A Tale of Two-to-the-Two Chute Schusses

By:  Greg
January 15, 2013

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of rhymes,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of relief,
it was the epoch of schussability,
it was the season of light snow,
it was the season of darkness,
it was the winter of hope,
it was the winter of cold air,
we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to VTah,
we were all going direct to thaw
in short, the period was so far like the present period, (that you might even call it the present period in fact, and) that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. And quite frankly it was starting to get on my nerves.

The truth is (of course) this is just another completely average winter; love it or hate it, this winter–just as with every other–the chutes won’t schuss themselves.

And so we did schuss them: 2^2 chutes to be precise.

The first chute involved Sam coming back to the northeast for his first ski trip back east since moving to Washington state several years ago. He was only in town for a few hours, and so we had to act fast. His visit was just after Euclid had hit the northeast, and I had a hunch a rarely-loaded west facing chute might have done pretty well by Euclid. We bushwacked our way to the top, and found that indeed the chute was pretty full.
the chute was surprisingly full

Sam dropped in, enjoying the tight confines and limited canvas only New England “ski terrain” has to offer.
sam returns to New England

He didn’t hesitate to dust off some of the patented “Vermont Techniques” from his playbook. Seen here is the “ultimate sit back”, completed by digging in the heels and walking downhill on pseudo-stilts. Apparently guides in the PNW also use this sometimes in tight situations. Cool!
Vermont Technique

When the “ultimate sit back” Vermont Technique burns enough vert to make the going safe again, it’s time to schuss the chute!
time to schuss the chute

Yeeehaaa. A bona-fide chute schuss!
a bona fide chute schuss

All in all it was a great few hours’ homecoming for Sam.
a few hours homecoming for sam

Continue Reading: 1 2 3 4 Next »

Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Sl(r)ed Rocks


  1. robrox
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 9:34 am  


    Maybe they will all get a real refill and you can..
    wait for it….

    double down?

    • Greg
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 10:11 am  

      yes! nom nom nom!!

      i’m glad you read this one Rob. I knew you would enjoy reading it. ;)

    • robrox
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 1:01 pm  

      Hey Greg, speaking of Chutes. Have another look at Roger’s summit run TR of last week. One of Rob’s (neufox47) pix shows the lines just North of Empress filling in rather nicely (http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8326/8381242760_1712cb67b4_c.jpg)

  2. Brian
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 9:56 am  

    Nice work dudes. Was this on Friday? Good timing…

    • Greg
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 9:57 am  

      Chute Two-to-the-Two was Friday!

  3. Josh A
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 10:36 am  

    Awesome work as usual dudes.

    But, riddle me this: why would you want a pow specific deck like the Fish for variable conditions? Pretty sure there are splitboards designed for exactly that sort of thing: the Venture Storm for example.

    • Greg
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 10:39 am  

      I have no idea… perhaps I was wrong, and you are right. My point was more that a splitboard was the wrong tool more than that the Fish is the right one…

      Christian may have a better answer (and agree with you…idk) since he knows this stuff much more deeply than me.

    • Josh A
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 11:52 am  

      Cool, would be interested to hear his thoughts on the matter.

      As recently as 4 or 5 years ago I prob would have agreed with this sentiment, but splitboard technology has advanced a lot in the last several years such that a good modern board + Spark binders rides just as well as a solid deck, IMHO

      I’ve even been riding my Venture on the lifts occasionally this year… the thing is bomber

    • christian
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 6:04 pm  

      first off, i don’t want to start an argument about which rig is better. i just don’t care what other people ride and over the years i’ve figured out what works best for me.

      so, in my experience…
      skinning in the alpine (in winter) is a nightmare and i can’t trust something that won’t hold an edge on the downhill. changeovers are slower, the rigs are heavier and more complicated and i break them too often to keep pumping dollars into the “sport”. maybe the new ones are awesome, but i’m not going to throw down $1400 to find out. plus, now that everyone and their mom rides one i’m sorta over it.
      i do really enjoy using them in the woods though. skinning around and shreddin’ pow is a blast!

    • Chris
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 7:47 pm  

      IMO hardboots can solve a lot of the uphill problems splitters face. Lighter, easier skinning, better booting, and stronger edge hold.
      Takes a little time to get things dialed in but I don’t think they negatively affect downhill performance, and make you a more efficient all around mountain traveler.

