| September 1, 2009

As long time readers of STRAIGHTCHUTER.COM may know, there is another backcountry skiing website out there named  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 and that dates all the way back to January 2009 when paid a visit to the harsh, unforgiving, remote, wild, desolate environs of Park City, Utah.  Fearing the burly Utah climate, (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, 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).

WildSnow's CEO after his close call in the driveway.

MildSnow's CEO after his close call in the driveway.

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 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).

The scene of the battle royale featuring the new improvements.

The scene of the battle royale featuring the new improvements.

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 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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Category: Events

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (19)

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  1. jerimy says:

    Andrew, you have an exceptional sense of humor! The post was epic even before I noticed the hyperlinks.

  2. Bob says:

    Heh. Let the Battle of the Blogs begin.

  3. Lou says:

    Howling with laughter here, and already planning my revenge!

  4. Andy_L says:

    Okay, I think you’re being a little bit silly here. MS would never use a .357 Magnum for a rifle. That’s a pistol caliber, and a wimpy one at that. For shooting endangered species, I’m sure MS would always use at least a 7mm Rem Magnum–and that only for the smaller game, like little baby kitten. Let’s keep the discourse on the level over here, OK “straight” chuter?

  5. Jim R. says:

    Fantastic! I was crying I was laughing so hard!

  6. Andrew says:

    Well, like most historical fiction, there might have been a *little* creative interpretation here and there, but the core facts are solid. :)

  7. OMR says:

    Good one Andrew. MS may need some advice on heat. I can’t comment on the “1100cc’s”, never owned the like. But I do pack heat: a Cabella’s BB-gun, sans compass in the stock. Anything more is just for showing off. My “precious” works great for scaring off stray cats and the annual, fall-time hordes of ravens that deficate over everything after gorging on fermented, ground-rot peaches. And before the PETA minds get riled, I tested it on myself with a point blank shot to the foot. Nothing but a red welt. And Ravens are smart. One near miss (-900 vision) and they stay away for days.

  8. Cliff Huckstable says:

    A 480 Remington is surely the weapon of choice for roadside poaching or snowmachine-aided depopulation of endangered species. And if all else fails during the apres-breakfast aspen-tree winching session, the recoil is probably enough to unstick Lou’s newest monster truck.

  9. Cliff Huckstable says:

    Hey Lou, I’ll give you $50 for you purple one-er! $55 if you’ll throw in the matching hat.

  10. Ken McKean says:

    ATA- What sort of ramped wind lip (read trap) is that rail going to provide for unsuspecting vistors. I envision you enraptured soaking in the look of terror on unsuspecting drivers as they teeter on the cornice before plunging to their doom below (and no doubt capturing in on the latest surveillance camera you convinced they must carry).

  11. Andrew says:

    Ken – what the unsuspecting driver doesn’t know is that the beefy looking lagbolts on the railing are actually only 1/4″ deep and the railing itself is made out of balsa wood. It should give way with the slightest nudge.

  12. Andrew says:

    Recognize any of your handiwork there Cliff?

  13. Cliff Huckstable says:

    I surely do! That was a fun day – one of the more memorable this fine summer.

  14. Lou says:

    I am known throughout the ski world for my fashion sense, and that purple outfit would definitely be worth a fortune if I still had it. Heck, I might even wear it, especially while spooning tracks in the Wasatch as it enhances certain wriggling parts of the anatomy while making tight rhythmic turns. But alas, it was sold many years ago, and I absolutely lost money on it!

  15. Patricio says:

    Judging by the links, those mildsnow guys are hard core!

  16. Slave.To.Turns says:

    What made this story so unbelievable was that the snow machines were never used, nor was a Coors Banquet beer opened. Otherwise, I found it entertaining.

  17. Garland says:

    I’m going to have to check in here a bit more often. Hilarious!

  18. Chris says:

    Nice pokes at Mr. Dawson, but what does it say about Mr. McClean that he knows all those links?

  19. Bret says:

    Cliff – a 480 Remington is NOT the weapon of choice for roadside poaching or snowmachine-aided depopulation of endangered species. It’s a .50-caliber rifle. And if you want it to launch monster 4x4s then be sure to get one without the hydraulic recoil. At over 2 miles away my brother is deadly with his. Only problem then is getting to and retrieving what you’ve shot. The bullets weigh more than a Hillshire smoked sausage.

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