Bio – Medium Length

Lou Dawson and

Louis (Lou) Dawson
Born: 1952
Home: Carbondale, Colorado.
Favorite Mountain: Mount Sneffels, Colorado.
Interests: God, family, computers, old Jeeps, history, photography, music, reading, building things and of course mountaineering (especially of the skiing flavor).

Please contact Louis Dawson by using the contact link in menu above.

Lou Dawson during Trooper Traverse re-creation.

Lou Dawson during Trooper Traverse re-creation.

Mountaineer, writer and photographer Louis Dawson climbed his first peak at age nine. Since then his mountain adventures have ranged worldwide. In the 1970s and 1980s he made his living in outdoor education and as a carpenter. During that time he did a notable amount of pioneer rock and ice climbing in Colorado, then combined his ski skills with his mountaineering savvy to become one of Colorado’s most prolific ski mountaineers and backcountry skiers.

More than three decades ago Dawson began his career in outdoor media with the publication of his first book, Colorado High Routes (re-editioned as Dawson’s Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, and now out of print).

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame for his contributions to Colorado backcountry skiing, including his being the first person to ski all 54 of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks.

Hall of fame, Louis Dawson

In 2005 Lou was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.

Lou’s writing is soulful, insightful, and at times controversial. While much of his work is basic exposition of mountain routes and equipment, he’s also known in the backcountry skiing community for his history and opinion writing. In the 1980s and 1990s he reviewed backcountry ski equipment for Couloir Magazine, specializing in highly technical randonnee ski bindings. He also works as a website creator and publisher. His own website,, is famous among backcountry skiers for its tips and details about backcountry skiing equipment, and for Lou’s backcountry skiing weblog — the first such blog for North America.

Lou Dawson backcountry skiing.

Lou Dawson ski touring in Europe in 1980s.

Dawson is the first man to have skied down all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks. His grand adventure began with a ski descent of Castle Peak in 1978.  He soon added a few others to his list, then in 1987 he set out in earnest to ski them all.  He accomplished his goal in May 1991 with a climb and ski descent  of Kit Carson Peak in the Sangre de Cristo range of southern Colorado. A few of the “fourteeners” offer wide and gentle ski slopes, on others, Dawson contended with pitches of 45 to 60 degrees.

Dawson still does a prodigious amount of ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing, but says he does not consider himself an extreme skier. He climbs and skis the high peaks for the joy of exploration, spiritual awe, athletic challenge, and fellowship with family and friends. “Nobody does what I do for bragging rights,” he says. “It is too hard and it’s too dangerous — you’re there for other reasons.” You get a feel for those reasons when you enjoy Dawson’s words and images.

Following images are copyrighted and for media use only, by

download high-res print tif version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian

download high-res print JPEG version of Dawson ski photo, credit Brian

download high-res print version of Lou mug, credit Joe McBride

download high-res print version of Lou portrait, credit Brian Litz

download high-res of Lou portrait, Denali 1973, credit Louis
Dawson collection

download high-res Lou portrait, Denali 1973, blue parka, credit Lou Dawson collection.

download high-res shot of Lou’s first peak, age 9, credit Craig Dawson Sr.

download high-res shot of Lou skiing Crestone Needle, credit Glenn Randall

download high-res shot of Lou during Elks traverse 1979 –
8 MB Tiff version
(credit, Lou Dawson collection)

download high-res shot of Lou powder skiing in 1980s, credit
Michael Kennedy

Recent Posts from

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's personal website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name Lou Dawson as used here for authorship and content creation is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

We include "affiliate sales" links within this website. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click to a shopping cart from our site (at no cost to you). We also sell display "banner" advertising.

Ski Touring and mountaineering are dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information, news and opinion on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.