RSSTips & Technique

Portable Emergency Sled for Backcountry Skiing

Portable Emergency Sled for Backcountry Skiing

| April 27, 2016 | 5 Comments

One of the more unglamorous aspects of being a ski mountaineering guide is carrying all of the emergency gear which adds considerable weight to your pack which you hope you will never have to use. At the top of the list is an emergency sled, which is generally expensive dead weight. I’ve owned a variety […]

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Super Stove Board Construction

Super Stove Board Construction

| April 20, 2016 | 2 Comments

It only takes getting three liters of boiling hot water spilled in your lap once to realize the importance of a good stove board for heavy winter camping.  Boiling water and melting snow are major pastimes of winter camping and the hot little camp stoves need all the help they can get to keep from spilling […]

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Winter Camping – 2016 Improvements

Winter Camping – 2016 Improvements

| April 12, 2016 | 3 Comments

On my first winter camping trip we brought a gallon jug of water, which quickly froze and left us with no water and 9 pounds of dead weight. Things have improved slightly since then, but I’m still learning little tricks of the winter base-camping trade which make life warmer, drier and better fed.  Here are a […]

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Skiing and Snow Anchors

Skiing and Snow Anchors

| March 2, 2016 | 2 Comments

I doubt that most visitors to Park City will ever need to rappel during a ski descent while on vacation here, but rope work and anchors can come in handy for ski mountaineering descents. At times it might be a full-on rope stretching affair like skiing the Grand Teton in low snow, and at other […]

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The Feed

The Feed

| May 5, 2015 | 4 Comments

I’ve tried many eating strategies for backcountry skiing over the years.  For a brief time, a friend turned me onto the 5 for $5 burgers from Arby’s, which was entertaining, but ultimately disgusting. When I first discovered GU, I liked the orange/chocolate flavor so much that I bought a case of it, only to throw most […]

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Tiny Packs –

Tiny Packs –

| March 16, 2015 | 9 Comments

The Law of Luggage states: “The amount of stuff you carry will expand to fit whatever size backpack you have.” For this reason and a few others, I use a tiny little 15 liter pack for backcountry skiing in the Wasatch. Between racing packs and mechanized skiing packs, there are quite a few small packs […]

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How to Build Wands

How to Build Wands

| October 22, 2014 | 4 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 […]

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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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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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