Snow is a Good Insulator!
As groomer dudes, we enjoy the Fall and follow the weather like we’re stalkers. I have at least 5 different bookmarked websites dealing with weather conditions near Beaver Creek. Now, you may believe that all of this recent/early snow is making us happy. But the truth is, that it is also causing us some anxiety and sleepless afternoons in the process. In an ideal world, Earl (the god of weather) would allow the ground to freeze hard before he excreted a layer of snow up there. Frozen ground means that a minor snowfall will be easier to groom, and last longer than a big dump on unfrozen ground.
Snow will insulate unfrozen ground from severe atmospheric cold, hence mud will persist longer, and the mud is more apt to get tilled up into our snowpack. Dirty snow is not fun to ski, and it absorbs more solar heat leading to faster melting.
Not much we can do about it though. Earl doesn’t always respond to reason or bribes. Our choices are sort of limited, but include:
1. Do nothing until the ground freezes (hoping for no further snow, coupled with cold temps, for a few weeks).
2. Solicit volunteers to shovel the snow off the trails until the ground freezes.
3. Start grooming as soon as practical, so as to decrease the insulating ability of the snow, and hoping not to disturb unfrozen soil nor to brutalize the equipment.
After much cogitation (with limited mental resources), we will probably go with option #3. Although we did feel that #2 (the option!) would be good preseason cross-training for the devoted, and also that Earl might look on that as an offering of penance, and reward us with a stellar (pun possible) year.
What all this means, sort of: the grooming equipment is being prepped, the groomers are taking double the number of showers (2/week) so that we can skip some when grooming commences, and I have idle time to write idle missives while the idling snowmachines sit idle.
BUT, we do hope to be grooming before Thanksgiving, so get your affairs and equipment in order. Gannet Peak Sports has new gear arriving, wax for sale, and operators standing by to take your calls (and to operate). Also, the Fall Gear Swap (details coming soon) is scheduled for the morning of Nov. 23rd, so out with the old-new and in with the new-old.
Remember, snow is a much better insulator than copper, which is the focal point of this message.
The opinions expressed here are solely the responsibility of this computer, and are not to be attributed to the Lander Nordic Ski Association or any of its members/officers/lackys or offspring. Just accept it on faith that all of it is true.
Humbly submitted 10/31/13
Filed under: Grooming, Uncategorized | Tagged: Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area, grooming, nordic, ski trails, skiing | Leave a comment »