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In praise of Mitch

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  • In praise of Mitch

    First, a little background on the genesis of this forum.

    There is no question the inspiration for this forum is Mitch Weber's world famous TelemarkTips and its associated TelemarkTalk forum. As I mentioned in my obituary of the site, Mitch showed all of us what the power of the web could be in terms of bringing like-minded individuals together in a virtual room to share stories, questions, photos and videos. He was way ahead of me in terms of realizing what could and would be done.

    He also knew how to be abrasive, and loved to stir the pot of controversy. My first reaction was to think what a jerk he was, that is, until I actually met him and we went skiing together. That's when I realized we were both backcountry skiers, telemark skiers in particular, and kindred spirits, yet competitors.

    Being a competitor can get in the way of a friendship, but it doesn't have to. I like to think we easily got past that. One of the things that is great about Mitch is his blunt honesty. This is what set the tone for telemarktips to be so refreshing. In print sometimes that honesty can sound a bit harsh. As the ttips forum showed though, if people were willing to explain themselves, that honesty usually had a good result.

    One of the things I disagreed with Mitch on, but in time grew to admire and respect, was how well he managed to moderate things without being too restrictive. I still think he was a bit too permissive, but his hands off approach allowed the flames of passion to fuel threads and conversations that prudes (like me) would have killed at birth. In the long run this allowed ideas to be floated that never would have seen the light of day AND over time the community itself learned how to moderate or temper those who were offensive.

    That will be the goal here, to apply a light touch of moderation.

    I don't know all the reasons why telemarktips was abandoned. I have my own speculations, but those will remain private. What was evident over the last year was that, for whatever reason, the wheels were falling off telemarktips and the ship was going down.

    During the last six months I had conversations with a few of the regulars at TTIPS about starting my own forum in association with EarnYourTurns.com. I was reluctant for several reasons but decided to go ahead anyway. My prime motivation was and is to create an easier way for people to join in the broader conversation about what is going on in the world of backcountry skiing. In my mind the pieces were already there with EarnYourTurns.com. Based on results though, that wasn't true. There remain folks who like the forum atmosphere. It makes it easy for just about anyone to join and say whatever they want. Unlike Farcebook it is easier to anonymous. This can be good and bad. It can make it easier to say things that you might not have the courage to say as yourself. This is a double-edged sword. With good moderation, the pluses outweigh the negatives.

    Will this forum be different? Of course, but hopefully the community atmosphere and passion can be repeated, after all, I've rarely met backcountry skiers I can't share the trail with.

    Goals
    One of my primary goals is to provide a more organized collection of trip reports and to make it easier to upload images. The latter will take some time (hint: and programming help), the former just a bit of administration to make sure reports are 'filed' appropriately.

    In either case, I want to extend an invitation to Mitch right up front to join this community and return to providing your insight, humor and light touch in participating here. I'm sure your first reaction will be a prideful "No Way!" I hope you'll let that pass. We have skied together and enjoyed it. We even talked about working together once upon a time. That never transpired and my guess is you weren't willing to give up the reigns of control. Trust me, I know how that feels. I can also tell you it is liberating to not have to deal with all the backend work, or the ultimate responsibility of a website and generating revenue or content. So as a friend I hope you will accept this offer in the right spirit and if you decide that TTIPS can't or won't be resurrected you are not only welcome here, you have a special invitation to join.
    Ain't no turn like tele!

  • #2
    Ok I am here- let the games begin!
    Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

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    • #3
      Hey.

      Thanks Mitch for ttips. Guess we are all movin' on. Hopefully "Smile on your brother" continues here.

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      • #4
        That Mitch was always grinning. Recently learned in a TED Talk (by Ron Gutman) that smiling actually releases endorphins that help you feel better. So, I expect Mitch is smiling and feeling fine.

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        • #5
          I'm pretty sure I have met more good friends through Telemarktips.com than through any other groups/association in my life, including schools (with the possible single exception of law school). For that, I am eternally grateful to Mitch for the community he created. The greatest loss from the demise of TTips would be the loss of opportunity to meet so many others whom I feel I have begun to know but have not yet met in person. Hopefully, this forum will continue that opportunity, as well as provide that great source of ideas and information on every topic imaginable, as was often the case with TTips.

          Thank you, Mitch,

          Party on!

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          • #6
            Way to go Craig. Glad to be here. Let the partay begin! Now we just need enough content that google sends new users for us to abuse. Bwahahahahahahaha.

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            • #7
              Stoked to see this come around and talk about timing...Let the party begin! Great to see that all us freeheel crazies still have a home! Thanks Mitch for starting the party and Craig for bringing the next keg! :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baaahb View Post
                I'm pretty sure I have met more good friends through Telemarktips.com than through any other groups/association in my life, including schools (with the possible single exception of law school). For that, I am eternally grateful to Mitch for the community he created. The greatest loss from the demise of TTips would be the loss of opportunity to meet so many others whom I feel I have begun to know but have not yet met in person. Hopefully, this forum will continue that opportunity, as well as provide that great source of ideas and information on every topic imaginable, as was often the case with TTips.

                Thank you, Mitch,

                Party on!
                Well said.

                As for this forum and its need, I enjoy TGR and will always be a regular contributor there, but TTips was always complementary to TGR for me, they each had their strengths, and losing that side was, well, a loss.

                I still feel a certain debt to Mitch and if TTips is resurrected, I will probably abandon this place, but for now, I'm willing to give this place a shot.

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                • #9
                  TTips Refugee logging in, did a bit of lurking on TGR, Jerks like Rog and a few others quickly pushed me away. Hanging on a site with
                  little boys who can hide behind an Avatar so they can say the F, C, B words without their mommies and wives catching them gets boring quickly.

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                  • #10
                    Yet another ttips refugee (though I have not actively participated for a while). The testosterone levels over at TGR were too much for me but I did hear about this new forum while lurking there. When ttips was in full swing, Mitch presided over a real community, for which I thank him. Hopefully this new forum will be both a continuation and a new beginning.

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                    • #11
                      yaTTr - though minimalist on the posting front.

                      I somehow inactivated my t-tips account in April when I tried to update my email on my profile and after numerous attempts at re-registering, etc. gave up the ghost.

                      anyhoo, now that t-tips appears to have moved on to greener pastures (rip), I am hopeful that this site (or another) may rise from the ashes . . .

                      CHEERS!

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                      • #12
                        Sorry to see TTips go but glad to see you guys have taken up the challenge. Thank you!

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                        • #13
                          Mitch, I appreciate everything you did to make TTips what it was. I learned more about gear on your site, than anywhere else. It was a most valuable resource for a gear whore like me. Thanks for always answering my private messages. I guess now you won't have to referee a bunch of kindergartener's. I hope you're well...
                          the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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                          • #14
                            Mitch knows how I feel about him but I'll say it just for the record on this forum. Mitch has been a great friend to me over the years. I have had the pleasure to meet and ski with him and Big Tim on multiple occasions. I am proud to call those guys my friends and am eternally grateful to them both for giving us so much. I feel they are appreciated more than they know. Thanks for a wonderful ride!

                            And thanks to Dostie for putting this option out there for the community to gather around and move forward!
                            Last edited by cesare; 26 August 2013, 03:27 PM.

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                            • #15
                              The tele community has been one of my "churches" ever since I discovered Telemarktips, and I will always be grateful for the friends I found there and the experiences we have shared. Thanks, Mitch, and Big Tim, and Gwen, and everyone else who made that place so remarkable.

                              Onward into the future!

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