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November 1st – 2014 Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Public Session

November 1st – 2014 Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Public Session

| October 27, 2014 | 1 Comment

Avalanche education is one of the best ways to avoid being caught and/or buried by an avalanche while backcountry skiing, or, as the Utah Avalanche Center says “Know Before You Go.”  To that end, the UAC is hosting a very concentrated avalanche workshop this Saturday, November 1st at the Southtowne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. […]

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Slotterhouse AK – Photo Trip Report

Slotterhouse AK – Photo Trip Report

| October 23, 2014 | 1 Comment

Rarely, if ever, have I experienced a place that gets me more excited about ski mountaineering than the Slotterhouse in the Wrangell-St.Elias National Park & Preserve in southeast Alaska. As a disclaimer, I like exploring remote areas with plenty of options, not just a single huge peak or exclusively steep skiing terrain.  This preference evolved […]

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How to Build Wands

How to Build Wands

| October 22, 2014 | 1 Comment

I know – the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Both of you. As detailed in my previous post, I’ve built a lot of bad mountaineering wands before arriving at this solution.  I like this design as they stay put in deep snow for weeks on end, withstand wind, are easy to place, easy to […]

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Ski Mountaineering Wand Making – Greatest Fails

Ski Mountaineering Wand Making – Greatest Fails

| October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

According to Malcom Gladwell’s theory that a person can only achieve true mastery of an activity by doing it for ten thousand hours, I’m almost a wand building prodigy. This is nothing to be proud of (except if you are my mom) and came about accidentally when I was building wands to mark ski mountaineering […]

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Wands for Ski Mountaineering – Part One

Wands for Ski Mountaineering – Part One

| October 15, 2014 | 1 Comment

Wands are an obscure and trivial part of ski mountaineering, which makes them a perfect topic for straightchuter.com.  I’ve carried thousands of wands, placed hundreds and actually used them for emergency navigation about five times, which made it all worthwhile.  It’s hard to describe how calming and reassuring finding a wand can be when you […]

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Antarctica 2014 – The Time is Now

Antarctica 2014 – The Time is Now

| June 10, 2014 | 1 Comment

I know… it just seems like the snow has just melted and now next season is already sneaking up. Or in the case of Antarctica, the 2014 ski season is finally catching up to the northern hemisphere. November in Antarctica is like April in Utah – the days are getting longer, the temperatures are warming […]

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Wilderness Ski Week Recap

Wilderness Ski Week Recap

| April 28, 2014 | 6 Comments

I’ve started to lose track of how many times I’ve been up to the Ultima Thule Lodge in the Wrangell-St.Elias National Park & Preserve (WSENPP), which is a good thing as even too many trips will never be enough. It’s the Holy Grail of ski mountaineering and one of the many things I like about touring […]

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Headiing to the Slotterhouse

Headiing to the Slotterhouse

| April 5, 2014 | 3 Comments

After two years of dreaming about this area and then another six or so months of putting the actual trip together, we are finally heading out to one of the most beautiful ski venues in the world today. Excitement is very high! Code named “The Slotterhouse” due to the endless number of perfect slot-like couloirs, […]

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The Beginner’s Guide to Fighting in the Wasatch

The Beginner’s Guide to Fighting in the Wasatch

| March 21, 2014 | 36 Comments

Welcome to the Wasatch.  Now pick a side – pave it or preserve it. There’s a lot to be said for the Wasatch Mountains, especially from a skiing/boarding standpoint.  They are very riding friendly, have easy access, are close to a major metropolitan city, close to an airport, have seven major ski resorts and also […]

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Anti-Glomming Tutorial Video

Anti-Glomming Tutorial Video

| March 17, 2014 | 11 Comments

I had my first serious springtime glomming session over the weekend, which prompted this 3:36 minute video on how I remedy this wretched malady while on a tour. I wrote a post about glomming almost a year ago to the week and it is one of those things where doing a half-assed repair job usually […]

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