Sep 08 2013

Intro: Backcountry Talk forum on E.Y.T.com


Screen grab of the new Backcountry Talk forum on  Earn Your Turns.com

Screen grab of the new Backcountry Talk forum
at Earn Your Turns.com

When I first began spreading the news about earning your turns in the backcountry it was via a crude newsletter that was Xeroxed and sent to about 50 people under the title “le Chronicle du Couloir.” A lot has changed since then, but not my interest in promoting this activity. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last person to recognize the value that comes from exploring our world on a pair of skis.

Since that crude newsletter the magic of the internet has crashed upon the world and made it possible for like minded people to share their experiences and pose questions among their brethren. Some of you already noticed, but there are some new links at the top of this website. The latest is the addition of BC Talk, which is short for Backcountry Talk, a new forum associated with this website.

In time I hope you will transition from lurker to member, then pose a question, or review some gear, or tell us where you been, or where you’re going. Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to tell us all about yourself, but it’s a tighter-knit community that can’t prevent a personality or attitude from sneaking through if you post enough. Besides, inquiring minds want to know, where you been skiing, biking, hiking, or rafting?

Assuming you are game to join this forum, I’ll say right up front this is created and maintained for a community of backcountry skiers and riders. As such, it will not be run as a one man show, but as a collective effort from active members. If you’re so inclined to help out and be a moderator, tweak the look, or implement new functions, drop me a PM.

Forum Decorum
Anyone who knows my reputation knows my aversion to discussions that devolve into ad hominem attacks and slanderous accusations. It is why the old Couloir discussion forum languished. There’s a good chance this one will too, at least from a popularity perspective. But that isn’t the purpose of launching a forum section to accompany EarnYourTurns.com.

That doesn’t mean I won’t attempt to take advantage of some potential from that. Which is to say that yes, because it can attract a crowd, this forum will play host to some bar type area where pretty much anything goes. However, in the long run, you can’t have no rules with no consequences. There are boundaries that will need to be drawn down the line to determine how crazy you can get there, but I’m willing to wait and see on that first.

Keep in mind, courtesy and deference are the oil of society. If you can’t be yourself, at least try to act like you would in person. If you don’t mind a little debate and sparring of ideas, places, and equipment then your controversial opinions are welcome, even invited.

You don’t always know how much of a jerk someone is from their first public utterance. Even if it be true, after observing the morality that rises up from the community and peer pressure to reign it in I’m inclined to leave a long enough leash on everyone so that they may hang themselves by their own words. Nonetheless exceptions will arise. One already did. Somebody thought there were no rules.

If you want to talk endlessly about gear, or ask questions about your next purchase, by all means, ask away. There is already a decent group of experienced BC skiers waiting to bounce ideas off of, plus the usual assortment of oddballs that always show up on the internet. Just don’t ask anything about bacon, okay?

Trip Reports

This image fills the browser window to about 1200px wide. IFF your browser can handle it.

This image fills the browser window to about 1200px wide. IFF your browser can handle it.
The bigger your browser window, the bigger the lightbox.
BTW – that’s Danno in Japanno.
click to enlarge

In the end it isn’t about how you go, but where you go. That’s what provides the foundation for adventure, heading out and seeking what beckons yonder. The story unfolds as you break trail through the mountains. How you go may add flavor, even spice the trip up a bit, but getting out there is what it’s really all about.

Therefore the main purpose of launching these forums is to provide a better place from which to post your trip reports. I think we all love admiring the photos and variations in prose, from excessive to absent, and dreaming about being there too. From my experience with other forums, dealing with photos can be a PITA. Not so much merely uploading them, but in styling the presentation.

As a publisher it’s important to me to make the presentation as beautiful as possible. Creating a consistent style is part of that presentation. So are big photos. Big photos cause pages to load slow. The web provides the solution with “lightbox” plug-ins that display the photo small on the page, but can blow up to full size by clicking on them. That is what the backcountrytalk forum will provide. Plus many hungry, always critical, internet eyes. I hope you take advantage of it and get the world stoked on why you earn your turns!

© 2013