Infamous internet provocateur David Lesh will likely be facing fines and probation time for his social media antics. Vail Daily reports that David Lesh was convicted in federal court last fall to six months probation, one-hundred and sixty hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine. These penalties are from an instance back in April of 2020 when he snowmobiled at one of Keystone’s terrain parks while the ski resort was shut down due to the pandemic.
Two Tuesdays ago, lawyers from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, which is representing Lesh, filed an appeal to the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Some of the arguments included “that prosecutors failed to prove his guilt, the bench trial denied his right to a trial by jury on criminal charges, the court erred by allowing inadmissible material into evidence, and the U.S. Forest Service’s interpretation of the statute was wrong.” Additionally, the NCLA argues that David Lesh technically isn’t photographed, as he isn’t wearing any of his brand clothing, and his face isn’t recognizable. They say the ruling is a violation of David Lesh’s first amendment rights.
David Lesh, who is a former pro skier, has been the subject of controversy for the past decade. He has faced fines numerous times for snowmobiling in places where he shouldn’t have, such as at Independence Pass. There is the Keystone incident, which happened back when the resort was shut down due to the pandemic.
Then there are the incidents not involving snowmobiles. In 2019, he jumped out of an airplane into the ocean when the plane’s engine failed, with some skeptics thinking that it was a stunt. In 2020, he took a photo of himself walking on a log in Coloroad’s iconic Hanging Lake, which is illegal due to guests not being allowed in the lake. Arguably, his worst offense came from October of last year, when he traveled to Maroon Lake in Aspen, and posted a photo of himself about to take a crap into the lake.
It’s subject to debate whether the poop was digitally altered into the photo, or whether he got out of the lake after the photo was taken to make the poop land somewhere else. What’s clear though is that it sets a really bad example for the outdoor community, and goes against the widely accepted leave no trace policy. David claims this is all an act, saying in a New Yorker interview that it’s his right as an American to post fake stuff on social media. Weird flex, but ok.
The reason he does all these divisive posts is obviously to draw attention to himself and grow sales for Virtika, his outdoor apparel brand. So next time you see some Virtika gear, you may want to take a crap on it.