Saturday, January 24, 2009
A good story
So most of you are familiar with the phrase 'best snow on Earth' because its on our Utah license plates, well the question can be ask why is it the best? Well the easy way to sum it up is that we have the perfect, delectable, snow density (amount of water per volume). Why is because of a few different things. First of all we are an intermountain snow pack, that is far enough from the big water not to be a maratime yet not far enough to be a continental. Thus we are in the perfect location for 5-9% density snow that can stay in reasonably good shape over a long period without significant stability failures, or density increases. The most humorous part for me is what kind of an attitude it creates in our local ski culture (when i say ski culture I really mean backcountry touring culture, since I am not really apart of the resort culture). For example the cottonwoods average 500 inches of snow anually, more than just about any other place around, unless its close the the big ponds, then they might get more, but its much denser, and not really useful. Last season we totalled almost 700 inches of annual snow fall, check around and see if you can find that number anywhere else! Needless to say we get a lot of snow. During the last month when we had the unstable snow for so long and we where all sick of low angle love we happened to be making a trip up Mill D (I will forever confuse the letter for the Mill's) on a day with something like a 30 inch storm total. The new snow was comprised of low density 5-6% at the start of the storm followed by 8-9% on top. This creates what we call an upside down snowpack. Not the safest, but not the most dangerous either. It also makes the skiing a little more difficult. It almost gives you the illusion that the snow is so deap and so light that you just cant stay on top, even with ski's that are almost 160mm at the shovel (that would by yours truly). It happens rather often for some reason here, but usually settles out to normal feel after a few days. So we where starting up at around 1000 and ran into some guys coming out from a dawn patrol and asked them what the snow was like and one of them responded: "ah, its worth skiing." I had to crack up because only here in Utah, after a morning of untracked, 30 inches of freshies would someone comment, "ah, its worth skiing." So I've decide that is my new moto for the year. "Ah, its worth skiing." The moral of the story is, if you ski to much in Utah (like me) some day you won't just be a powder snob, but one that requires a right side up, perfect density , powder day do be anything better than 'worth skiing.' Maybe I'll get out tomorrow, I'm sure I can find something 'worth skiing.'