Recent Articles

Trip Poster Series

Trip Poster Series

| November 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Starting in 2006, I began putting together 8 x 10 inch “trip posters” to commemorate special outings.  I stole this idea from Ruedi Homberger, aka The Snow Monster, while I was on a trip to Switzerland and saw a similar trip montage in his house.  Ruedi’s version involved cutting mats and carefully placing photos behind, whereas […]

Continue Reading

2014 Ice Axe Expeditions Antarctic Ski Cruise Trip Report

2014 Ice Axe Expeditions Antarctic Ski Cruise Trip Report

| November 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Another Ice Axe Antarctic Ski Cruise has gone down in the history books, and like all those before it, this was yet another good one. I love how these trips start by collecting people from all over the world, squeezing them into South America, and then distilling all of that down to the very southern […]

Continue Reading

2014-15 Ski Setup

2014-15 Ski Setup

| November 1, 2014 | 3 Comments

There’s still no snow on the ground and the temps are downright balmy, but it is never too soon to assemble a ski set up for the upcoming season. The ski crampons are just for Antarctica, but the rest is my standard issue touring gear.   Skis All around skis: Black Diamond Link 90’s in […]

Continue Reading

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

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

| October 27, 2014 | 3 Comments

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. […]

Continue Reading

Slotterhouse AK – Photo Trip Report

Slotterhouse AK – Photo Trip Report

| October 23, 2014 | 3 Comments

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 […]

Continue Reading

How to Build Wands

How to Build Wands

| October 22, 2014 | 2 Comments

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading