OR Show Weirdout — Guess It

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 11, 2010      

I was going to riff on this, but the brilliant thought occurred to me that we should see who can guess what it is. If you already know, stay quiet until we’ve got some amusing guesses. My first take: The upper jaw of the creature in the movie “Alien.” Hint: It’s probably not of any use for backcountry skiing.

Jaws, what is it exactly?

Jaws, what is it exactly?


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41 Responses to “OR Show Weirdout — Guess It”

  1. Greg August 11th, 2010 9:21 am

    Looks like some sort of climbing anchor to me.

  2. Nick August 11th, 2010 9:27 am

    I’m guessing something SAR related because it looks far too heavy for any backcountry user to carry.

  3. Ed August 11th, 2010 9:32 am

    Neurosurgery head clamp for them that just won’t sit still while drilling . . .

  4. Lou August 11th, 2010 9:36 am

    Ed, LOL

  5. RobinB August 11th, 2010 9:47 am

    I’ll go with the anchor theme… some sort of roof anchor or whatever for SAR or Tactical teams.

  6. Mike August 11th, 2010 9:54 am

    Looks like a Titanium back scratcher

    Pivoting arm to get those hard to reach spots

  7. Todd G August 11th, 2010 9:57 am

    It’s a simple device placed next to your six-pack in a stream to keep opportunistic slugs from stealing your post adventure brewski’s

  8. db August 11th, 2010 10:26 am

    Looks like a pulley system that’s placed on the edge of a crevasse for climber extraction.

  9. Lou August 11th, 2010 1:23 pm

    DB is getting close…

  10. Ptor August 11th, 2010 1:36 pm

    It’s a new ski-brake for bad tech fittings!!!!

  11. Caleb Wray August 11th, 2010 2:23 pm

    I think I seen one of them at Bass Pro Shop the other day. Marmot trap right? I could use one of them.

  12. Ben August 11th, 2010 2:48 pm

    It’s a rollerblade crampon.

  13. Brent August 11th, 2010 2:50 pm

    It totally installs tech fittings in the ball of your foot for optimum pivot and minimum weight, totally.

  14. El Jefe August 11th, 2010 2:55 pm

    i made it with my erector set. i don’t like kitty cats.

  15. Lou August 11th, 2010 3:04 pm


  16. Feldy August 11th, 2010 3:15 pm

    Iron Maiden?!? Excellent!!!

  17. Lou August 11th, 2010 5:00 pm

    OK you jokers, time for the truth. It’s a military device made by Yates, for climbing walls in Iraq. It is a hook that is pushed up to the top of the wall with a long metal pole, with a ladder dangling. Yates makes two versions, one for Iraq stone walls, and one for Afghanistan mud walls.

    It’s actually somewhat amazing if not a bit disconcerting to see the amount of military stuff on display at the Outdoor Retailer show. No doubt military contracts are what’s been keeping a number of companies in the black. One has to wonder if optimistic statistics about outdoor industry sales include the military segment. If so, that would be an interesting something for us to chat about. Wouldn’t it be ironic and rather sad if the self professed “green” and enlightened outdoor industry actually owes its success at least in part to the military/industrial complex and our current wars? That would kind of put a spin on all the people running around in their yoga outfits. Clyde, what say you?

  18. Mark August 11th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Not even Ike could have predicted the rise of the military-outdoor gear-industrial complex.

  19. Liz August 11th, 2010 8:06 pm

    Heard: U.S. Military= No. 1 government organization researching alternative energy sources. Think we’re still not gonna try to be on top when the oil runs out? Think again.

  20. Jake August 11th, 2010 9:40 pm

    Given the clue that this device is of little use for backcountry skiing, it figured it was a new DIY tele binding.

  21. Ptor August 12th, 2010 1:39 am

    Ramer made stuff long back for the army. My Wilderness Engineering sled was designed for the Navy. Scarpa sells tons of boots to armies. Too bad it’s this way. War is the ultimate human failure. Bad alien hybrid monkeys!

  22. Lou August 12th, 2010 7:02 am


  23. ScottP August 12th, 2010 2:01 pm

    Just because it came from military research doesn’t make it a bad thing. Things like radio, enhanced computing, modern prosthetics, the jet engine, improved combustion engines, solar cells, fuel cells, ceramics, synthetics (to name just a few things) came out of military research. The DoD just happens to be one of the best R&D organizations out there because of its large checkbook combined with a lack of specific profit goals. In other words, the military is the only one willing to throw money at a problem without worrying too much about making money off of it, and once the problem is solved, civilian interests (like corporations) can then use that technology to make profit and our lives better.

    And my enthusiasm has nothing to do with being a DoD-funded research scientist :angel: (for the record, my research is on improving combustion efficiency).

  24. Dano August 12th, 2010 3:08 pm

    The men of the 10th MTN DIV Tested gear all the time. My father was in the 10th RECON and tested climbing gear and ski gear. He told me once that the GI crampons were punched out of tin and were junk, so they made some.

    Don’t forget the GPS

  25. Lou August 12th, 2010 4:07 pm

    Dano and all, I’m actually delighted to use the military stuff for something positive and peaceful. What I’m getting at is that I think a few people might be in denial about a big segment of the outdoor industry. Recycling water bottles only goes so far in terms of saving the planet… One wonders if a company with a conscious could do something like 1% for the Planet, only in the arena of pacifism.

    Idea, how about 1% for the war orphans in Iraq and Afganistan if your company makes any money off war gear?