    • Josh A
      wrote on January 16th, 2013 at 4:20 pm  

      @Christian, fair dues. I agree with not caring what other people ride, besides the fact that trends dictate what boards get manufactured. In particular I’ve been disappointed to see a lot of bigger/stiffer boards being discontinued by certain companies because there isn’t the demand for them.

      While I am pretty sure I don’t have as much experience with mid-winter alpine skinning as you I don’t see why it would be worse than what all our 2-plank friends are dealing with… Chris, can you explain why you think hardboots would be better for skinning?

      You are certainly free to do as you choose, but as for not holding an edge I will say that this is where the newer gear really makes a difference. With my first (DIY) splitboard I would wash out heal-side turns pretty frequently if I wasn’t in pow, but with my current setup this isn’t an issue. You shouldn’t need to throw down anywhere near $1400, there are ALWAYS deals to be found. And if you are giving it up because so many others are doing it, why are you still snowboarding at all?

      “i do really enjoy using them in the woods though. skinning around and shreddin’ pow is a blast!”
      if nothing else, at least we can agree on that!

    • christian
      wrote on January 16th, 2013 at 9:02 pm  

      skin to the top of mount washington 25 times and see if you bring your splitboard up there for trip 26.

      i’m currently riding a ’99 supermodel, and a ’02 fish (first gen demo!!)
      the supermodel is the best (best best BEST) board i’ve ever ridden and i wish i could buy 10 more of them.

      i’ve snapped 4 splitboards in half so far. i still haven’t decided if i’m going to replace #5 when it goes. they’re not trustworthy and there are a lot of little parts that can break on them. i just can’t have one deciding to blow apart when i’m riding a line that’s hanging over a 40′ cliff.

      (and i have all but given up on snowboarding this year, 7 days so far!)

    • Josh A
      wrote on January 18th, 2013 at 10:09 am  

      funny, this season is actually on pace to be my fewest days in about 9 years as well.

      Sounds like you have some pretty valid reasons to not go with the splitty… thanks for indulging me. Though, I’m probably still sticking with it till I learn some of those lessons myself. Have had to struggle with ice build up on the pucks, etc. that’s wasted more time than I would’ve liked, but I’ve never had one fail on me. I have however snapped a solid board in half in the past.

      I am amazed you are still riding 10+ year old boards, I’ve never had a deck last me even close to that long.

    • christian
      wrote on January 18th, 2013 at 11:28 am  

      i should probably specify…those boards were unearthed from dusty basement tombs. ridden twice, left for dead, sold for cheap!

      i laugh a little when people get all stoked out on how much bamboo and recycled p-tex their board has, and what a justice they’re doing to the environment.
      when most people are getting out 10 days a year at best, you realize there are a LOT of awesome old boards out there in basically brand new condition. take the rust off the edges, scrape off that cheeseball stomp pad, lock and load.
      it’s fun to watch peoples reactions when they see those old boards too.

      anyone out there got some old boards they’re ready to sell??

    • Josh A
      wrote on January 18th, 2013 at 2:33 pm  

      ah, that makes a lot more sense. I’m all for buying used gear if it’s in decent shape.

      I find google alerts works well if there is something specific you are looking for, you’ll get notified when new hits come up (often people putting things up for sale on forums or craigslist)

  4. Porter
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 11:08 am  

    I’d ask how many patties are on that burger but I already know the answer.

    • Greg
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 11:20 am  

      we counting chicken items as “patties”?

    • Porter
      wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 11:23 am  


  5. Jeff Blackston
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 7:34 pm  

    Sam, roll by EMS and give us a shout! Welcome Home!

    • Greg
      wrote on January 16th, 2013 at 9:12 am  

      Hi Jeff, just an FYI Sam was in for only a very very few hours. Maybe next time he’ll come visit for longer! (cough–hearthatSam?!–cough)

  6. mtl_ripper
    wrote on January 15th, 2013 at 8:50 pm  

    Well, that was cool! Meanwhile way up North I hunted out some last Laurentian pow before The Event. Sadly I have no poetry to accompany. Carry on schussing, looks like groomer weather!

    • Greg
      wrote on January 16th, 2013 at 9:12 am  

      piste and quiet! glad you were out there hunting down the prized good!

  7. K_C
    wrote on January 16th, 2013 at 2:22 pm  

    I’m pretty sure Jake died at the end of page 2

    • Greg
      wrote on January 17th, 2013 at 12:04 pm  

      may he live forever in the great hereafter full of McNoms

  8. Adrian
    wrote on February 12th, 2013 at 11:36 pm  

    Great stoke, I’m glad I came back to check this out!

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