March 3, 2011
Andrew McLean’s Side-Step Tutorial
In cased you missed it, Andrew McLean put up an interesting chute-skiing tutorial video on his site a few days ago. I recommend checking it out. What I really like about the video is that it shows what real ski mountaineering/steep skiing often looks like: you traverse in, feel things out, discover conditions aren't exactly what you expected, and wind up spending the majority of your "skiing" using whatever techniques and tricks best work to get you down in once piece.
While I find Big Mountain Movie Skiing™ just as thrilling as everyone else, real, human-powered skiing deep in the backcountry is often very, very different. Ice, rock, and exposure are typically the rule, often in nasty combinations that don't in the least allow for pretty skiing. Vanity can get you in a lot of trouble in these situations—especially if someone happens to be pointing a video camera at you.
So watch Andrew's video, and remember: if he can side-step, so can you. The first and most important goal is to always get home safely!