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Too much snow. Is there such a thing? - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

Equipment changes are like cashing in a single tokens - a one shot deal. 

Improve basic fundamentals will yield a whole change purse of tokens for you to cash in.

 

Powder is a different ballgame.  You can break the rules on a 3 ft pow day, look at Shane McConkey.  I do agree it takes fundamentals to be able to ski it efficiently but I also think equipment being dialed for conditions comes into play more the deeper the snow is.

 

You do see that 'dialed for conditions' really means 'dialed to *you* for conditions', yeh?    So that if you have an immensely adaptive *you*, the dialing doesn't need to be so narrow?

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

Equipment changes are like cashing in a single tokens - a one shot deal. 

Improve basic fundamentals will yield a whole change purse of tokens for you to cash in.

 

Powder is a different ballgame.  You can break the rules on a 3 ft pow day, look at Shane McConkey.  I do agree it takes fundamentals to be able to ski it efficiently but I also think equipment being dialed for conditions comes into play more the deeper the snow is.

 

Have you seen Shane on variable bad snow. It ain't just the skis.

 

IMHO, technique is more important than skis. I have had my ass kicked and handed to me on a platter by a teenager on a 158 cm SL in 18" of powder at the bird. I was on a 186 goat. Skis help but it won't do the entire job for you.   

 

Oops, edit for correct qualifier. 


Edited by KingGrump - 8/27/15 at 5:53am
post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

Equipment changes are like cashing in a single tokens - a one shot deal. 

Improve basic fundamentals will yield a whole change purse of tokens for you to cash in.

 

Powder is a different ballgame.  You can break the rules on a 3 ft pow day, look at Shane McConkey.  I do agree it takes fundamentals to be able to ski it efficiently but I also think equipment being dialed for conditions comes into play more the deeper the snow is.

 

Have you seen Shane on variable bad snow. It ain't just the skis.

 

IMHO, technique is more important than skis. I have had my ass kicked and handed to me on a platter by a teenager on a 158 cm SL in 18' of powder at the bird. I was on a 186 goat. Skis help but it won't do the entire job for you.   

 

18 feet of powder? I think that would definitely qualify as too much snow.

 

In all seriousness though, I agree with @mdf IRT technique. With fresh, totally untracked to 1-3 tracks per 400 sq feet (Not sure how else to quantify, we'll say 20 by 20 feet), I can ski fine. Almost tracked out, where there's so many tracks you can't even count, but still a few spots of freshies, I can ski fine. But where you get to 7-10 tracks per 400 sq feet, thats where I have issues, usually by getting thrown in the front and backseat a little. That's my one of focus areas for improvement this year. 

post #34 of 55

Variable snow is all about technique.  I think skiing deep powder with maximum efficiency and fun is another ballgame to the point where equipment choice is make or break.  Skiing deep powder is the highest expression of our sport.  It is taking the fundamentals you learn and applying your own creativity and style.

post #35 of 55

Don't get me wrong, I love my powder skis. Won't go anywhere without them.

And if by chance I'm caught without a pair during a happy dump, I would just go out and buy myself a pair. :D 

post #36 of 55

About 40 years ago , I went out to Alta for a solo week of skiing . I arrived in a snowstorm which during the day and overnight dumped several feet of snow . It covered the chairlifts to the extent that they couldn't run them for 3 days until  the blizzard finally stopped . I was staying at The Goldminers Daughter hotel , and while drinking a beer at the  GD's bar I struck up a conversation with a short , somewhat rotund gentleman named Alf Engen ! What a great guy , and what a wonderful time listening to his stories over the next three days when they were finally able to dig out the lifts . Talk about powder , wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #37 of 55

Lets reframe the question.

 

There is obviously too much snow events in the BC.

There is obviously too much snow when the lifts are physically snowed in, or when avalanche risk closes the whole mountain (though this can be a function of the type of snow which I will get into below).

 

If we are talking about too much snow where skiing automatically sucks, NO. NO. NO.

 

My data points are skiing in more 60+" storm cycles than I can count at Wolf Creek, including about half a dozen 80-100" cycles and one stupidly massive 120" cycle that rolled through two years ago. Out of that 11 day Storm, I got 5 day, and they were each mind-blowingly amazing. During that storm cycle I was also hiking into terrain that hadn't been touched since the last cycle (or maybe a few before that)- the only packing done was by the ten feet of fresh snow on top.  There was no such thing as too deep just as a measure of snowfall.

 

Notable is that Wolf has flat benches that run all across the mountain, so I'm not even talking "there is never too much snow as long as you keep moving on steeps." Also Wolf gets snow that ranges from cold smoke blower to the same style of storms Mammoth sees- heavy, wet Southern Pacific storms with silver dollar sized flakes. Wolf is unique in that it's average water content is higher than almost anywhere in the intermountain West (MT, WY, UT, CO, NM).

