51 min

Andrew McLean, The Big Mountain Scientist - Part 2 The SnowBrains Podcast

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Andrew McLean, The Big Mountain Scientist - Part 2 | Brought to you by Alta Ski Area


Disclaimer: So, right off the bat, I wanna let our listeners know that Andrew and I are friends and that we've spent weeks together confined in small sailboats in Svalbard, Norway and well-spaced from each other in big boats in Antarctica so this conversation is gonna be fun, it's gonna be frank, and I'm excited to have this venue to really dig in and ask tougher questions than normal - so watch out...


“The style of the writing came about because I never expected it to be a real book [The Chuting Gallery]. It was gonna be like 'here Miles, here's this book you can read on the toilet and get a laugh out of.'” - Andrew McLean in Part 2


Andrew McLean is a legendary ski mountaineer, author, inventor, and Big Mountain Scientist. In 2017, Powder Magazine voted Andrew as one of the "48 Most Influential Skiers of All Time". Andrew is one of the best ski mountaineers on the planet having skied first descents on every continent and has been featured in a myriad of ski movies including the Big Mountain Skiing documentary: "Steep." Andrew is the inventor of the "Whippet Self Arrest Ski Pole" among many other groundbreaking inventions in the mountaineering universe. Andrew has skied over 100 first descents all over the world. Andrew graduated from the very prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and went on to become a product designer for Black Diamond in Salt Lake City, UT for 14-years. Andrew was even an avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center for a year. Andrew wrote the most legendary, hilarious guide book ever created called "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide To Steep Skiing in the Wasatch" that is simultaneously considered The Bible & Holy Grail of steep skiing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Andrew is a gifted writer and has written articles for Powder Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Skiing Magazine and many other publications. Andrew is most likely the very first professional ski mountaineer on Earth. Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah with his wife Polly, their 2 daughters, and 2 poorly behaved canines.


2 PART PODCAST: Andrew McLean is so goddamn interesting, he has so much to teach us, and has so many hilarious stories that we had to break this interview into 2 Parts.


This is Part 2 of Andrew McLean, the Big Mountain Scientist - we pick up where we left off with phase 6 of Andrew McLean's exotic life.


In this episode, Andrew & Miles talk about how "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch" came to be, accidents in the mountains, the explosion of backcountry skiing & riding, winning many ski mountaineering races, favorite ski mountaineering expeditions, Andrew's unique avalanche philosophy, Andrew's favorite places to ski guide, conservation efforts in the Wasatch Mountains, being a professional avalanche forecaster, and how Andrew became one of the first-ever professional ski mountaineers.

Andrew McLean answers these meddlesome questions in Part 2:


What drove you to write "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch"?



How did winning many ski mountaineering races change your life's direction and how did it feel to win?



What was being a professional avalanche forecaster like and why didn't you continue in that career direction?



How did you become one of the first-ever professional ski mountaineers?



You have a unique avalanche philosophy, don't you? What is it?



What is it about expedition skiing that calls to you?



What is it about steep skiing that makes you crazy?



Where's your favorite place to ski guide?



Please tell us about the types of accidents you've seen out there and which ones have affected you the most.



Backcountry skiing and riding has exploded in the past few years - what have you seen out there and how do you feel about the growth?



Please tell us about your conservation efforts in Utah, what you're fighting against,

Andrew McLean, The Big Mountain Scientist - Part 2 | Brought to you by Alta Ski Area


Disclaimer: So, right off the bat, I wanna let our listeners know that Andrew and I are friends and that we've spent weeks together confined in small sailboats in Svalbard, Norway and well-spaced from each other in big boats in Antarctica so this conversation is gonna be fun, it's gonna be frank, and I'm excited to have this venue to really dig in and ask tougher questions than normal - so watch out...


“The style of the writing came about because I never expected it to be a real book [The Chuting Gallery]. It was gonna be like 'here Miles, here's this book you can read on the toilet and get a laugh out of.'” - Andrew McLean in Part 2


Andrew McLean is a legendary ski mountaineer, author, inventor, and Big Mountain Scientist. In 2017, Powder Magazine voted Andrew as one of the "48 Most Influential Skiers of All Time". Andrew is one of the best ski mountaineers on the planet having skied first descents on every continent and has been featured in a myriad of ski movies including the Big Mountain Skiing documentary: "Steep." Andrew is the inventor of the "Whippet Self Arrest Ski Pole" among many other groundbreaking inventions in the mountaineering universe. Andrew has skied over 100 first descents all over the world. Andrew graduated from the very prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and went on to become a product designer for Black Diamond in Salt Lake City, UT for 14-years. Andrew was even an avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center for a year. Andrew wrote the most legendary, hilarious guide book ever created called "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide To Steep Skiing in the Wasatch" that is simultaneously considered The Bible & Holy Grail of steep skiing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Andrew is a gifted writer and has written articles for Powder Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Skiing Magazine and many other publications. Andrew is most likely the very first professional ski mountaineer on Earth. Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah with his wife Polly, their 2 daughters, and 2 poorly behaved canines.


2 PART PODCAST: Andrew McLean is so goddamn interesting, he has so much to teach us, and has so many hilarious stories that we had to break this interview into 2 Parts.


This is Part 2 of Andrew McLean, the Big Mountain Scientist - we pick up where we left off with phase 6 of Andrew McLean's exotic life.


In this episode, Andrew & Miles talk about how "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch" came to be, accidents in the mountains, the explosion of backcountry skiing & riding, winning many ski mountaineering races, favorite ski mountaineering expeditions, Andrew's unique avalanche philosophy, Andrew's favorite places to ski guide, conservation efforts in the Wasatch Mountains, being a professional avalanche forecaster, and how Andrew became one of the first-ever professional ski mountaineers.

Andrew McLean answers these meddlesome questions in Part 2:


What drove you to write "The Chuting Gallery - A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch"?



How did winning many ski mountaineering races change your life's direction and how did it feel to win?



What was being a professional avalanche forecaster like and why didn't you continue in that career direction?



How did you become one of the first-ever professional ski mountaineers?



You have a unique avalanche philosophy, don't you? What is it?



What is it about expedition skiing that calls to you?



What is it about steep skiing that makes you crazy?



Where's your favorite place to ski guide?



Please tell us about the types of accidents you've seen out there and which ones have affected you the most.



Backcountry skiing and riding has exploded in the past few years - what have you seen out there and how do you feel about the growth?



Please tell us about your conservation efforts in Utah, what you're fighting against,

51 min

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