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The mysterious boiler plate, does this qualify? - Page 2

post #31 of 57

The line I like to use when someone complains about "firm" conditions (can't remember where I heard it first):

 

"It ain't ice unless there's fish under it"

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post
 

The line I like to use when someone complains about "firm" conditions (can't remember where I heard it first):

 

"It ain't ice unless there's fish under it"

The one I heard was "we have a 20" base, and you can still see the grass."

post #33 of 57

And then there some conditions that you just can't ski.

post #34 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

And then there some conditions that you just can't ski.


I think that qualifies as Hell frozen over!
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
 

And then there some conditions that you just can't ski.

 


When frozen that would be pretty bad. I wonder what it might be like when softened up by sun and temp?

post #36 of 57

I took that pic after a week long weather event @ Bachelor. It was completely frozen. Might as well jump in a tank full of Sharks. It eventually warmed up but I don't remember what the conditions were after.  Here's a chair on the same day.

A close up/like Sharks teeth.

post #37 of 57
Yikes! No thank you! But here is a question ... Since actual boiler plate is bumpy, why is boiler plate ice defined by a smooth quality?
post #38 of 57

The "boilerplate" that I've encountered is neither ice rink smooth nor frozen chicken heads (as in post above).  It's mildly rolling and rumbly.  What I've encountered has usually been melted snow from the previous day, really melted, that refroze overnight.  If it was not groomed the night before refreezing, then the surface is a modified version of what it was at the end of the day.  It will have sagged due to the melting.  Then it will have frozen solid with that surface.  It will look soft and white, or shiny and hard, depending on the angle of view. 

 

If it was groomed early in the evening while it was very wet and warm, then froze over afterwards, it won't make that clackety clack sound and it won't be real boilerplate.  It will be solid frozen corduroy, impenetrable; here in New England we call that "firm conditions."  You Non-Easterners might call it ice.  

 

The classic sign that you are on true boilerplate is that intense and relentlessly loud clackety-clack.  The noise hurts your ears.  If your suspension is good, you teeth don't rattle. 

post #39 of 57
Thread Starter 
Frozen corduroy is actually very fun to play on, especially after it's softened a bit by sunlight. Just don't try slide across the ridges.
post #40 of 57

I think the worst are loose Ice chunks on top of a frozen hard base. Kind of like a Gravel road.

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

or at least it should be blue

 

The first time I went to Mad River Glen at lunch I struck up a conversation with a woman in the lodge. We were talking about snow, snowmaking, then ice. She told me, "Oh, our ice is so much better.We don't have that yellow ice you get from man made snow. It's more clear or blue. Much better to ski on." It was hilarious.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 

Your pole was planted in the snow in the first picture (or being held up by a munchkin). Not boilerplate.

 

That is refrozen snow. It has air content as evidenced by the overall white color. Air content improves its edge-ability.

 

Boilerplate looks like a skating rink at an angle. Boilerplate chips when you attempt to plant a pole in it.

 

edit:

 

I'm not saying I'd enjoy skiing on the snow you photographed. I once taught a tele lesson on snow very similar to your snow. I first taught self-arrest techniques.

 

Yeah in the pic it's solid, but it's not clear to clearish. Should look more like stuff people like to climb. I've never had totally smooth boilerplate, it's always rippled.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

Worst boilerplate I ever saw was when they held the NCAA National Championships on Stowe's Hayride. It rained a day or two before, then dropped well below zero and blew like 100 mph. I could barely stand up on it on fresh tuned SL skis, let alone ski on it. The worst part for the racers was that they all needed finishes for the team score so some of them would ski out and hike 4 or 5 times in a single run. Kids were finishing with times of like 8 minutes.

Holy Cow! Now that's bad.

 

I must say, the biggest stretch of boilerplate I've ever been on was at Stowe. I think it was Hayride also. (was like 10 years ago) Honestly, I have no idea why it was open. The surface was clear and rippled from the water flowing down the trail. It was pretty wide, maybe 20-30 feet. Through the ice you could see small twigs suspended and frozen. Like a clear fossil. I told my girlfriend, "The ripples help you get control." They're "traction ribs". She didn't buy it. I went for "it's good training". I got "training for what??" I really had no answer...

We made one run on it. I thought it was...interesting. I wanted to go back and do it again. No way. I heard about that one for weeks.

 

Of course it's a Catch 22. You can't set an edge with the ribs but the ripples help you....nah. Basically you clatter around. I've never tried to actually stop on it.

