On 26 Nov 2000, at 12:36, James Michael Kusack wrote:

> What is worse?  Freezing rain?  Or rain that freezes into boilerplate?

Kind of situational, James.  If freezing rain falls over soft snow
(preferably several or more inches of fresh) it forms a crust which
can then be broken by the groomers (or body slammed by
snowboarders) you can end up with VERY nice packed powder
conditions once the crust is broken and mixed in. (1997-type ice
storms notwithstanding).   Freezing rain can play temporary hell on
lifts, particularly detachables, but it's not a hard problem to solve
later (unpleasant and labor intensive, yes, but not particularly hard).

As long as the snow pack remains sufficiently porous -- whether
natural or man made -- rain water can leach through the snowpack
without TOO much negative impact.  In fact, this isn't necessarily a
bad thing, because the added moisture CAN add density to the
snow and, once refrozen, make for more durable base (which is
always nice to have in the trees, n'est-ce pas?).

Older snow pack, especially that which is already very dense, is
less capable of absorption and leaching.  The water tends to stay
in place and freeze there, creating a very hard substrate.  To
manage it, you can either try to get down beneath the scab layer to
softer snow and grind everything together, or just stick more snow
on top of it.


Tartan 30 # 526 "Howl"

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