 

In my opinion, the piece that wrecks big storms is when the storm starts light and progresses to denser snow.  All light snow is great. All wet and heavy snow is great- it offers more resistance, but that additional density also means it is more supportive and you sink in less. Snow that starts dense and moves to blower is great.

 

Snow that starts light and ends dense sucks some ass in big storms. The light snow underneath collapses and compacts under your weight, pushing the ski into the snowpack. The upper layer of the snowpack is heavy, so you gets tons of resistance which grinds you to a stop. I've been on 35* slopes straightlined, ground to a halt. This particular case, it took me 3 hours to move about 700 feet to get back to an area that somebody had played trailbreaker on and gotten tracks through.

 

In the same situation as the above with a uniform dense snowpack, the skis would never have pushed too far down into the snow- self correcting. If the snow was blower, it wouldn't have offered the resistance. I've only found the problem with too light on bottom and dense on top. Perhaps there is some density that is light enough to be unsupportive but heavy enough to slow you down, but I haven't found it.

 

There is snow types that create physical/endurance challenges. The aforementioned 120" storm cycle generally moved dense to light as the storm progressed. About 100" in , there was a layer a few feet down that was much more dense than the top layer. As the skis moved in and out of this denser layer, resistance would go up and down- which forced your quads to hold balance- and wore out your quads. It felt kind of like standing in breakers on the beach, only you couldn't see the next wave and were forced to tense up waiting for it. 

post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

There is snow types that create physical/endurance challenges. The aforementioned 120" storm cycle generally moved dense to light as the storm progressed. About 100" in , there was a layer a few feet down that was much more dense than the top layer. As the skis moved in and out of this denser layer, resistance would go up and down- which forced your quads to hold balance- and wore out your quads. It felt kind of like standing in breakers on the beach, only you couldn't see the next wave and were forced to tense up waiting for it. 

 

Eastern skiers get the same thing moving in and out of snowblower patches.

post #39 of 55

With regard to actual skiing anachronism has it exactly right.  The upside-down snowpack can be a challenge even with the best of modern powder skis.  Before fat skis i had only intermittent success and was very sensitive to snow quality, often frustrating when you live in California.  The fat skis have put the "all wet and heavy snow" scenario firmly into the fun category for me.

 

The original question would seem silly to those outside of North America. With no trees, skiing during even a moderate storm means following the orange balls slowly down a groomer.  Leaving the piste is like being inside a milk bottle.  .In the Alps, New Zealand, South America  they are praying for the sun more than the snow once a decent base is established. Powder is something you ski 2-3 days after the storm is over, the winds have abated and avalanche control is done.  As I'm in Las Lenas this is all too obvious to me at the moment.

post #40 of 55

I skied a 6 foot day at Squaw--light dry stuff--when only the consistently steep stuff was skiable--basically West Face or steeper. Riding up KT there was patrol at the top checking people for beacons. Not required, they were just sending a message. Looking out at GS bowl it looked like the Battle of the Bulge--lots of heads sticking out of foxholes.Coming down Tower 16--marginally skiable, I stopped 20 feet below a snowboarder who couldn't get up. Took me 15 minutes to climb up to help her. I remember another day where I stood at the top of Siberia--moderately steep at the top--pointed them straight downhill, pushed off, and didn't move.  Fatter skis obviously help, but not as much as being a good powder skier with strong legs. You really don't want to fall when it's that deep; it can be really hard to get up, especially on slopes that aren't very steep. One downside of fat skis is that in anything but the lightest snow you get ruts. Since the fat skis float so high when you hit a rut there can be quite a drop. Hard on the legs. The benefits outweigh the negatives, though. Fat skis have extended our skiing lives by decades. But in the long run, gravity is your friend--on days when there's "too much" snow there's no such thing as too steep as long as it hasn't slid. And the stuff that has slid makes a nice easier break when the legs get tired from the pow. (Upper 2/3 of Chute 75 until you hit the debris.)

post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

With regard to actual skiing anachronism has it exactly right.  The upside-down snowpack can be a challenge even with the best of modern powder skis. 

 

I'm not sure challenge adequately sums it up. I don't think technique can correct for this stuff.

 

I think the only things that can help are...

 

1. Skiing only very steep terrain- like over 40-45*. You would have to be lucky enough to ski at an area that has that kind of steeps on a consistent fall line from the top to bottom terminal of the lift. When I got stuck in one of the worst of these storms, It took about 30 second for each stride- I had to first clear snow from my chest to my knees (about 40 lbs of snow), then I had to pick up one ski (lots of effort when it is 4 feet down) and kick it forward, then kick with the next, then clear snow down to my knees. This happened starting on a slope that was about 35*.