 

I'm not sure that Boiler Plate is is necessarily the hardest ice. I think non-boiler can be harder. Maybe we should make an ice encyclopedia.

One time at Stowe in a clinic with Ms. Marshall...

It's January and real cold. Since Ms. Marshall buys her down coats in ascending sizes so she can wear three of them, cold is not a factor. Nor is time. We board the lift just before closing at 4pm. Now on the top of National, we are faced with a sheer ice patch for the first maybe 40-50 feet. It looks icy, but "not that bad". The guy in front of me goes. After less than 10 feet he's sliding down on his side and then he's head first accelerating rapidly. Looks bad for him. I tell myself "pfft..can't be that bad. My edges are sharp. I'll be fine".

 

I go. I don't even remember trying to set an edge, the first thing I see is the sky then the ground and I'm sliding on my side - fast. Mostly through luck of surface change I come to a stop.

That ice was like Home Depot floor concrete. Unedgeable. I watched Ms Michelin Man come down it. She just stayed real centered over the skis and slid one way then the other. We had a good laugh over it.

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

 

...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 
Your pole was planted in the snow in the first picture (or being held up by a munchkin). Not boilerplate. That is refrozen snow. It has air content as evidenced by the overall white color. Air content improves its edge-ability. Boilerplate looks like a skating rink at an angle. Boilerplate chips when you attempt to plant a pole in it. edit: I'm not saying I'd enjoy skiing on the snow you photographed. I once taught a tele lesson on snow very similar to your snow. I first taught self-arrest techniques.

 

Yeah in the pic it's solid, but it's not clear to clearish. Should look more like stuff people like to climb. I've never had totally smooth boilerplate, it's always rippled.

 

...

 

I haven't seen smooth boiler plate, either. :D The ice rink I was referring to was a primitive, outdoor rink; just boards (for hockey) set up on a playing field, no Zamboni. At night, they'd turn on the water, let it pool and voila: new ice surface! Not much smoother than lake or pond ice.

post #43 of 57
Smooth boiler plate makes an appearance when a groomed run is scraped down to the shiny ice underneath.

Rock solid and impossible to turn on, usually shows up at heavy traffic junctions and merges. Makes for some interesting skiing.
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 

I'm not sure that Boiler Plate is is necessarily the hardest ice. I think non-boiler can be harder. Maybe we should make an ice encyclopedia.

One time at Stowe in a clinic with Ms. Marshall...

It's January and real cold. Since Ms. Marshall buys her down coats in ascending sizes so she can wear three of them, cold is not a factor. Nor is time. We board the lift just before closing at 4pm. Now on the top of National, we are faced with a sheer ice patch for the first maybe 40-50 feet. It looks icy, but "not that bad". The guy in front of me goes. After less than 10 feet he's sliding down on his side and then he's head first accelerating rapidly. Looks bad for him. I tell myself "pfft..can't be that bad. My edges are sharp. I'll be fine".

 

I go. I don't even remember trying to set an edge, the first thing I see is the sky then the ground and I'm sliding on my side - fast. Mostly through luck of surface change I come to a stop.

That ice was like Home Depot floor concrete. Unedgeable. I watched Ms Michelin Man come down it. She just stayed real centered over the skis and slid one way then the other. We had a good laugh over it.

 

The top of National is ALWAYS like that. I'm not entirely certain, as I haven't investigated in the summer, but I have a strong suspicion that there is a natural spring at the lip of that headwall, which saturates the snow and freezes up into a solid mass. The only way I've ever found down that headwall is skiers right, where a single bump line forms.

post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

Smooth boiler plate makes an appearance when a groomed run is scraped down to the shiny ice underneath.

Rock solid and impossible to turn on, usually shows up at heavy traffic junctions and merges. Makes for some interesting skiing.


Not impossible,scribe your edges into the ice.

post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

Smooth boiler plate makes an appearance when a groomed run is scraped down to the shiny ice underneath.

Rock solid and impossible to turn on, usually shows up at heavy traffic junctions and merges. Makes for some interesting skiing.

 

Just as Slider says, this is not impossible to turn on.  Skiers at my mountain ski this stuff all the time.  You get used to it.  "Skied off."

"Salt on formica."  Then just formica once all the salt is in the woods.  We don't call this boilerplate.  It's just normal scraped off stuff.

