Short story is I joined epicski.com site in 1999 when it was the Barking Bears Forum. I joined to argue about ski technique.
Back then I was toasted all day every day and it showed.
I showed up to a few epicski.com Gatherings stoned out of my mind. For one that I can remember, I was on LSD. There’s at least one more I don’t remember.
I was a shit head at the Gatherings, make no mistake about it. I went to pick fights, I went to show off. I got banned from epicski.com years ago.
Since then, I’ve made some amends. But some there are still living in the past. Hey that’s life, right?
As part of my living amends, I’ve turned a few people on. I’ve shown them skiing they never would have seen otherwise. We’ve shared our home. I didn’t do it to make friends, but I have become friends with one couple. They’re really fun, we enjoy their company.
Yesterday this couple turned me onto a friend of theirs who was coming to this years Gathering in Aspen. Their friend wanted a guide for yesterday at Aspen Highlands. I was happy to show them the goods, because any friend of this couple’s is a friend of ours. This guy got the goods and more, as you can read. It was so cool, I was tickled. I love to share.
I had offered to take a group around Highlands yesterday but I got gonged from insiders on epicski.com.
When I found out I had been gonged my feelings were c’est la vie, anger and sadness.
C’est la vie because some folks live in the past, they see things one way for ever. Anger because no one likes to be told they’re not invited. Sadness because I felt bad for the others at the epicski.com Gathering who traveled to come here, who may never come again, who weren’t going to get the experience my new friend did.
There’s no doubt about it, I still have lingering stuff to work out about epicski.com. I can live in a healthy way, but I can still have my feelings. Which are, epicski.com is a trove of terrible information — particularly on technique and equipment. It’s pretty much a good ‘ole boys club, dominated by a few loudmouths. Epicski.com blocks all conversations about Harald Harb, they’re guilty of truth in advertising. There’s no color or colorful characters on epicski.com yet skiing is a sport of color and colorful people. In many ways, epicski.com is a snapshot of what ails us today.
So yeah, I got issues with epicski.com. All I can do is move my feet.
Yesterday on the Highlands shuttle bus we chatted with 4 other epicski.com Gathering attendees. My new friend was talking up the great day he had. As my new friend was talking, I couldn’t help but notice the looks on their faces. I could see they wished they had skied with me. They asked if I was coming today and if I’d show them around.
I couldn’t make it today, work calls. When I got up today I thought about the folks on the shuttle bus and the other folks who were at the Gathering. I felt sad for them, I was pissed that epicski.com politics and stubbornness kept us apart.
So I wrote this email. I sent it to contact emails I mined from the epicski.com website. Names have been redacted, a couple of minor edits.
Time has a way of sorting things out, of separating truth from fiction.
I was SCSA on the Barking Bears forum. I think you know this.
I hope you’ll share this with others on epicski.com.
I’m contacting you regarding who’s ever decision it was to not let me take a group around Highlands yesterday.
First of all, I don’t want on epicski.com. My feelings about the site and social media in general are very clear on my blog.
I’m not contacting you to spam you, or bitch. I’m too old, life is too short. And I’m not contacting you to apologize for anything. I make my amends with my feet, not my mouth or keyboard.
Over the past 3 years now I’ve shared my love of the sport with *name and now *name. All three are members of epic. I met them all from coming to Gatherings. I’ll note that I was not made to feel welcome at any of the Gatherings where I met these fine people. I’d say it was cold shoulder, at best.
Since meeting *name at a Gathering three years ago in Utah I’ve shared my home with him and his wonderful partner *name. I’m proud to call them friends, they’re welcome here anytime. My good friend Jonesy, a 2nd generation Eagle County local and Aspen Highlands ski patroller took them out to East Vail. He took very good care of them, watched over them like they were his own.
I met *name last year in JH. We brought him back with us to Eagle. I shared my home with him, my wife cooked for him. We took *name to lines at Beaver Creek he never would found on his own.
*name turned me onto *name, who contacted me to ski with him.
Yesterday the epic group was skiing the obvious lines, all the stuff you can see from the chair and that’s on the map. Meanwhile, *name and I were skiing lines that weren’t on the map, that only hardcore locals know of.
We skied knee deep fresh snow, but it hadn’t snowed in 3 days. Not only that, Jonesy took us to a line that I had only skied once in 15 years — because it’s so hard to find.
*name got the gold medal tour. He skied lines others didn’t. He skied with an Aspen Highlands patroller. He got the true locals experience and more. I helped him with pictures, I was constantly asking him how he was doing. I made sure he could always see me. I haven’t talked to him, my bet is that his experience yesterday is indelible.
I wish I could have shared what I did yesterday and others on epic. In fact I offered to.
Sadly, I was blocked from doing so.
*name contacted me about leading a group at Highlands a few months ago. I was happy to do so, because that’s what I love to do.
Then he contacted me a week or so ago and told me I wasn’t welcome to guide, “because of 2004”.
Who’s ever making the decisions on epicski.com to keep me out, who made the decision to nix me from guiding yesterday, is living in the past.
They’re not hurting me. No, they’re hurting epicski.com community members who traveled miles to come here, maybe for the last time. They’re literally robbing epicski.com members of skiing memories to last a lifetime.
Because every dedicated skier that I know of who travels somewhere, wants a guide to show them the lines they otherwise wouldn’t have found. They want the “locals experience”. They want the goods. They want to make a new friend, someone they can ski or even stay with the next time, if they’re fortunate enough to come back.
Influencers on epicski.com blocked that from happening. Ostensibly because of ideas about me that aren’t real, that were formed a long time ago.
For blocking me from sharing what I did with my new friend yesterday, epicski.com influencers should be ashamed. They’re living in the past. Not only that, epicski.com is guilty of truth in advertising and more.
No one owes me an apology.
Instead, epicski.com influencers owe an apology to all the epicski.com members who traveled to Highlands yesterday.