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Doug Stenclik, co-founder of Colorado retail shop Cripple Creek Backcountry, recently purchased WildSnow, the blog dedicated to the niche sport of ski touring and splitboarding.
The new team, with founder Lou Dawson still heavily involved, is busy gathering its pool of writers from around the globe and scheduling out a content calendar with consistent columns like Tuesday tech tips and Friday trip reports. Stenclik’s podcast “Totally Deep” will also be folded into the blog.
While the retail shop and publication will operate independently, Stenclik hopes that by cultivating WildSnow as a comprehensive resource for beginners and experts, his shop will benefit from the continued growth of backcountry touring.
“What I’ve always been most interested in is making the sport more accessible to new people,” Stenclik said. “For years, I wanted to consider myself a backcountry skier but had no idea how to go about doing it. So my idea is really growing the base of the pyramid and having that funnel up to the most specialized side of it, which is what we deal in.”
Cripple Creek Backcountry was founded by Stenclik and Randy Young in Carbondale, Colorado, in 2012 as the first ski-touring-specific shop in the country. They now have locations in Aspen and Vail, and key brands include Dynafit, Scarpa, DPS, Salomon, Atomic, and Black Crows Skis.
Dawson founded WildSnow in 1998. Over the last 20 years, Dawson and his group of guest bloggers have published more than 4,000 pages of ski touring related gear, opinions, recipes, and more.
Stenclik started contributing to the blog several years ago. He said him and Dawson have talked about the change in ownership for about two years. Stenclik is taking over the behind-the-scenes operations and facilitating PR and media relations.
Manasseh Franklin was brought on as the editor-in-chief, bringing years of experience in skiing, education, and media together for a dream job.
“Ski touring has been growing so much,” she said. “I’ve worked in media quite a while in a variety of different media settings. I’ve also followed WildSnow for a while. Thinking about what kinds of fully comprehensive resources there were, we saw the need for something that was really accessible to the backcountry crowd.”
It’s possible at some point that they’ll start a print product. But for now, Franklin said, they’re dedicating energy to the website.