sharing the human-powered ski experience

by donny roth


Inspire exploration of the snow-covered landscape and...

self discovery.


There is more to skiing than simply going down hills.  It's not all about the down, nor is it all about the up.  Human-powered skiing requires the fitness and patience to ascend to the goal; the experience to manage one's own comfort in an often harsh environment; the ability to descend in unmanaged conditions; the skill to navigate wild terrain safely; and the wherewithal to make the correct decision in a dynamic environment.  Human-powered skiing is more than an athletic pursuit – it is an endeavor.  

Independent Descents is a website that honors this endeavor.  It is dedicated to the pursuit of traveling in the mountains under our own human-power – physical, mental and emotional – in attempt to capture the ephemeral sensation of floating through powder on our way down a mountain.  To do this without mechanical assistance, without the safety net of a on-location rescue service and without the comforts of an urban-like infrastructure, this is a different game.  In reality, it's not about conquering the mountain, but rather understanding ourselves.  

The reward?  Independent Descents.  

My name is Donny Roth.  I am a passionate skier, focused solely on human-powered skiing.  I am an AMGA-certified ski guide and an ambassador for the sport.  This website is a collection of essays and photos inspired by my adventures big and small.  There are links to my guiding services and social media outlets.  It's a way for you to get to know me.  Hopefully someday I will get to know you.


Independent Descents uses social media in a variety of ways.  The original, current content begins with Instagram.  The combination of an image, a bit of narration and very little commercial intrusion is awesome.  FB and Twitter are used to share this micro-story, as well as the stories of sponsors or friends.  Follow ID on your favorite form of media - and don't hesitate to participate.  It's way more fun to create dialogue.  

You are welcome to send me an email.  Write to:



Or give me a call:

(970) 497-4132


(I apologize that neither of these are hyper-links, it dramatically reduces the spam I receive.)


The Human-Powered Blog

As an ambassador for human-powered skiing, one of my primary roles is to inspire others to find adventure of their own.  I am partnered with a handful of companies which share my vision.  These sponsorships bring you this website, allow me to create adventures to share, help me give presentations and appear at events, and also allow me to share great gear deals with clients and friends.  I am proud of my relationships with the best in the business.  If you have questions about their products or service, give me a shout.

Donny Roth

certified ski guide and avalanche forecaster

ambassador for human-powered skiing

sponsored athlete

Got skiing dreams?  Let's make them come true!


Crested Butte


The San Juan Range

December and January

April and May

August through October

Human-powered Adventure

Unique Itineraries

Small Groups

World-Class Service


Kyrgyzstan in February (2015)

Canada in March

Alaska in Early April

Norway in Late April