(Editor’s note: April 1 tomfoolery satire follows.) It is time we shared our plans for the future of WildSnow.com. Today we received a large offer from Sleight of Hand Publishing, a small sustainable company in Belize known for its extensive coverage of NTN ski bindings. Spokesman for Sleight of Hand is a genuine seeming guy named Allan Holly, and Sleight’s publications division Editor-in-Chief Sloof Lirpa is one of the reasons the ski industry exists as we know it, so we figured some comments from the guys at Sleight would be appropriate here. Thanks Allan and Sloof for chiming in!
(Image removed by request of the State Department and NSA. Depicted cocktail hour and how important 4-buckle boots are to life.)
“For starters,” said Allan, “We know a lot of you guys are tired of getting all your information on the web, and need more in print. We’re here to help you. For a small fee we can mail you a limited amount of ink and paper you can keep around the house and feel good about recycling. After all, we are totally into sustainability, so everything we do will be sustainable. For example, while Lou will be moving on to the Diesel College of America and a career in large equipment upkeep, we will be converting all the WildSnow.com engines to run on recycled and liquified ski wax, distilled from floor sweepings gathered from our local nordic waxing shacks. We don’t mind saying that this act alone will halt climate change, and we feel very good about that. We are doing our part! Further, bear in mind that less is more when it comes to good writing so that goal is job-one, starting now! We’ve watched WildSnow.com go from a clear, concise blog to a massive heap of content that has even been known to cause smoke to expel from a Google server farm when they tried to index it. We aim to help with the challenge of covering diverse subjects such as powder skiing and backpacks — only with one half to one fifth the word count — or even one tenth where possible. This will make Google happy, and in publishing that’s the end-all be-all, am I right or am I right? That being said, the whole thing can be so complex. We’ve heard of people who develop algorithms which would awe Einstein himself just to calculate the correct width of a ski for a given density of snow. Funny thing is, that width is usually wider than 120 mm no matter what. Come to think of it, that’s probably because this special algo was developed for testing backcountry skis at ski resorts, where how a ski looks on the gondola is much more important than what kind of weight it puts on your abductor muscles when going uphill. Sheesh, and look at the time WildSnow spent with their ski weights vs surface area calculations? What a waste of someone’s alloted seconds on this planet. A skinny backcountry ski is about as useful as running a bicycle tire on a logging truck, so why spend the time? And how about ski boots? WildSnow has been known to disparage anything with more than 3 buckles. They’ve even gone so far as to call the fourth buckle ‘vestigial,’ as if it’s something unpleasant protruding from the underbelly of an eel that’s finally after several million years crawled up into the sunlight and air from primordial ooze. Come on people, evolution does not make things that are ‘vestigial,’ everything has a purpose. The fourth buckle? How would YOU feel if you were on a ski lift, looked down at your feet, and did not see that fourth buckle? Nausea would be a weak word. You might even consider seppuku by ski pole tip. Yep, how about ski poles? It is tragic, no, criminal, that WildSnow.com would constantly disparage adjustable ski poles. After all, they cost more, fail more easily, and add complexity to what is otherwise one of the most simple and effective tools ever invented by mankind (er, I mean “humans”). What’s not to love about that? Furthermore, to be caught out in the backcountry, on camera, without adjustable poles? That’s the kind of image that if placed on Facebook, you might spend years trying to get erased due to the resulting damage to your reputation. Sheesh, what’s the use of a non-adjustable pole when you’re trying to tune the length for your Go-pro mount selfie setup? I could go on. Actually, I will. For the love of your higher power, look at WildSnow’s bias on backpacks. We know here at Sleight of Hand that the best backpack looks like carry-on luggage, and likewise opens with a zipper panel. WildSnow’s constant drivel spill about packs that have accessory straps and weigh less because they’re top loaders? What a pile. Once we’re in control of this website, you will never see a top loader pack review again. Take that to the bank. Ditto for Dynafit. Dynafit, Dynafit, Dynafit! Is anyone else tired of hearing about how light their skis are, or how they they pretty much changed the sport of ski touring by manufacturing and selling the tech binding starting in 300 A.D. (editor’s note, Fritz Barthel is actually several thousand years old, but ski touring on his invention has reversed the aging process and he will never age past 18 years — this effect is available to anyone who sticks with Dynafit bindings for more than 20 years at 100 days or more a year, and has been documented in peer reviewed journals that are never wrong.)? We’re going to get past all the Dynafit blather, or actually behind it, by ramping up coverage of ski touring gear that pre-dates 300 A.D. by several thousand years. That includes climbing skins made from animal hides. Sure, many years ago the guy who writes most WildSnow content predicted the future. I hate to admit it but he did. It’s painful for me to write anything more about that, so I won’t. Actually, I will, and say that while yes L.D. has been saying that telemarking was NOT the future of ski touring, we think it still could be and you will see much more coverage of the amazing and innovative products produced in garages around the world, intended to make telemarking heavier and more fun.
(t.k., insert paragraph break here) For example, we do plan on ramping up the WildSnow.com coverage of NTN bindings and boots, as this award winning system could change the future of skiing as it makes telemarking almost as easy as fixed-heel skiing, but still hard enough to be worth bragging about and having an occasional telemark-only slalom race now and then involving men in tight lycra wearing giant knee pads, which is something that we here at Sleight of Hand wish we could cover more so having a website available to do so will be useful. I could go on about other subjects. Actually, I will. Helmets? Helmets!? WildSnow is constantly pointing out how many people get injured while wearing helmets; it’s as if the helmets cause the injuries! Our take? Everyone, doing anything, should be wearing a helmet. Please please wear a helmet. Studies have shown that driving to and from a day of backcountry sking is when you are most likely to be injured, so especially when you are driving, WEAR A HELMET! What is more, when you’re crouched down in your kitchen looking for lettuce to make a sandwich, a bottle of maple syrup falling on your head from the top shelf of your fridge has the same scientific G forces as a fall on hard snow while skiing at 18 mph, which is the impact level that most helmets will protect for — incredible how high-tech and effective helmets are for safe skiing, isn’t it! Thus, wear a helmet while opening your fridge, especially if skiers have been in your house making pancakes. I’ll close on a positive note. Wildsnow.com does know how to review socks, and they know where the best ones are made. Look it up. we’re a fan of this particular brand of socks as well, so nothing will change in that area though we do plan on an Editor’s Choice sock award.”
Lisa Dawson, Joe Risi, Sloof Lirpa and Lou Dawson contributed to this report.
Leon Sendmuller is a reporter for the Aspen Daily Cryer and specializes in ski related issues. He is personal friends with nearly everyone in Cinch Creek as well as having been employed as a cabin boy on the Unlimited yacht. When asked if he liked is former job as an Aspen Powder Tours guide better than being a cabin boy, he said “cabin boy, for sure, the tips were better.”