If anyone actually reads this site, you might be wondering when Sam and I actually plan on chronicling some mountaineering or even just some climbing. After all, that’s what the “about” section says, and the about section of websites is always true. That’s because websites are on the internet and everything on the internet is true. Anways, I hope the day when we actually write about mountaineering comes soon too, but for now I’m just going to unveil our latest crazy idea, a new style of mountaineering: Midwestern Mountaineering.
Right now you’re probably asking:
Is this a cleaner style of climbing? Well, no.
Is this some new addition to speed climbing? Nope, not that cool either.
Did you invent a new climbing tool that will revolutionize climbing as we know it? Yeah its a called a… no, no I didn’t.
Is this a huge lead in to something I’m going to find unimpressive? Possibly.
Did you just combine things that other people have done before and label it “Midwestern Mountaineering”? Well…
On the off chance that anyone is still actually reading and not completely put off by how unimpressive Midwestern Mountaineering might be, let me paint you a picture. But not a real picture because I am not very good at painting. I could make you a picture in Auto CAD, but that takes forever and most people fall to the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter when you claim it to be “art”.
The scene: The still of a snowy forest deep within the Adirondacks is broken by a slow crunching sound as snow is compressed. But not compressed underfoot. Compressed under 4 inches of rubber. 4 inches of insanely wide bike tire. The mountaineer is riding into the base of the mountains on a fat bike, with a home made sled in tow, piled high with gear and topped with Alpine Touring Skis.
Why would you need a sled to climb a mountain in the Adirondacks? Why would you need to pull it with a bike? Now minimalists won’t understand this, so they should probably stop reading. But the answers are obvious:
1. You can fit a lot more beer in a sled than a backpack.
2. Because I don’t have enough money for a snowmobile…
So here’s how it will work. The fat bike pulls the sled, where all the food, gear, and beer for a week of backcountry skiing goes. We ride into the back country on the bikes, which even going slowly is faster than I can snowshoe… by a lot, I think. It should be faster anyway. This whole setup hasn’t been tested, so it might not work at all. I think it will though. A normal person would ask, why are you writing about it then? Because we already built it.
So here’s the bike, I should probably figure out a way to hook it up to the sled…
So here’s the sled. Its an old pair of skis, a cage made from PVC and some ripstop nylon across the bottom of the cage. It’s almost done, we’re planning on adding some net material to the sides so things don’t fall out. It’s actually pretty light. If I was patient enough, I could have ordered some different PVC pieces from the internet that would replace the wood on the bottom and it would be really light. Maybe I’ll have more patience later and fix it. Waiting those 3-4 days for something to ship is rough…
On the off chance that anyone ever thinks this is a good idea to repeat, making the nylon bottom part was horrible. The people who write articles about how you can use PVC and nylon to “easily” make a dog bed are liars. I know this is hard to believe since they wrote these things on the internet and everything on the internet is true. Pulling teeth is easier than pulling the nylon tight. Also, screws and drillbits don’t mix well with nylon. If it wasn’t for the wonderful people at Yuengling Brewery and their delicious lager, I probably would have set the whole project on fire and thrown it off a cliff. Which should really illustrate how frustrating this was, because my trash can is a lot closer than the nearest cliff.
Since I’ve definitely pushed the boundaries on how-many-words-can-you-write-about-building-a-sled, I’ll stop. You can expect a similarly ridiculously long post on the test results once it snows. I know, the entire internet is probably holding their breath in anticipation.
P.S. I’m sorry to all the sled dogs who I just put out of business. It’s really my landlords fault, all these problems would be solved if he’d let me have 20 huskies. Plus this article would be way better if we took a sled dog team ski mountaineering…