Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Storm Of The Century



This photo makes me laugh.

Ever seen Stephen King's "Storm of the Century"? Without getting too far into it, the story is centered on a small island town in Maine that is about to be hit with a colossal winter storm. Long story short, they all go out and buy tons of food, lose power for a night, wait out a few feet of new snow and eventually shovel and plow their way back to a normal routine.

Over the last 2 days, I think that's what most people in New England were expecting (or hoping) out of Winter Storm Juno. Now, if you happen to be reading this from Nantucket or other parts of southern New England, you definitely got hit the hardest. But the storm tracked East of its original path, leaving majority of our region including our little mountain, with a lovely coating of white, but certainly not the apocalyptic amounts we were promised on the news.

That's why the above photo gives me a chuckle. Can you imagine trying to dig your way out of that?

But, wait Mike. Hold on. Isn't that a bad thing? Bolton is a ski resort - why are you ok with getting less snow than predicted?

More volume doesn't always equal more fun.

It's not about how much snow, but rather what kind of snow. It's the quality of what's coming down from the sky that we really care about.

Our original forecasts last week showed up to a foot of heavy wet snow, and we were excited for a few reasons. It helps build up our base for spring, which means you can ski more trails later into the season. It also puts a nice sticky coating on everything, allowing us to open more terrain earlier than usual without worrying about wind scouring it all away. But, it's also heavier, harder to shovel and plow, and high in water content, which means it can rot out easier. If there are any painters out there, think of heavy wet snow as your primer. It covers and sticks to the surfaces but that's not what you want your finished product to look like, right?

Juno didn't drop a foot of heavy wet. Instead, it left us with about 4-7" of light fluffy fairy dust. Out west they call this "Champagne Powder" because it's the best of the best. What's do great about dry light snow? Well, that's the kind of snow you see people shredding in ski movies and postcard photos. Light dry powder is what makes skiing and riding feel effortless and floaty. You can just charge right through it and not feel a thing. Sticking with our paint example, this kind of snow is our final coat. It's the high gloss finish that looks great and makes things really pop. You get the most enjoyment out of this kind of snow.

So, why are we alright with missing out on Juno's knockout punch? Because the snow we got is better than the snow we thought we were getting. Better snow = more fun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some secret stashes to visit.

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