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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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What makes it icy?

I'm pretty new to snowboarding and I was wondering what makes the slop's snow icy or soft? I'm assuming fresh natural snow is what makes the snow soft on the slope. But what makes it icy?

I live is SoCal, the closest slop to us is Mt. High (guess what people do there a lot ), and the last time I went there after it hasn't snowed in over a week the slops were ice which wasn't too good for me since falling a lot is still included in my learning process. However, a week later (still no fresh snow) I went to Big Bear and I was kind of surprised how soft the snow was considering the icy condition from Mt. High.

Is it the snow making equipment they use? Is it the snowboarder traffic on a particular run? Also, I don't know if it makes a difference but we were night boarding when the slops were icy.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 04:49 PM
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There's a number of different factors involved. You have to consider how much the temperature is changing, how much and what kind of snow there has been lately, how much traffic there has been on a particular run(snowboarder or skier, doesn't matter which). If the temperature is often going above freezing during the day then its probably gonna be icy in the morning and at night. The longer you go between snowfalls the more time there is for the snow to get compacted and compressed by skiers and the snowcats.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 05:37 PM
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The sun that melts it....then as soon as the sun goes down, that melted snow will ice up on top. WInd is a factor too.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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So if there isn't any new natural snow, to avoid icy conditions, it's better to go boarding during the day than at night?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 08:09 PM
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just put ice skates under your board.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudso View Post
So if there isn't any new natural snow, to avoid icy conditions, it's better to go boarding during the day than at night?
Yes...wait the morning out, and stay in the sun. Ice sucks.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 10:34 PM
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Conditions will vary depending on where you are and what the weather has been doing. Personally, I don't like how crusty that the afternoon sun and higher temperatures can sometimes make the snow on top feel.

Fresh natural snow is nice, but there is fresh natural wet snow and fresh natural dry snow. There's got to be a snow faq somewhere around....
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 11:49 PM
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Put it this way. Im from Socal so I can tell you all about the conditions in the mountains.. Its amazing we still have snow.. Mid 50's all day then low 30's all night.. and it has not snowed in like a month.. All that "miracle snow" that Mammoth got was rain down here.. Planning to go up there pretty soon to.. SoCal needs snow bad..
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ttam View Post
Put it this way. Im from Socal so I can tell you all about the conditions in the mountains.. Its amazing we still have snow.. Mid 50's all day then low 30's all night.. and it has not snowed in like a month.. All that "miracle snow" that Mammoth got was rain down here.. Planning to go up there pretty soon to.. SoCal needs snow bad..
Pacific NW is dying too.

Really it all comes down to once the snow starts to melt and then freezes again your gonna have ice until it warms up or you get new snow.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarzanman View Post
Conditions will vary depending on where you are and what the weather has been doing.

Fresh natural snow is nice, but there is fresh natural wet snow and fresh natural dry snow. There's got to be a snow faq somewhere around....
Yeah, the Inuit have 200? different words for snow.

In general, snow with a higher moisture content will compact to ice faster than drier snow. Man-made snow is more ice crystals than snow so it gets icey quicker too. Daily melt and freeze cycles, daily humidity, air temp, etc. all play a part.

So in the East, with more man-made snow, moister natural snow, higher average humidity and probvably a higher ratio of riders per square foot, then you get a lot more ice and a damn sight quicker.

Perhaps one of the BC riders with Avy training could explain?
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