korean War howitzer.  One of the culprit paths is named “The Battleship” in its honor. Outside of these documented paths the consistency of names drift. Which name you use will indicate just how long you have been here. Roberts’s crew skied most of the drainages for better understanding of the continental snow pack.  Roberts stated ”We were not special skiers in any way, we were just the only ones exploring.”

The Battleship

Battleship-Tim Lane

The snow pack is technical. More, it is intriguing. To complicate matters there are six to seven micro climates in the San Juans that manipulate the weather. This is dependant on how the storm tracks into the range and how the mountains alter the air masses relative to the complex terrain. Telluride will get 15” and Silverton will accumulate 2” yet the towns are 12 miles apart as the crows fly. Truthfully, the opposite trend is typically the case, but Silverton wants Telluride to believe just what it needs to.  The local wind effect here makes it difficult to find the stashes at first. The wind here is the most powerful factor. Large wind events will strip windward faces to the ground. The snowpack will be transported in its entirety to the leeward aspect. This all making perfect avalanche country.

                                 Notorious San Juan Desperado

Nixon in Portillo

Contemporary bands of elusive locals from Silverton are the contributors to recent King Lines. Not naming names to protect the innocent, they can be found all living on one of the most unassuming back alleys on the other side of the tracks in the town of Silverton. They are a group of unsung heroes without team name or sponsor. They are tackling the never skied bold lines San Juans 13K peaks and taking the secret home with them. A few of them are responsible for a descent of Hunter in the Alaska Range. Mount Hunter is a entry test piece of American mountaineering to climb let alone ski. They sneak into the deep corners of the San Juans, redefine the standard, and slip back into town to saddle up to the Miners Tavern. That’s the way its been done here for decades and that’s the way the trend seems to remain. The most common trend in the terrain accessed from the Highway 550 these days is the presence of more people. The rapid pulses of public interest in back country skiing due to the advances in gear, media, and its availability are making places like the San Juans more accessible.                                                            

Helitrax, San Juan Ski Co, Adventure Guides are all services bringing the public into the snow. Andrew Klotz is the author of new guidebook “Cold Smoke” writes about San Juan backcountry and showcases 25 classic tours of the area. This book has had little effect on the true secrets of the area covering only few of roadside classics. Recently the town of Silverton has transformed from a mining boom town and has seen a resurgence as a ski advocates epicenter. The Elementary School even has PE classes on skis for local kids.  The sleepy town hosts collections of boutique manufactures like Venture Snowboards and Skis, Mountainboy Sleds, Montanya rum distillery, and the Silverton Brewing Co. The town’s exports have become cold powder, skis, split boards, local brews, and kicksleds

All of these factors are encouraging new activity to what is easily seen from the road and the ski are, bringing a new resident culture to the range with it. Yet, the core tribes of the range are still skiing the lines that have never seen second descents by outsiders. The silverbacks’ wish to keep it that way.  Approach at your own risk.

Written story by OR Brand Ambassador By Mark Allen, November 19, 2012.

A Chat with John Maloof: Curator of Vivian Maier’s Street Photography















We recently had the pleasure of talking to John Maloof, the young man who stumbled upon the work of perhaps one of the greatest unknown street photographers of the 1950′s. Maloof answered questions about Vivian Maier, the great responsibility he just inherited, and more.          ~~  READ MORE  ~~


‘Vivian Maier’ Zooms In On Nanny Who Was An Amazing Photographer

Finding Vivan Maier traces the life of a nanny who left behind a cache of 100,000 photos that earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the best American street photographers.

                ~~~~~~~~    LISTEN    ~~~~~~~~

A Mystery Woman’s Eye on the World~~A Documentary~~Looks at the Photographer Vivian Maier












Vivian Maier in one of her self-portraits. Credit Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection


In her self-portraits, the photographer Vivian Maier could be the actress playing herself in the movie of her life. She confronts the camera with utter self-possession. She affects an austere, distancing look. Her medium-format Rolleiflex is ever-present, slung around her neck, cradled at her sternum, capturing the image reflected off a store window or car mirror. Her clothes — broad hats and big coats, calculated to conceal — suggest a secret agent in a postwar film noir.

Though her game seemed to be the espionage of art, rather than the art of espionage, she called herself a spy and a mystery woman, according to those interviewed in the documentary “Finding Vivian Maier,” due in theaters on Friday. Its directors, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, try with admittedly mixed success to answer the central question: Why did a woman whom the critic Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times called one of “the great American midcentury street photographers” go totally unrecognized during her lifetime?

