December 12, 2009

Next: helicopter skiing!



And that's just the beginning!

16 comments:

Ron said...

Next up: Zip Lines!

I'm still holding out for the Althouse/McArdle/Sullivan video performance of "Single Ladies."

Bissage said...

It's kind of odd that nobody back then saw that all vehicles today would be operated by robotic chauffeurs.

traditionalguy said...

The Popular Mechanics readership all "believed that they would invent a convenience and get rich". It was the Mega Millions Lottery of the day for poor men, Every issue is filled with "winners" that make everyone happy and the inventor rich. Today we also see the illusion marketed to "inventors of Green Technology" that are in reality even less valuable than this Popular Mechanics line up, but make instant Mega Millionairs out of the holders of Government issued Carbon Credits that are effectively the New World Currencey being Distributed from us to the thieves in Copenhagen as we speak. The funny thing is watching the thieves fight among themselves over shares of the loot. We need to send some Oklahoma Sooners over there to represent us in this Quasi World Assembly dividing up the loot.

peter hoh said...

My favorite 50s bizarre technology is the Atomic Plane.

Out of fears that the Russians were building one, we spent about a billion dollars trying to figure out how to make our own, back when a billion dollars was a lot of money.

More here.

Ron said...

Peter let's not forget the Nuclear Recoilless Rifle!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khyZI3RK2lE

PatCA said...

We used to do VW bug skiing after a big storm in Chicago. Helicopter would have been even better!

Cedarford said...

Ron said...
Peter let's not forget the Nuclear Recoilless Rifle!

The nuke recoiless rifle worked! It is somehow even scarier that the "Davy Crockett" warhead was so small, even back in the "pre-nuke warhead miniaturization" 50s. About the size of a backyard BBQ propane gas tank.

Now, similar yield warheads are even smaller.

PS the "nuclear aircraft" would work. What made it replacable was that we perfected mid-air refueling and established a network of bases worldwide that effectively gave our bombers unlimited range. Along with a global electronic net that does signals intercept and provides realtime targeting and intel data (and now unmanned drone control).

One small little thing that people who demand all overseas bases be closed and "our heroes" returned Stateside, do not understand.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Nowadays, Popular Mechanics does other, even more fantastic things.

P.S. People do use heli's to get to snow locations, although if you have to catch a ride perhaps you shouldn't be there in the first place. One thing I'd like to do is skijore to the top points in WI/MN/MI/etc.

Bill said...

Cedarford: "PS the "nuclear aircraft" would work. What made it replacable was that we perfected mid-air refueling ..."

I'd say rather the development of the ICBM.

JAL said...

Didn't Mike and I tell you PM was The magazine?

JAL said...

If you take the Professor's baby "slides" in the snow and want to have the thrills of helicopter skiing for considerably less money,
try skijoring!

Bruce Hayden said...

P.S. People do use heli's to get to snow locations, although if you have to catch a ride perhaps you shouldn't be there in the first place. One thing I'd like to do is skijore to the top points in WI/MN/MI/etc.

Some of the best skiing in the world is done via helicopter. Canadian Mountain Holidays out of, I believe, Banff, B.C., provides such for maybe a dozen locations in eastern B.C. You stay at a lodge or hut, and then fly to the skiing. They drop you up high, and you ski down, preferably through deep untracked powder, and are picked up by the chopper to do it again. Quite pricey, maybe $1,500 or so a day, $10k for a week.

For better than a decade, we have been using an adjunct of the CMH system. There is a cabin sleeping 15 or so about an hour by chopper from Golden, B.C. called Battle Abbey. One of the Bobby Burns (one of CMH's cabins) choppers drops you in on Sun. afternoon, and picks you up the next Sun. morning. You get to hike up, and ski down for the week. Guided of course, and with a great cook, so even if you are burning 6,000 or more calories a day, you still can put on weight. Battle Abbey used to be managed by CMH, but was actually owned by its founder and one of his friends. One of the founder's kids now owns half of it, and is one of our favorite two guides.

Day long helicopter skiing keeps popping up and fading in the U.S. west, notably in CO and UT. A friend owned/funded one about 20 years ago in Summit County, CO (which is where the Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mtn., and A-Basin ski areas are). He got in a lot of great skiing for maybe two years, but dumped it on financial grounds after that. Snow cats seem much more viable financially that close to civilization.

Finally, as to that uphill skiing picture - it appears that you can ski uphill with a big kite in some situations. I think you need either to be above tree line, or have extremely wide trails, such as are found at Vail. Warren Miller used to show such in his annual ski movies.

The low rent solution are snowmobiles. I have watched pairs of guys using them, with one guy driving and the other being dragged by rope up to where he could ski down. If I can get the snowmobile that my SO has up in Montana down her to Nevada next winter, I intend to try that out. Or, maybe better to Colorado, where I know the back-country much better, and esp. the slid dangers.

Bruce Hayden said...

I liked the mention of an atomic plane where they thought they needed "radiation corridors". Duh.

Bruce Hayden said...

We used to do VW bug skiing after a big storm in Chicago. Helicopter would have been even better!

Friends in Alaska use bus skiing. You get on the bus at the bottom of the slope. It drives to the top, you get out, and ski to the bottom. I have heard of it being used elsewhere too.

I would think though that the advantage of ski lifts is efficiency - outside of fairly flat terrain (I am remembering my ski trip to Ski Liberty, in eastern PA, but also, I expect in the midwest). You get a lot more vertical or turns per day with ski lifts than with these other means of getting up the hill (with the exception of helicopter skiing I mentioned earlier).

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jamesnwally said...

Helicopter skiing is really risky also. I would love to read the nest chapter which is going to be interesting.

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