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How can the powder looks so good, ski so crummy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I went to White Pine ski area in Pinedale, Wy yesterday. They had successive dumps of 24", 30", and 15". Riding the chairlift up I saw great expanses of freshies that were untouched, even though it was 11 AM. I blasted off the cat track at the top into a vast powderfield - and immediately ground to a halt. My so-called powderboards were unable to stay on top of the heavy snow (Mojo 90's). My two boys followed me into the sludge, and we slogged it out for 30 minutes to get to a packed run. I've never been stymied like that before.

Very weird conditions lately, and reading about the Jackson Hole in-bounds avy death, I can sorta see why. JH is about an hour away from White Pine. White Pine doesn't have the steeps to get too worried about avalanches, for better or worse.
post #2 of 16
Doesn't sound like powder to me. Sounds like heavy snow!
post #3 of 16
simple your mojo 90 arent powderboards. they are a great mid fat that can ski light fresh powder great.

my guess is what ever it is a big skier would eat it up.

the powder you were skiing was probably sunbacked,windpacked or just feel heavy. again a reverse/reverse ski would make short work of it.
post #4 of 16
Also the terrain at White Pine is not at all steep. It makes it hard to keep the momentum up when the snow is deep and thick. I would not completely discount avalanches there.
post #5 of 16
That was my first thought as well. Although I don't know the terrain I find that without a good pitch skiing powder is like you say slogging it out. And it's probably why the area wasn't tracked out.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post
I went to White Pine ski area in Pinedale, Wy yesterday. They had successive dumps of 24", 30", and 15". Riding the chairlift up I saw great expanses of freshies that were untouched, even though it was 11 AM. I blasted off the cat track at the top into a vast powderfield - and immediately ground to a halt. My so-called powderboards were unable to stay on top of the heavy snow (Mojo 90's). My two boys followed me into the sludge, and we slogged it out for 30 minutes to get to a packed run. I've never been stymied like that before.

Very weird conditions lately, and reading about the Jackson Hole in-bounds avy death, I can sorta see why. JH is about an hour away from White Pine. White Pine doesn't have the steeps to get too worried about avalanches, for better or worse.
Fresh as the snow may be, in my mind there is a big difference between powder and sludge.
post #7 of 16
..... and the right wax can make a huge diffrence.
post #8 of 16

Powder?

Spikedog. Well lets see, "Theres some untouched virgin powder, it is 11 AM, I am at a ski area inbounds, it is Christmas Vacation and no one has touched it."

That is a clue by the way.

I'm not making fun of you because I have done the same thing! ONCE
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that was a clue, Pete. That's why I included that info in my OP. It only looked like powder on top. I was just so jazzed looking at it from the lift, it was my first day of the season, and White Pine isn't overpopulated with powderhounds. I thought I was just lucky.

BushPA, Tetonpowderjunkie - you're correct, fat skis and steeper terrain would have helped tremendously. I could make a couple of leaning-back turns if I bombed into it from a packed area, but would quickly auger in. I overheard Max Lundberg saying they had never received so much snow in so little time in his memory.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
simple your mojo 90 arent powderboards. they are a great mid fat that can ski light fresh powder great.

my guess is what ever it is a big skier would eat it up.

the powder you were skiing was probably sunbacked,windpacked or just feel heavy. again a reverse/reverse ski would make short work of it.
X2

I ski the Mojo 90 and it just isn't a bottomless pow board. If you were expecting it to float on top, you're either 80lbs or you had an extra ski for the third leg... Sounds to me like the snow was heavy and wet- something that would warrant a steep pitch in order to ski properly and with that snowfall that could be dangerous. This would have been a day for something reverse/reverse/rocker/superfat no doubt. You would have slayed it. Sounds like a hell of a problem tho, eh? "All this untracked is a real pain in the ass!"
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
You probably pitch the Mojo 90 here even more than I do, DoWork. I'll tell you, White Pine is probably the last place I'd ever think to take a set of super-fatties to.
post #12 of 16
reading the snow is the main deal on a powder day, and skiers make a lifetime passion of figuring that sh__ out.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post
You probably pitch the Mojo 90 here even more than I do, DoWork. I'll tell you, White Pine is probably the last place I'd ever think to take a set of super-fatties to.
Very true. However, choosing the right tool for the job is paramount in obtaining the desired outcome. It just sounded like the experience you sought in those conditions with that equipment was unrealistic. I'm not faulting you OR the skis but the equation just doesn't add up in this situation. That is the enviable situation tho: having more snow that one knows what to do with.

As we say out here, "Powdah is like wicked hahd, hey" people dream for fresh snow but it's not always what you dreamed for when it comes, for sure! All you see is blank excellence, but there's gonna be a whole rubix cube beneath that milky carpet! Somebody here just said skiers spend their whole life trying to figure that out.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Spikedog. Well lets see, "Theres some untouched virgin powder, it is 11 AM, I am at a ski area inbounds, it is Christmas Vacation and no one has touched it."

That is a clue by the way.
that is totally right on. I see it all the time at Squaw, like this patch above the rollover to the face, always wind scoured down to the scree, but sometimes covered with a layer of blower, wouldn't support a piece of paper. I saw this guy making very cute wedeln turns into that patch and all was just bitchin for about 6 turns, and then the clattering and sommersauting on scree, ouch! If you have a population of skiers like we do here (and you have out there), and nobody will touch it, there is a reason, that is the clue and the powder analysis already, and if you ski it you will not likely be "lucky", bet on it!
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don't feel so bad now. The guy in the cell, er, office next to me patrols at White Pine occasionally. He went the day before me, and chugged over to a run called Warbonnet, virgin snow, untouched, what you join the patrol for. He was on top at 9 AM and made it to the lodge at noon. 3 hours on one run. With Gotamas on.
post #16 of 16
Angle of the fall line got ya (or lack of it). Up here in the great Inland Northwest on my LSH we got hammered with 40-50+" of very dry powder on top of NO BASE. Getting off the carpet was near to impossible. Try 'dragging a boggan' thru that crap. I patrol there and I lost count of the 'sloggers' spending a good portion of their lift ticket stuck in the fluff, armpit high.
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