Dolores LaChapelle (July 4, 1926 – January 21, 2007)

Delores LaChapelle sitting by a river

by Steve Meyers

Probably best known to the world as a pioneering skiier of the American west, LaChapelle was also a pioneering voice of deep ecology, joining Gary Snyder, Arne Naess and others giving shape to deep ecology in the 1960s. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Denver University in 1947, she began a life-long career related to skiing as an instructor at Aspen. In 1950 she made the first ski ascent of Mt. Columbia, the second highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and the first ski ascent of Snowdome, the hydrographic apex of the continent. Her books include Earth Wisdom (1978), D.H. Lawrence: Future Primitive (1996), Sacred Land, Sacred Sex: Rapture of the Deep (1992), Deep Powder Snow: Forty Years of Ecstatic Skiing, Avalanches, and Earth Wisdom (1993). In the late 1960s, Snyder became one of the founders of deep ecology, along with Arne Naess, Bill Devall, George Sessions, Dolores LaChapelle, Alan Drengson, Michael Zimmerman, Robert Aitken.

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