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Excellent information.  Thanks.

I think I read you to say that the current situation probably won't be
disasterous, given what I assume to be the current porousness of the
newly made snow.  Or is that wishful thinking . . . ?

Skip King wrote:

> 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)

Mini groomers, yes!  I'm probably not alone in trying to get into a
boarder's track whenever the snow quality is uncertain.



> 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.
>
> skip
>
> Tartan 30 # 526 "Howl"
>
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