Let me start by addressing some selected points that have been brought up:
1. The whole idea of "paying your dues," in reference to the schwack, the huff, etc: The use of language here - the term "payment" - seems to suggest that, by by paying one's dues, one has earned a right, or an entitlement, to enjoy a certain wild place. But no such "payment" has been made; the schwack (or lack thereof) affects only the schwacker himself. In fact, to place some ethic of deservingness upon a wild place which, by itself, has no such ethic, is to lay claim to the place. Mother nature has no notion of deservingness, and to say that one person does not deserve to enjoy a place as much as another is incredibly selfish.
2. There are legitimate, practical, and non-theoretical arguments against the open dissemination of information about backcountry skiing, in regards to the quality of skiing itself. Many are concerned that the unbridled distribution of information will lead to a diminished skiing experience for those already in the know. Fundamentally, they're right. But it's an open question as to how much of an effect these internet posts really have. Some feel the effect is drastic, others feel that it's negligible; and the real answer is somewhere in between. So it's in the interest of those in the know to do what they can do slow the distribution of skiing information, and I understand that. I even partake myself. However, I see this as selfish: by preserving the quality of our own skiing, we're hiding a world of fun from many others.
3. There's also an environmental concern here, although I'm not much worried myself. As I see it, non-trimming backcountry skiing traffic has a pretty low, largely acceptable, and hopefully sustainable level of impact, although I'm no expert. Even at popular places like the Teardrop and Big Jay (pre-swath), the problem is minimal. As I see it, slightly increased traffic in currently quiet areas is unlikely to have a large effect.
And now for the rant:
I understand, guys, I really do. For us, the ones that know, our snow is better off when it's hidden from those that don't know. But it's that attitude of selfishness, and the unwillingness to share, that greatly disappoints me, and it's one of the reasons that we don't have a good community of backcountry skiers in this state. Climbers share, and they have a thriving community here in Vermont. It's even got a heirarchy of experienced climbers who share their skills and their favorite places with less experienced folk. We're ages from that here in the skiing world. Personally, I have no BC ski community - I grab my skis and go, and if I'm lucky, one of my close friends will come along for the ride. This list is the closest thing I've got, and I haven't skied with any of you, ever.
Don't expect people to follow some community ethic when they're not part of any greater community. Maybe a little more openness is what we need to forge one. That's where I stand.
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