As long time readers of STRAIGHTCHUTER.COM may know, there is another backcountry skiing website out there named MildSnow.com. It’s an alright site with some cute articles about painting your fingernails, blowing soap bubbles and how to ram your 1100cc snowmobile deep into the Colorado wilderness to get a better shot at endangered species with a .357 magnum Avenger assault rifle.
What many readers don’t know is that there a history between StraightChuter.com and MildSnow.com that dates all the way back to January 2009 when MildSnow.com paid a visit to the harsh, unforgiving, remote, wild, desolate environs of Park City, Utah. Fearing the burly Utah climate, MildSnow.com (MS) arrived ready to rumble in their Chevy F37500 Dualie Monster Truck with MaxTrax rubber all around, a six-pack gun rack and fully tanked up with premium AvGas. Unfortunately, they got stuck backing out of our driveway.
This is not all that uncommon. While seemingly benign, the moderately steep, crumbling, slightly off-camber driveway has trapped countless friends, in-laws and even the infamous Two Buddha. The penalty for going over the edge is a 45 degree slope which often avalanches during the winter. You better be sure you can back out in steep, icy conditions, or else.
Apparently, MildSnow.com was not up for the challenge.
After getting just slightly stuck, MS opted for the time-honored “giver more gas” approach which set the hook even farther. Now, with two wheels dangling off the edge and the other two spinning on glazed ice, the real battle began. The first ploy was to try to shovel the snow out from underneath the truck, but what Loo didn’t know was that while he was on the downhill side removing snow… I was on the uphill side adding more. Utah sure gets a lot of snow, eh? ;) When that didn’t work, he tried cable winching himself out by using old-growth trees as anchors, which only succeeded in tearing them out by the roots. After the entire front yard had been denuded, it looked like the battle had been lost and we were going to have to light the F37500 on fire and push it over the edge. Then, just as I was putting the rag into the gas tank and striking a match, destiny intervened in the form of an even bigger truck (there must be some sort of telepathy between the species).
The driveway now resembled the cover of Monster Truck Magazine with 14,000 pounds of howling steel, chrome and rubber all connected by winch cables and lit up with ten-thousand watts of halogen headlamps and accessory lighting. Tires spun, traffic was stopped, commands were issued, teamwork was employed, and then finally, with a mighty heave, the MildSnow.com TAV lurched back from the abyss and landed on the main road. Sigh. The biggest fish always seem to get away right at the end. After being revived by sloshing petrochemicals through his gills, MildSnow was able to drive off under his own power, aided slightly by an extra 25 pounds of traction from a tow hitch he had purloined from the savior truck (look for the hitch review on his website soon).
Rumor has it that MildSnow is working on a new TAV concept car for this coming winter. It hardly matters. I don’t care if it is a 3wd Prius with dual Chariot carrier roof racks and Yokahama tires – it’s no match for the new & improved StraightChuter.com driveway which has consumed most of my summer. Entailing half a truck-load of asphalt, 18 creosote infused railroad ties, chainsaws, 60 lag bolts, 150′ of rebar and more backbreaking labor than you can shake a 2-man power auger at, it is ready for all challengers.
So bring it on MildSnow…. BRING IT ON! Give it your best shot and let’s see if you can get stuck in this one. Just try it. I dare you.
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