Avalanche Dreams: A Ski Mountaineer’s Life

As a kid in Texas, Lou Dawson pored over his father’s mountaineering books. When his parents uprooted the family to live among Aspen’s 1960s hippie counterculture, the obsessed teen seized the chance to explore the magnificent peaks. And once he discovered the addictive rush of powder spray and the mountains’ dizzying heights, Lou’s lifelong affair with the all-consuming thrills of climbing and skiing—one that included no small amount of tragedy and pain—began. In a rich selection of images from his coming memoir, Avalanche Dreams, Lou will look back at his coming-of-age in Aspen: the good days, the avalanches, the sadness, the humor. Then comes Lou’s career as a ski mountaineer: he was the first person to ski from the summit of all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. Throughout all this, the avalanches never stopped. In 1982, Lou experienced what was nothing more than a part of his chosen lifestyle: a near-death avalanche ride down Highland Bowl, when it was still a dangerous out-of-bounds run, permanently closed to the public. In closing, Lou tells of his re-creation of the Trooper Traverse, the winter route from Leadville to Aspen skied by 10th Mountain Division soldiers in 1944. And time willing, he will cover his 2010 return to Denali, a climb and ski descent he was able to share with his son on his twenty-first birthday.

About Potbelly Perspectives

ACES’ Potbelly Perspectives speaker series features Aspen locals and visitors who share their exciting accounts of world travel and adventure through images and stories. This series provides an opportunity for community-building and story-telling that engages Aspen locals and visitors alike. Hot tea, cold beer, and light snacks will be provided.

Thank you to Aspen Brewing Company & Capitol Creek Brewery for their support!

Avalanche Dreams: A Ski Mountaineer’s Life


Free for members, $5 for non-members.

Sold Out- Waitlist Closed Click Here to Become a Member
March 1, 2023 from 6–7pm


Adult, Adults


Hallam Lake