In doing my own snow safety assessments, I have dug out the back side of numerous snow pit columns with everything but the correct tool, including a ski tail, a pole, a shovel handle, a Whippet blade, and accessory cord. I was determined to make it easier on myself this year. I don’t enjoy spending excessive time in a snow pit, and having the correct tool(s) is a real timesaver. This year I would finally step up and get a snow saw.
Shopping around, I was dismayed to find a certain uniformity in pricing. The two options available at the numerous shops I stopped by were either $45 or $60, and I couldn’t find anything more inexpensive available on the fabulous internet. It seems there’s not a lot of competition Continue reading ‘Making Your Own Inexpensive Snow Saw’
For me, it’s sometimes disappointing to look through the pictures captured in the latest issue of just about any skiing magazine, or, for that matter, most ski films. I like action shots as much as the next person, but what I don’t enjoy is the appearance that virtually every run being skied by every skier in the magazine, or in the film, is 65 degrees steep. True, there are a handful of people out there Continue reading ‘Some Thoughts on Perspective’
I’m always trying to do something with my mind, whether it’s conquering my own fears in the mountains, learning to push my limits, tinkering with an invention, or simply absorbing a book. I write the word absorbing, not because osmosis is such a brilliant technique for me, but because I listen to more books than I actually hold and read. I get books on cd, load them onto my mp3 player, and listen as I head out for adventure. I don’t do it all the time, but if I’m headed out solo, I find it takes Continue reading ‘What’s on Your iPod?’
While the old method of ‘lacing’ one’s crampons onto ski boots is decent, it is a slower process than it could be, particularly when you’ve got cold hands. The strap retaining clasp is a challenge to work with while keeping your gloves on, and it doesn’t provide as bomber of an application as is presently available.
Pressing the clasp open with frozen fingers is less fun than it might sound.
Cantilever designs are becoming more common, but if you’ve already got several pairs of crampons sitting around, it can be hard to justify the purchase of an additional pair to replace a pair whose straps you don’t like. This straightforward modification is an alternative to Continue reading ‘Modifying Crampons for Speed and Better Fit’
Since first coming across the following quote some years ago, I’ve liked it to describe my own thinking as to why I climb mountains to then ski back down them. While George Mallory was referring specifically to Mount Everest, I like to modify the quote in my own mind, for my purposes, to describe any mountain, and I further mentally twist it to include descending on skis. As I tend to climb the snow covered portions of mountains, I find the notion of not searching the ground for natural resources or material gain, to be an apt Continue reading ‘What is the Use of Ski Mountaineering?’
In person and online, I have noticed that there seems to be some confusion, or possibly just uncertainty, over whether a light colored ski will absorb less of the sun’s heat and therefore not attract as much snow to the topsheet as a darker colored ski. This is a reasonable consideration as, when traveling uphill, even a fairly light backcountry ski setup can attract fair amounts of snow, weighing Continue reading ‘White Skis versus Dark Skis’