The Snow Saw extender is a unique add-on to Life Link’s snow saw. When used with any of their extendible probe poles, lengthens the reach of your saw by as much as two feet. A nice feature when isolating a Rutschblock for testing slope stability. Traditionally, backcountry skiers have used a ski to cut snow, but isolating a Rutschblock with a snowboard is not an easy task. The extender itself is a plastic block (about the size of a Monopoly hotel) bolted to a snow saw and has a threaded insert into which the lower shaft of a Life Link pole is screwed. Because the lower shaft of the pole is screwed into the insert and Life Link poles are so narrow, it was a little hard to keep the saw cutting straight when deep in the snow. Often the saw turned in the snow and the pole came loose which made it hard to keep the saw cutting straight. I had to continually turn the pole shaft to the right to tighten it and then pull the saw out of the snow to make sure it was still oriented correctly.

The other problem I encountered was when one of the two bolts by which the extender is attached broke, rendering the extender useless. The bolt itself was a little loose and the extra play caused the bolt to shear easily. An easy fix but a nuisance nonetheless.

-Otherwise I found the concept of a minimal attachment combining an already carried piece of equipment with a useful tool (making the tool even more useful) more than a bright idea. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders are always looking for ways to increase fun and safety without increasing their load. Just make sure the extender is bolted tightly to the saw, and you might want to carry an extra bolt or two in your repair kit.