Dolores LaChapelle of Silverton, Colorado, died January 22 at an advanced age. (She was still skiing deep powder in her seventies.)
She begins the preface to her 1992 deep ecology book Sacred Land, Sacred Sex: Rapture of the Deep: Concerning Deep Ecology and Celebrating Life by stating that it does not fit into any categories:
it's neither psychology nor philosophy, neither history nor anthropology--not even social anthropology. It's most certainly not "eco-feminist," "new age," or "futurist." Yet it takes in all this and much more.
So did she.
The University of Utah has an online collection of her skiing photographs. She was a pioneer of ski mountaineering, among other things.
The Durango Herald ran this feature article about her in 2002.
LaChapelle became renowned in skiing circles for her powder skiing prowess. [While at Alta] she even earned the nickname “Witch of the Wasatch” for her uncanny ability to predict storms.
Look at her article "Ritual is Essential" for an understanding of how she connected human ritual with living "in place"
Ritual is essential because it is truly the pattern that connects. It provides communication at all levels - communication among all the systems within the individual human organism; between people within groups; between one group and another in a city and throughout all these levels between the human and the non-human in the natural environment. Ritual provides us with a tool for learning to think logically, analogically and ecologically as we move toward a sustainable culture. Most important of all, perhaps, during rituals we have the experience, unique in our culture, of neither opposing nature or trying to be in communion with nature; but of finding ourselves within nature, and that is the key to sustainable culture.