                                              ~~~~    READ MORE     ~~~~

San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast~~~3/25/14~~~14:00~~SNOW FORECAST UPDATE 3/26/14





Surely love these warm tenuous March days, even though it all changes in a matter of hours. Enjoy this beauty of a day because Wednesday will see increasing clouds and SW winds as another storm currently spinning off the NW coast of Washington/BC will provide snow & rain supported by a cold front lasting into Friday.

The low pressure trough carries the heaviest snow to the San Juans Wednesday night and may produce scattered snow on Thursday with a few more inches in the evening.  6-10″ of snow (maybe more in favored locals) possible on SW-W facing terrain above TL.

By Saturday a ridge of high pressure will build over the west as the jet brings a warm spring weekend or at least Saturday to the San Juans.


Tuesday morning water vapor map



New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It





Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates more than 500 cartoons submitted to the magazine each week.

Mankoff is proud of the many cartoons that have been published under his aegis. “Sometimes I take my aegis out of my drawer just to admire it,” he writes.

His most well-known cartoon shows an executive looking at his desk calendar, saying to someone on the phone: “No, Thursday’s out. How about never — is never good for you?”

The idea came to him during a phone call with a “friend” who couldn’t seem to find the time to get together, Mankoff tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I kept saying, Could we do it this time? Could we do it that time? And then I got exasperated with him and said, ‘How about never? Is never good for you?’ So, it was really a snotty line.”

When he adapted that quip into a cartoon, he “switched the position so that the guy saying it is in a position of superiority … because it makes it funny,” he explains.

He submitted that cartoon to The New Yorker in 1993. “It turned out to be one of the most reprinted cartoons in New Yorker history,” he says. “I don’t think most people know what’s going to be in their obituary, but I do.”

That caption is now the title of his new memoir, a book that traces his circuitous path to cartooning and the psychology of cartoon humor.


What Are You Doing?~~From friend Dick Dorworth’s blog

Posted on January 29, 2014

Many years ago I participated in a weeklong, intensive, silent, Zen sesshin that began each morning at 4:45 with 108 prostrations and included 10 periods of meditation interspersed with kinhin and ended at 9 p.m. with the last sitting. I’ve attended many sesshins and other Buddhist retreats, but an incident in the zendo from this particular one often comes to mind and I consider it an ongoing dharma lesson.
There were 30 or 40 students at the sesshin and about halfway through the week a small but significant episode took place. By that stage of any retreat most participants are usually fatigued, invigorated and highly tuned into inner space and immediate outer surroundings. It is a time when deep and repressed thoughts and feelings often surface. We were doing kinhin between periods of sitting, slowly walking with precise steps, evenly spaced in a line around the dimly lit zendo, each of us attending to our own practice, our own space and every breath of meditation. One could be forgiven for viewing such intense, peaceful, focused experience as the very essence of Zen Buddhist practice.
Suddenly, the silence exploded.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” a male voice boomed.
“YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! WALKING TOO SLOW,” another male voice replied in a shout.
A brief scuffle between two students about 10 people in front of me shattered the atmosphere of the retreat day. It was shocking and disorienting. For the next few minutes chaos and confusion prevailed in the zendo. The roshi intervened and escorted the two Zen combatants outside the zendo. Kinhin and sitting resumed. An hour or so later the roshi and one of the students returned to resume practice. The other student was not seen again.
What had happened was this: the accepted protocol during kinhin is that students keep the same space between them. Student A was in front of Student B and was, apparently, lost in his own thoughts and not aware that the space between him and the next student in front was larger than the space between the other participants. Student B, apparently, was not lost in his own thoughts but was acutely aware of Student A’s kinhin pace. To speed things up and to set them right, Student B violently shoved Student A from behind, almost knocking him down.
The roshi talked with the two and decided to exile Student B from the Zen center for a year and he was told to and did leave immediately. I do not know if he ever returned.
This event has come to mind many times in different circumstances and I consider it worth contemplating as an example of the dharma in action. How many times in our daily interactions with and observations of others do we have the thought, “YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT!”? And how many times each day do we think about others, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” And how often do we each give voice to those thoughts? And, then, how often (much less I would hope) do we give physical action, aggression, even violence to that voice, those thoughts? And how do we respond when they are given to us?
Deconstructing this incident or any confrontation in any of our lives, with the Eightfold Noble Path in mind is a useful dharma tool for better understanding. What part does right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration play in this incident? What can we learn and use in our daily lives from the actions of Student A, Student B as well as the roshi? Do you recognize yourself in the role of each of them? If so, what have you learned? If not, what are you doing?

 ~~~~    DICK’S BLOG     ~~~~