 

And there's frozen suede.  Looks nice, edgeable, somewhat, but still solid and impenetrable; no tracks, and if your poles don't have those little sharp points on their tips they just slide on it; they cannot put any dents in this stuff either.

post #47 of 57
SO GLAD I MOVED. I'll know I'm really a westerner when I start complaining about ice... Still have a vestige of ability left, tho.
post #48 of 57

This thread is starting to become hilarious. We're going to have to dig up "ICE" magazine.

 

Last week I was skiing the small patches of boiler plate on the side of the trail. It had rained the week before. Even had a couple patches long enough where you could make turns on it. People see it and think you're crazy. Honestly, it's not that bad. Start by just going straight over it. The mind screams at you to stop but what does it know??

 

I love to get kids going over boilerplate. You talk it up like it's great stuff and just have them go straight over a small patch. If you can get one to do it there'll be more.  Good to get them when young before their minds are polluted by the ice = bad viewpoint. I try to get them to look for good ice we can ski. Years ago I used to take my nephew on "ice hunts". We'd basically go around the mountain looking for boiler plate. Even if it was a flat area we'd ski it. One place in between trails was where they drained the snowguns sometimes and no one skied it. Like a small tilted pond with ripples. Tremendous boiler plate, very flat, slow speed, lots of fun.

 

I knew an instructor once who said his wife, who was an intermediate skier, "loved ice". "What do you mean she loves ice??" we all yelled in disbelief. He said, "love" is a bit strong, but she's not afraid of it at all. When she was just learning, no one was around to tell her ice was bad and hard and dangerous, so she just skied over it. Now she has no fear of it.

 

How would we define Formica ice? I know what you're talking about. Very odd stuff. It literally feels slippery like a subtley textured Formica. I think it comes from man made. It's white, has a sheen but not real glossy, though there is the rained on glossy version, not super hard but hard enough, and you slide sideways across it really easily. Some people call it teflon ice.

 

Sib, see what you're missin' out there with that - powder?? Well....at least you've got the fog.

post #49 of 57
And we had it today!
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

Just as Slider says, this is not impossible to turn on.  Skiers at my mountain ski this stuff all the time.  You get used to it.  "Skied off."

"Salt on formica."  Then just formica once all the salt is in the woods.  We don't call this boilerplate.  It's just normal scraped off stuff.

 

And there's frozen suede.  Looks nice, edgeable, somewhat, but still solid and impenetrable; no tracks, and if your poles don't have those little sharp points on their tips they just slide on it; they cannot put any dents in this stuff either.

 

 

If it's "impenetrable", then by definition of skiing, how can you turn?

post #51 of 57

Just like an Ice skater. Light,quick and not to much edge.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior:How_Things_Work/Ice_Skates

post #52 of 57

I always thought of "boiler plate" as the sheet of ice that separates the snow from the ground beneath.  You only see the "boiler plate" when the snow above it gets scraped off.   The pic does not qualify IMHO because the icy glaze is clearly on top of a layer of compacted snow (it's white under a glaze of ice).  Boiler plate should be thick, solid ice.

 

STE

post #53 of 57

Here is a picture of the 'surface' under some more recent snow at Loveland Valley where the NorAms are held.

 

The first vew racers had hero snow until this was exposed. This snow had all but the best racers skidding.

 

 

While it doesn't look like much in the picture, it was deemed harder than the snow at Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey course by a long time Talon Crew member; Talon Crew is the guys and gals that work the hill before and during the race. The lines going across the snow are frozen in cat tracks. The (sort of) vertical lines in the picture are the result of over 80 racers going down the course.

 

This is an artificial surface made by running water over previously groomed man made snow. There had been a foot or more of new natural snow since the surface was created hence the hero snow before the ice was cleared.

post #54 of 57

I understand that this ^^^ is not true boilerplate as it was 'made' not natural. It is impenetrable, and you can see into it although that is not obvious from the hastily taken camera-phone photo. I was in the process of helping reset the course and didn't have time to get the 'perfect' shot.

post #55 of 57

Scary thread!

post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

 

If it's "impenetrable", then by definition of skiing, how can you turn?

Friction. And things happen slowly. Sometimes they don't.

That's what makes the formica stuff so difficult. It's slippery with little friction.

post #57 of 57

Prolly couldn't drive a Nail into that MR. What I see is most skiers don't even see the Ice they are about to ski onto, so they do not prepare for it. I was in a Ski school years ago in Tahoe that imported a few East coast skiers. Those folks could really ski the Ice. I paid attention to their movements.

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