Making an assumption based on experience, it seems most people who get after it in the backcountry, whether on skis or snowboards, have heard of Teton-based Steve Romeo and his website, TetonAT.com. The news of his passing, along with ski partner Chris Onufer on March 7, 2012 in an avalanche, was spread far and wide.
One of the many questions facing Steve’s family after this event was what to do with his website and its contents. To dispose of the website’s contents – words, pictures, and videos – would be akin to Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ having been pulled from the shelves following her untimely passing a month after its U.K. release. Considerable debate ensued about how best to handle the matter, but ultimately the decision rested with Romeo’s family.
Fortunately, following some months of thought on the subject, it appears they’ve definitively chosen to archive the contents. That’s great news for anyone looking for beta on Teton ski descents – forever relevant, even as the gear reviews and other industry news fade in importance.
A look at TetonAT.com now provides a different experience than what readers became accustomed to. Gone are the sponsor’s ads, and the new theme colors present the site’s info with a certain subdued look. Also, at least on my Mac, the columns are squashed so that the links in the right hand column meld into the pictures and text of each post. (Hopefully that changes..)
Perhaps most immediately noticeable is the site’s credo change. No longer does a visit to the site immediately flash up a ‘Live to Ski’ slogan at the reader. In its place is a new phrase, ‘skiing is all that matters.’ I’m not sure how I feel about that. Immediately, I think that skiing was way up there on the list for Steve, but so too were his girlfriend, ski partners, friends, family, job, and his site, amongst other things. Perhaps those other important things are just meant to be understood or implied. And from there, skiing is what mattered most to Steve of all the things that he did. Good enough.
A look towards some of Steve’s favorite ground, the Northern Tetons.
Regardless, what remains is a testament to both Steve’s love of skiing and the Tetons. Nice work, and thank you, Steve, Elaine, Lisa, and Jennifer & Michael Higgins. I’m grateful the resource remains. Steve created a great resource, which I still reference from time to time. I’m certain I’m not alone.
Last, if you haven’t visited Steve’s site in a while, you might be interested to know that his family has established the Steve Romeo Memorial Fund. Donations to this fund go towards some of Steve’s favorite causes, including ski mountaineering instruction and safety, avalanche awareness and safety, and environmental and conservation issues, amongst others. Check it out and chip in a few bucks if you’ve got some to spare.
Addendum: Upon a visit a day later, Steve’s site has re-gained its former appearance. Not sure if someone is trying to get a new layout online, or if there was simply a glitch in the Matrix in past days. Not sure where ‘skiing is all that matters’ came from, though. Maybe one of Steve’s old slogans, presented by the ‘glitch,’ or perhaps it will represent the future visitor’s experience.. Stay tuned, the answers will probably present themselves.