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Here's Something New...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had never seen it before, anyway.

Yesterday, two friends and I were skiing Four Shadows Couloir on Cody Peak here at Jackson Hole. Four Shadows is fairly steep and long, and the snow is definitely on its way to being done for the year.

My two friends skied down while I took some photos and I came down last. I skied a slightly different line than they did, kind of a wall under the top cornice. On each turn, I was shaving off about two inches of slushy snow, which then started sluffing down the chute. I was staying just ahead or about even with the snow that was sliding.

That in itself isn't very unusual, but what happened next was. There was a very pronounced little gully straight down the center of the chute. It was about two feet deep by three feet wide, with rounded sides so it looked like a little luge run. All the cascading snow was funneling into that chute.

I stopped at the bottom where the other two were waiting. As we stood there, all the snow I had kicked off just kept gushing by us down that little trough. That snow ran by us for almost three full minutes. It looked (and sounded) almost exactly like concrete coming down the chute from a cement truck.

We watched it slide down and pile out into the bottom of the bowl. It was really pretty incredible. I've just never seen anything like that. Has anybody else?

It was a fun day.

Bob
post #2 of 22
You're making the hair on the back of my neck stand straight out. No, I've never seen that, and with a modicum of luck, I never shall.
post #3 of 22
That's pretty cool. I had a similar experince at Tuckerman Ravine this year. Climbing the bowl, there was almost a continuous run of slough. The scariest part was that we had to cross the slough run while climbing.

John
post #4 of 22
The condition you're describing is known as Alpine Aggregate Funicialarism, common at altitudes above 7500'. It occurs most often when nighttime temps remain just below freezing, and daytime temps reach 54-58 deg. F.

On a larger scale, it can be quite dangerous.
post #5 of 22
> ... Alpine Aggregate Funicialarism ...

OK, I’ll bite

Good one, but you'll really impress us if you have a URL for that phrase. I can’t Google up a single hit about it, or even just the single words "funicialarism" or the possible root "funicial".

Are you sure you didn’t mean “Alpine Funicularism”, which is the well known tendency of players of the game, “Ski Resort Tycoon”, to keep building funiculars?

Tom / PM

[ June 17, 2003, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
> ... Alpine Aggregate Funicialarism ...

OK, I’ll bite … Where in blazes does that phrase come from? I can’t Google up a single hit about it, or even just the single word "funicialarism".

Are you sure you didn’t mean “Alpine Funicularism”, which is the well known tendency of players of the game, “Ski Resort Tycoon”, to keep building funiculars?

Tom / PM
Tom,
I was thinking that myself.
Aggregates is another word for stones etc used for road foundations, landfill etc, and occasionally made from slag heaps, so maybe "Alpine Aggregate Funicularism" is about designing lifts for ski resorts built on landfill scree.

S
post #7 of 22
> ... so maybe "Alpine Aggregate Funicularism" is about designing lifts for ski resorts built on landfill scree ...

Humm, Fox ... That's certainly possible. Another possibility is that it is an obscure psychological term used to describe the collective tendency of ski resort owners participating in a group therapy session to want to focus only on building funiculars, and not on their mothers.



Tom / PM

[ June 17, 2003, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #8 of 22
Or perhaps it's a concept that Bill Gates will be releasing in the working version of Windows XP (whenever that comes out).
First there was the World Wide Web, where all computers in the world come together, and now there will be the World Wide Funicular, or WWF (where have I heard that acronym before? My mind is wrestling with that question ).
The idea is that a skier goes to a terminal and types in wwf.Whistler.lift to immediately get on a funicular to Whistler, or wwf.Aspen.lift to get on a first class funicular to Colorado, or maybe wwf.Chamonix.lift to join the line to get on a funicular to Cham. (Chamonix will have a big funicular presence, but too many users trying to access it at once...)

S
post #9 of 22


I think we milked this one just about dry.

Tom / PM

PS - now watch Xdog chime back in and inform us that this really is commonly used terminology.

PPS - BobP, sorry for the diversion. The devil made me do it. To answer your question, no, I've never seen slough run for three minutes, and certainly not in a narrow gully like that. The latter, however, is just due to my inexperience - if I'm on something steep enough to slough, its always much more than a few feet wide and the sluff (sic) just tends to come down in a wide sheet.

PPPS - Anyone else annoyed by the fact that you know you should write, "slough", when you really want to just write, "sluff"?

[ June 17, 2003, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
[QB

PPPS - Anyone else annoyed by the fact that you know you should write, "slough", when you really want to just write, "sluff"?

