Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Cheapest Lightest Snow Saw?

Last winter was a weird backcountry ski season in the Cascades. Some of the weak layers in the snow got buried under thin but hard ice layers that were hard to cut through cleanly with a pole or ski. I started to feel the need for a snow saw mounted on a pole to do extended column tests when evaluating slopes for avalanche stability.

I have a great G3 Bonesawbut it is a bit heavy so I started to experiment with a 9" Reciprocating Saw Blade. I found that it could be mounted securely with no modification in the flicklock mechanism of a Black Diamond Traverse Ski Poleby clamping the blade in the slot part of the flicklock. Some blades even come with a plastic sheath.

BD has changed the flicklock mechanism for 2012 and I don't know if this will work with the latest poles but the old poles are still available on clearance lots of places.

I only figured this out in the spring so I need to do more field testing and would also like to see how well it works for emergency firewood gathering. If needed, I may strengthen the mount by fabricating something that bolts to the blade and is the diameter of the lower section of pole.

1 comment:

John-Man said...

Did it end up working? I've looked into this approach, but feel the size of the blade and the teeth severely limit the efficiency of each cut. I am interested to know if my assumptions are true or off base.