Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick way off the summit

Dooooood! The video starts off quite normal, but watch the whole thing to see a not so normal way to get off the summit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

World record for the largest observed snowflake

Continuing with the extreme theme.....last night as I let the dogs out for their nighty-nighty piss in the yard I was blown away by what was falling out of the sky. It had been raining only an hour before and was just a touch above freezing, but now it was what we call in the business nuking. As I gazed skyward, I watched the biggest snowflakes I've seen in my 36 years. I scrambled for my phone to take some pictures or video, nothing could capture the moment. Catching a few in my hand they easily measured 2.5" across and most everything falling was that size. For 10 minutes I was mesmerized by the quiet giants piling up on the grass.

Looking into records, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, the largest snowflakes fallen during a storm in January 1887 at Fort Keogh, in Montana. A rancher nearby, called them “larger than milk pans” and measured one at 15 inches wide. Damn, bring it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

EXTREME!!!! snowfall

The National Weather Service says Missoula received 9.7 inches of snow on Monday 2/7/11- measured from 12:01 a.m. until midnight. In all, the arctic storm - which officially began on Monday evening - delivered 11.4 inches of new snow to the Missoula Valley. By the way, the EXTREME!!! reference to this post comes from this Missoulian article: Extreme Snowfall wreaks havoc on the roads. Hah! Extreme??? I think that word might be left better to describe things like Mt. Bakers 1,140 inches of snowfall for the 1998-99 snowfall season

And yes, Snowbowl got a few of those inches, 17" to be exact over 2 days. I wasn't able to make it up on Monday, but the wife did. She came home with one of those powder eating grins that only a hubby could love. But Tuesday was open for the shredding. The regular crew set up shop towards the front of the line an hour before opening and awaited the smiles to come.

But first I had to do some last minute adjustments to my bindings in the line. Seems to be par for the course this year with bindings. I've had more problems with bindings this year that I ever have. This time, as I clicked in with 5 minutes till loading I noticed some visible looseness. With a lent screwdriver from the line, I tightened the toe height, it seemed better. I found out the end of the day, that was not the problem. The issue was that when I mounted my CRJ's a few weeks ago I didn't tighten the mounting screws enough. Lesson learned, but they held all day.

Back to the day....we found the mountain in great condition. Winds had picked up over night and buffed a lot of things out. Most of the snow looked to have fell before 3pm the previous day. However, Snowbowl in its classic weird snow report claimed 9" new (they reported 8" the previous day). You've got to be on top of their reports. The day turned BLUE-BIRD about 11am and we took full advantage of the day. The CRJ's performed like the should on all the fluffy pillows of pow. A lunch time stop of the Griz chair for 30 minutes worked well with my destroyed legs.

I couldn't fail to mention the skier that showed the opening lift line what the true spirit of a powder day is all about. This guy rolled into the line with a one piece, waxed mustache and a bugle. I keep my eye on him for about 20 minutes, wondering what shenanigans he was up to. I watched as he kept putting the bugle up to his mouth, seemingly mouthing it during that time. When the chair began to load, this powder trooper let roar the Calvery Charge through his mighty bugle. If that doesn't say powder day, I don't know what does.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100 Inches

Snowbowl cracked a 100" base this week, not bad at all. Considering other ski areas around the state have considerably less (Bridger=61", Moonlight=50", Red Lodge=33", Discovery=59"). The storms have definitely favored the western part of the state thus far. La Nina has been good to us quantity wise. If I had one thing to ask of the little lady it would be to bring a few more cold storms. We've had some wet snow this year, don't get me wrong I ain't complaining.

The sun is always nice, and as luck would have it this week we had 2 sunny days. That makes 9 sunny days since Halloween, get out the tanning oil! Sunscreen? Nope I wasn't having it. I wanted to try to get every last ounce of Vitamin D that I could. We headed behind Snowbowl on Tuesday to see what was shaking. There was one of the larger groups I've seen gearing up to head back in the same direction. But by the time we got back there, we had the place all to ourselves. Three laps of the B-Ridge and my legs were smoked. The snowpack has really settled and conditions were great. 6" of developing hoar frost/recycled pow on top of a ultra bomber base. Anyone else seen anything different?