[/QB]
Yes!

Especially given that back in the Midwest where I'm from, a "slough" (pronounced slew) is a wet, grassy or weedy gully.

There are just too many definitions for some words.

Bob

I, too, am mightily intrigued by "Alpine Aggregate Funicialarism". Xdog sounds so certain about the term that maybe we should believe him. The "aggregate" part certainly fits because the size of the individual chunks of snow was about what you would see in a slurry of aggregate concrete.

Very interesting.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:

I, too, am mightily intrigued by "Alpine Aggregate Funicialarism". Xdog sounds so certain about the term that maybe we should believe him. The "aggregate" part certainly fits because the size of the individual chunks of snow was about what you would see in a slurry of aggregate concrete.

Very interesting.[/QB]
The only real interesting part of this discussion is the stuff I come up with when I'm off my meds. Sorry, I couldn't resist

2nd most interesting thing= You're still skiing! That's just nifty, wish I was. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #12 of 22
>...is the stuff I come up with when I'm off my meds. Sorry, I couldn't resist ...

I just KNEW he had to be making that one up (but he actually did get me to Google it). Take a break from the meds more often. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Tom / PM
post #13 of 22
HEY DOG --- YOU"RE THE BOMB!!! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #14 of 22
Funis is latin for "cord" or "cord-like" and is a root word for several anatomical structures, or conditions pertaining to those structures, that resemble a cord (e.g., fiber tracts in the spinal cord [funiculus(li)], spermatic cord, umbilical cord).

Perhaps the word could be used to describe a mass of slough (sluff ,slew, it's all snow) transiting in such a way as to resemble a cord.
post #15 of 22
Bob,

Far more impressive than your experience with that slough is the fact that you are still skiing in June. Good for ya'! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #16 of 22
I can't remember it all, but the song goes...

Dum de dum de dum....Funiculee, funiculah!!!!!
post #17 of 22
From WTFH

Skiing is fun. This forum is about skiing. Therefore this forum should be fun.

I'm just tryin to do my part. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #18 of 22
Bob, Something like this?

CEMENT/SLOUGH
post #19 of 22
"Alpine Aggregate Funicularism"

Oh yes, of course when you put it that way, I've seen it, and was almost taken out by it in Tuckermans, right below the headwall in late May a couple years back.

Early in the am, one of only a handful of people in the bowl, I was making my first climb of the day. The "Alpine Aggregate Funicularism" was right next to a bootpacked step. I stepped too close, foot gave way, and next thing you know, I'm hanging by my skis which a second prior were over my shoulder, they were now bridging the gap of the funicular debris chute, holding me above a nice quick slide to the bottom of the ravine floor.

I was able to slowly extricate myself from the tube. And after a quick run down to the lunch rocks, the handful of early birds gave me a nice round of applause, after all, we all knew without saying it; I had escaped the steely death grip of the deadly "Alpine Aggregate Funicularism".

Moral of the story? Short skis can be deadly. Good thing I had my 207's with me that day.
post #20 of 22
Consider yourself veeeerrrrrrryyyy lucky son. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #21 of 22
Bob, if you haven't seen this before then it must be a maritime snowpack type'othing cause it's pretty prevailent out here on the eastcoast. It comes every year in the spring with heavy melt days and it can happen on slopes less than 35 degrees. In May on a hot day there is always a continual slow moving slushstream down the center of Airplane gully on Mt Clay (which that moron Hillary Clinton now wants to rename Mt Reagan!!). I've seen the culvert it formed get as deep as 5 feet. If you fell in you'd get slowly buried without any possible rescue.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Cheap seats:
Bob, if you haven't seen this before then it must be a maritime snowpack type'othing cause it's pretty prevailent out here on the eastcoast. It comes every year in the spring with heavy melt days and it can happen on slopes less than 35 degrees. In May on a hot day there is always a continual slow moving slushstream down the center of Airplane gully on Mt Clay (which that moron Hillary Clinton now wants to rename Mt Reagan!!). I've seen the culvert it formed get as deep as 5 feet. If you fell in you'd get slowly buried without any possible rescue.
That sounds really cool (not the Ms. Clinton part).

It really seemed strange to me and I've done quite a lot of late spring/summer skiing here in the Rockies (or Tetons or Wasatch or whatever). I'd love to see that phenomenon on Mt. Clay some time.

Artimus, I couldn't open your link. I'm stuck on a dialup connection these days and nothing seems to work. Thanks anyway.

Bob
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