Friday, November 24, 2006

The enemy of wilderness?

Regular blog readers and ski fanatics may recall that world-class Aspen skier and all-around badass Chris Davenport is trying to ski all Colorado's fourteeners in one calendar year. He's been climbing them all via his own power (no helicopters) and filming each descent with the help of various buddies.

He is putting the footage together for a commercial movie about skiing the fourteeners. (Hey, even a pro skier has to put food on the table, right?)

But there's a problem. According to a post on Lou Dawson's blog,,
U.S. Forest Service does not allow video footage in wilderness areas, where many of the peaks lie. It breaks the wilderness rules of not bringing mechanical devices into a federal wilderness. Read Dawson's Rant here.

The rules are somewhat inconsistent. Still photos are fine. GPS and cell phones are permitted (just look around any 14er summit on a summer afternoon) but apparently video is not.

Obviously, the rules are set up to protect the sanctity of wilderness. Allowing wilderness areas to become the sets of big movie productions would be a mistake, but it's hard to see what harm a few human-powered backcountry skiers with hand-held camcorders pose.

Dawson says lawyers are talking with lawyers, and the outcome of the footage is uncertain, but for now it can only be shown privately.

Meanwhile, Davenport is still skiing. He has less than 10 peaks to go. Check out his progress here.

1 comment:

Zen said...

The answer would be requiring commercial permits for video productions. That way the feds can control the size of video operations.