Colorado High Routes — Dawson’s First Book


(A note from Lou Dawson)

Hello, and thanks for visiting

Lou Dawson's first guidebook.

Lou Dawson’s first guidebook.

Colorado High Routes, published in 1985, was my first guidebook. It covered backcountry skiing in the Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte area, and was well received. It was also the first guidebook for the 10th Mountain Huts, and the first Colorado guidebook to cover “real” ski mountaineering and modern “European” style ski touring, rather than nordic style skiing on low angled terrain.

A few years after publication, the original publisher decided to let the book go out-of-print, and the rights to publish it reverted back to myself.

A new edition was published in 2001 and re-named as Dawson’s Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, Vol. 1. The book was vastly improved. It had almost twice as many routes (for a total of about 200), and covered a greater area. What’s more, the new book was the definitive guidebook for the Alfred Braun hut system and Friends Hut.

Around 2014 the new edition, Dawson’s Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, WENT OUT OF PRINT. It is now partially ported to the web at

For research purposes or if you must have a copy of the original High Routes or the later edition, I can supply Xerox copies for $75.00 each. Also, many libraries still have copies of the book, and you may be able to find it on the used market. Be advised that the old High Routes contains much out-of-date information and should be only be used for historical reference or as a collector book.

Thanks for your interest and support,

Lou Dawson

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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.

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