 

2. Playing leapfrog. You get several ski buddies. One straightlines until they get stuck. The next straightlines in the first persons tracks, popping out to pass them and going as far as they can before THEY get stuck. The next person at the top straightlines and passes the first two, until you run out of people. Then the first person to get stuck jumps into the track of the others and repeats the process. Then, with a track established, you can actually ski on subsequent runs- skiing a few feet out of the track and jumping back in when momentum stalls out. If lines get opened up and skiable at Wolf on upside down days, it is usually by people or patrol doing this. Once there is a track that you can use, skiing this stuff isn't awful, but it takes dedication to get terrain "open."

 

I will see if it is possible to get on a ski wide enough to float out an unsupportive snowpack. If the 195cm Gigawatts don't do it, I am going to conclude that ski choice probably won't make a difference- but the biggest motivation in buying the skis was for this. 

post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post

None is my pictures but some that has figured at internet. Later in summer season someone did this at the same place.

That could make a real interesting half pipe competition...you could play defense against your competitors
post #43 of 55

Just found these from the 2012 Gathering at Lake Tahoe.

 

 

Alpine Meadow parking lot - There is a car under there somewhere.  

 

 

This area was bare of snow at the start of the week. A total of 108" fell in five days during the gathering. 

post #44 of 55

During the world record snowfall year of 1998-99 at Mt. Baker they had to close the ski area for three days just to dig out.  When you skied it was always in the middle of a storm day, which is cool until it's every day.  Then it becomes a bit of a drag to not be able to see.  I didn't see either Mt. Baker or Mt. Shuksan that entire season and it was braille skiing every day, just about.

 

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
 

None is my pictures but some that has figured at internet. Later in summer season someone did this at the same place.

 

 

Just a side note  along with apologies for a brief thread drift:  The skis that appear closest in the center foreground are the “Opinion” model skis made by Extrem Skis in Åre, Sweden.The “Opinion” is the result of a year long collaborative effort between Extrem Skis and interested members of freeride.se which is a Swedish ski forum similar to Epic Ski. The goal was to design a powder type ski with all-mountain versatility.

 

The project "Opinion" thread also led to direct meetings with company personnel and interested freeride.se members and the building and testing of a number of prototypes before the final version was selected. The “Opinion” won the 2014-15 ISPO Gold Medal in its category http://award.ispo.com/en/Winner-2014/Products/Ski/Ski-off-Piste-Allmountain/EXTREM-SKIS/

 

Now, to return to the subject of this thread  "Too much snow. Is there such a thing?"

post #46 of 55

Too much snow? I like in KY and have a home resort in IN. There is no such thing as too much snow =)

post #47 of 55

If your hill isn't steep enough and long enough there is such a thing as too much snow.  300' of vert on a 20* pitch in 2 feet or more of snow amounts to a huge workout pushing to get up enough momentum to hopefully turn three times.  Fatter skis really help, but it is still a slow go on a flat hill when the snow IS TOO DEEP.

post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdtotten View Post
 

Too much snow? I like in KY and have a home resort in IN. There is no such thing as too much snow =)

 

 

Perfect North?    Aren't we coming up to like the 10th anniversary of the avalanche?

http://www.foothillfreak.com/2005/december/perfectnorth/perfectnorth.php

post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

If your hill isn't steep enough and long enough there is such a thing as too much snow.  300' of vert on a 20* pitch in 2 feet or more of snow amounts to a huge workout pushing to get up enough momentum to hopefully turn three times.  Fatter skis really help, but it is still a slow go on a flat hill when the snow IS TOO DEEP.

 

 

To be fair, the one (the only) thing I really liked about the Salomon Qseries (pre-Rocker 2) is that it made skating downhill really ridiculously easy.     As in: more than a foot of snow on Okemo's Mountain Road, and we skated it.    I can't say I liked much of anything else about the ski, but that one feature was phenomenal.

post #50 of 55

Gnarly frozen grass slab^

post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


Perfect North?    Aren't we coming up to like the 10th anniversary of the avalanche?

http://www.foothillfreak.com/2005/december/perfectnorth/perfectnorth.php



Lol I remember last year watching someone with a shovel load up on lift and forgot about that slide. I guess it is perfectly acceptable to have a beacon and shovel for southern Indiana skiing.
post #52 of 55

Looks like Fieene Schnee

post #53 of 55

Ahh yes, the infamous avalanche at PNS. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened more. Very shallow snow pack on top of fairly warm ground temperatures that heat and refreeze at night. It actually did a good amount of damage, knocking out a lift tower and an electrical system. Luckily it happened at night so that no one was harmed. 

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdtotten View Post
 

Ahh yes, the infamous avalanche at PNS. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened more. Very shallow snow pack on top of fairly warm ground temperatures that heat and refreeze at night.

 

It happened at Wisp, too.   

 

post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

It happened at Wisp, too.   

 


Best snowguns EVER!

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