Andrew McLean in the Wrangell-St. Elias Range. [Photo] Jim Harris
Editor's Note: We're recommending Andrew McLean to the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame. Share this around if you agree.
Dear Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame Committee Members,
There are few people in skiing who embody not only what is great about the sport, but also what’s great about humanity. Andrew McLean is one of those rare breeds. And, given his resume in the mountains of Utah and around the world, that’s a surprise to some people. I know it was to me. See, most ski mountaineers with his kind of pedigree are supposed to, like, sprinkle nails on their oatmeal and enjoy watching others suffer in their afterburn. Not Andrew.
I first met him at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow some ten years ago. I don’t remember what booth. Upon our introduction, I couldn’t help but thinking, “no way.” For those of us into ski mountaineering, or just plain old skiing really tough stuff, Andrew is a leader, if not a legend. So when I met this short, skinny little dude with a brimming smile that was wider than the waist of his skis (he’s notorious for skiing short sticks) I marveled at his meekness and his humor. (That and he wanted to take me skiing in his beloved Wasatch).
Showing people the way is what Andrew is all about: Whether it’s through a guidebook, or a slideshow, as an expedition leader, a backcountry touring partner or simply as friend, Andrew is utterly about sharing the places and the powder he loves. He doesn’t covet lines; he interprets them. Then he beckons us through his writing (or in person) to experience them. It’s why Andrew’s written for Backcountry Magazine and many other skiing publications for a dozen years and more. It’s also why, when Backcountry recently published its Icons Issue (January 2013, Issue #91); no one got more ink than Andrew.
I hope you’ll consider inducting Andrew McLean into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame. For me, he’s already there.
And, to borrow Andrew’s signature: “Happy Turns,”