Steamboat snowcat outfitter suing former guide claiming backcountry stashes are ’trade secrets’
The Colorado Sun
DENVER — Stephen Bass approached Andy Sovick last year with a plan for writing a guide to snowmobile-access skiing around one of the most popular backcountry destinations in Colorado: Buffalo Pass.
Bass, a ski patroller at Utah’s Powder Mountain ski area and a guide for two seasons with Steamboat Powdercats, said the book would “help organize crowds and help move people around more safely.” He said he wanted the book to offer not just route names and navigational tools, but “unwritten etiquette rules” about accessing public lands that are used by a commercial outfitter.
Sovick’s Beacon Guidebooks offer detailed photos, maps and terrain tips to popular backcountry ski zones in Washington as well as ski lines around Crested Butte, Silverton and Berthoud Pass in Colorado. He said authors who approach him often focus on areas with “lots of traffic, lots of users and lots of confusion.”
“I said awesome, let’s write a guidebook because this area needs one,” Sovick said.
Steamboat Powdercats, which has ferried skiers into the powdery terrain around Buffalo Pass for almost 40 years, doesn’t see the guidebook as helpful. In a lawsuit filed seeking to temporarily halt publication of the guidebook, the company argues Bass, who left the company on good terms last year, is using proprietary information and “trade secrets” for personal gain.
The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Resort is a national example for how to make snow while protecting its local river, according to Nancy Smith, director of external affairs in the Colorado River Program for The Nature…