  26. Alex R August 12th, 2010 4:48 pm

    I would say military hardware, operated by the military gets used in very positive and peaceful ways quite often…almost anytime you see a big humanitarian response to any natural disaster around the world, the military is the backbone of that effort, specially in the initial stages.

    I think there is probably case to be made that there is a long history of the outdoor enthusiasts and the military “borrowing” good ideas from each other way back to ancient times.

    I say bring it on, someone has to do all that expensive R&D required to provide us with the lightest and strongest toys possible.

  27. Ptor August 13th, 2010 2:30 am

    Having fancy toys is not a justification for the most wastefull, destructive and self-perpetuating useless element of human society. Why not just ditch the military and spend the trillions on sports equipment research and other necessary for happy life stuff. The military are the biggest unaccountable polluters on the planet and they’re not fighting for any actually justifiable causes anyways. They don’t need guns and stuff to help people with disasters and if they shut off their HAARP machine, there would be alot less disasters anyways.
    The whole concept of having unlimited R+D potential, the byproduct of which is hardly shared with the public, illustrates the ridiculous, flawed and hypocritical bias in the powers that be, i.e. the private institutions that print and diseminate money and pull the strings on our puppet leaders. They’re not funding fun or quality of life, they’re only funding the problems to create public reaction to justify their military solutions. Between the oil companies and the military, there is a motherlode of patents unavailable to better our society and as such we are generally a hundred years behind in implementing already existing technologies.
    I’d gladly trade having a leather ski suit and hand carved wooden skis to get rid of militarism, not that that’s even necessary.

  28. Ptor August 13th, 2010 2:46 am
  29. Lou August 13th, 2010 7:14 am

    Ptor, I don’t think anyone here is saying that cool gear justifies war, just that we’ll use it if it happens to result from military R&D. GPS is good example.

    Your Youtube link is interesting, indeed some truth to it.

    And yeah, I’d agree that to be rid of war is of course one of the most important goals for human society. Seems like most people feel that way. But some people don’t feel that way and their violence begets violence in a vicious cycle that’s been going on since humans came to exist.


  30. Njord August 13th, 2010 7:53 am

    This claw looks like a better way to get over a wall than just blowing it up! For those that don’t know, most Afghan “houses” are really walled compounds with large courtyards. Since the walls are basically made of mud, this claw/hook looks like a pretty stealthy way of getting over a wall without having to do some serious ninja stuff or blowing it over!

  31. Njord August 13th, 2010 8:00 am

    PTOR: Had to check-out the HAARP reference… I guess you are worried about a fleet of black helicopters hovering over your house too?


  32. Bill August 13th, 2010 8:41 am

    Unfortunately, peace and freedom are near polar opposites.

  33. Ptor August 13th, 2010 9:33 am

    Njord, not worried about black helicopters at all (but then again I don’t ski-tour in the Wasatch), just concerned about hi -tech full spectrum dominance wreaking havoc with nature and people by a group of small-appendaged imperialists. If you had any understanding of physics, you would easily see that concerns about HAARP and it’s potential uses are not unfounded. Funny video you linked, is he related to you?


    I’d say as outdoor enthusiasts, obviously we use the best of what’s around and of course it’s a mixed blessing to gain technology from military by-products, but ultimately we have to decide to draw the line somewhere in regards to complacency and attitude towards the status quo.

  34. Omr August 13th, 2010 4:26 pm

    While not the military, but close, the greatest contribution to humanknd coming from space exploration is Gore-Tex. Huge sums spent for minor advances.

  35. Omr August 13th, 2010 4:36 pm

    Ptor, Try “off-grid” Wasatch, “where the women are all beautiful, and the men stand straight and tall”, not a black chopper in sight. Resort or BC, most skiers are still lemmings. Just got to watch out for the camo-crowd (speaking of military).

  36. Ptor August 13th, 2010 4:45 pm

    Sounds good Omr. Blindfold me and take me there.

  37. Lou August 13th, 2010 5:00 pm

    Coming to you soon, Wildsnow field HQ is in the ultimate spot and off the grid. Stay tuned. Hint, chainsaws are relevant.

  38. Ben August 14th, 2010 12:46 am

    This development stuff goes both ways. Camelbak sells lots to the military, but it was invented for mountain biking. Post-WWII hikers and climbers adopted much military surplus gear, even the first portaledges were made out of old military surplus cots.

  39. Simon Isbister August 14th, 2010 10:05 pm

    Huh. All these years, I thought porn was responsible for the most advances in technology!

    (I`ve got a few guesses as to what the second thing was that Guttenberg printed)

  40. Njord August 15th, 2010 9:16 am

    Omr: You forgot Velcro, possibly even more practical than Gore-tex from the folks at NASA!! (although Gore-tex is high on my all-time important tech list)

    Just think about the advances in senior citizen footwear with that one simple invention alone…

  41. Alan Pulsipher August 19th, 2010 5:18 pm

    Military technology has always been at the forefront of development throughout human history because technological advances often meant victory in battle. For example, a steel sword would make mincemeat of a bronze or copper sword. The American Indians found that their arrows were no match for guns and gunpowder…

    Unfortunately, freedom isn’t free. There are always those who would take freedom away from others, including environmental types who presume to dictate that everyone (except themselves) stop driving those infernal internal combustion engines. Environmental ethics–like Christian ethics– are good for society; imposing such ethics by force of law reduces us to Nazism or Maoism.

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