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Heavy, thick snow

KBee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
I think some people call it powder, but I hate it. We are in the Cascades, though. It's like, a foot of fresh, and only about 34 degrees. I just can't do it without feeling like I'm going to blow out my knees. It sets be back to slow, slow, one turn at a time. One run, and done. Not sure if it's fear from a fall I had in this once, but no way.
 

mahgnillig

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Cascade Concrete, Sierra Cement... whatever it's nicknamed it still sucks, and it's definitely not powder! Those are the days I tend to stick to the groomers because the "powder" is thick, sticky, and really hard on the knees. My hubby wrecked his knee trying to ski in similar conditions, so you're not wrong to be cautious. Sometimes if I know it's going to be cement I'll take the ski bike instead (bikes don't have ligaments!) or do something else like snowshoeing.
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Yes. It is terrible stuff and even good powder skis don't help much. We had some of it during diva week at Mammoth last year and I think we all quit skiing by 11:00.
 
#4
That bugs me too. All snow is not powder.

I like the advice above. Heavy snow is a condition to take into account when deciding to ski, or deciding what runs to ski, etc.* Depending on where you are, you might be able to stay high enough to find colder temps and better snow quality. Sometimes there can be a big difference in a couple thousand feet. Otherwise, I too would stick to groomers then probably quit early. Actually what I'd really do is look at the mountain report, and if it just snowed a foot and it was supposed to be in the mid 30s I probably wouldn't go. Just like I also generally wouldn't go if there had been top to bottom freeze thaw. I don't want to ski ice either.

Are you in OR? I ski the Cascades in WA and we are having our coldest February on record. The snow has been fabulous. Looks like it's in the mid 20s at Crystal right now which is warmer than it's been for a while.

*(I know that's hard for people on vacation. Once I went to Steamboat and it snowed, like, 2 feet, then it got warm and started raining. I thought I was going to die trying to get down the mountain).
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
#5
That’s the stuff that did me in last year at Mammoth. After spending the summer recovering from that injury I’m taking Christy's method and just going to skip skiing if I’m out there again and it’s like that, I think.
 

KBee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Thank you so much! I felt so bad/guilty about leaving early today. I try to keep a "no bad snow" rule. Ice, no problem. This stuff just felt dangerous. The kid was bummed, but we're home without injury, and going out for a walk to go get gelato.
 
#7
Just because it is soft does not make it powder. Powder blows up in your face like....powder. Soft snow liek you describe turns into crud once it is cut up. Crud does take some strength and skill to ski. Not a bad time to call it quits if you aren't comfortable with it.
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
This is hilarious to me! I was out skiing at Mt Hood (Timberline) last winter, and at apres, I was raving about the conditions. Such a nice heavy thick soft blanket of snow, so much fun to surf along it on the fatties I rented from the demo desk (Line Sir Francis Bacon skis), it was wonderful. Everyone else was bitching about it - called it Cascade Concrete, and they hated it. They thought I was insane, so I told them I was a New England skier, and this Cascade powder (because that's what powder looks like, in the Northeast) was really sweet, if that stuff came down at home, you wouldn't have been able to find a spot in the parking lots if you arrived after 9:30am, and people would be talking about it for weeks. Pretty sure everyone in the bar made a private oath on the spot to never, ever, go skiing in New England after hearing this.

Probably helps a lot that the skis I was riding were designed by a guy whose home mountain is Hood, and who created the ski specifically for Cascade Concrete. But OMG. Not a smidgen of ice or hardpack to be seen. SWEET! Fat, damp, twintips that was the trick. And no carving, just surfing right along.

If I'd been on a skinnier ski, even my beloved Volkl all-mountains, I would have been miserable and worried about my knee ligaments for sure.
 
#9
Lol @Serafina.

Most of the time I don't think our snow is any different than many other, drier places where I've had snowy days, like Sun Valley or Lake Louise. I can't tell any difference anyway.
 

slyfox4

Certified Ski Diva
#10
We get that here in New England. Just last week we got about 3'' of "powder" but then it rained a little, and temps rose. The groomers were great, but some trails that got bumped out were terrible on the knees. I get so frustrated and call it a day when it's like that.
 

KBee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
This is hilarious to me! I was out skiing at Mt Hood (Timberline) last winter, and at apres, I was raving about the conditions. Such a nice heavy thick soft blanket of snow, so much fun to surf along it on the fatties I rented from the demo desk (Line Sir Francis Bacon skis), it was wonderful. Everyone else was bitching about it - called it Cascade Concrete, and they hated it. They thought I was insane, so I told them I was a New England skier, and this Cascade powder (because that's what powder looks like, in the Northeast) was really sweet, if that stuff came down at home, you wouldn't have been able to find a spot in the parking lots if you arrived after 9:30am, and people would be talking about it for weeks. Pretty sure everyone in the bar made a private oath on the spot to never, ever, go skiing in New England after hearing this.

Probably helps a lot that the skis I was riding were designed by a guy whose home mountain is Hood, and who created the ski specifically for Cascade Concrete. But OMG. Not a smidgen of ice or hardpack to be seen. SWEET! Fat, damp, twintips that was the trick. And no carving, just surfing right along.

If I'd been on a skinnier ski, even my beloved Volkl all-mountains, I would have been miserable and worried about my knee ligaments for sure.
That's my main spot--will have to see if they still have these in the next time we get the heavy stuff. So glad you liked Timberline!
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
That's my main spot--will have to see if they still have these in the next time we get the heavy stuff. So glad you liked Timberline!
I LOVED skiing Timberline! I had wondered if skiing on a volcano would be any different than skiing elsewhere, and it really was. I usually ski in New England, and our mountains are extremely old, 400 million years, and have really weathered into soft low shapes. I've also skied the Rockies, which are much younger, about 70 million years old. Mount Hood is only a half million years old (only!) and you can really tell that it's young. Outside of the crater, it's so ripply. Skiing the trails there was like riding a roller coaster - so fun!! One runs into trails like that occasionally in New England, but as often as not, they're the product of a really inventive grooming squad, not of the underlying terrain. I would ski there again in a flat second. And we got to stay in the lodge, too, which is something that was on my bucket list from the moment I set eyes on the place a few decades ago.
 

KBee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
I LOVED skiing Timberline! I had wondered if skiing on a volcano would be any different than skiing elsewhere, and it really was. I usually ski in New England, and our mountains are extremely old, 400 million years, and have really weathered into soft low shapes. I've also skied the Rockies, which are much younger, about 70 million years old. Mount Hood is only a half million years old (only!) and you can really tell that it's young. Outside of the crater, it's so ripply. Skiing the trails there was like riding a roller coaster - so fun!! One runs into trails like that occasionally in New England, but as often as not, they're the product of a really inventive grooming squad, not of the underlying terrain. I would ski there again in a flat second. And we got to stay in the lodge, too, which is something that was on my bucket list from the moment I set eyes on the place a few decades ago.
That's so great. Another favorite there for me is Skibowl. It's small, shabby, and cheap--but the runs are so much fun! It's not on Hood, but you can see it in my profile pic. If I every learn to enjoy crud, I'd probably only ski Skibowl.
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
@Serafina, got some pictures for us of your trip?
timb 1.jpg
This was out the window of our room at the lodge, on the first day. It was also the last time we saw the crater, as a storm moved in and covered it up. The avy warnings had been hoisted, so there wasn't any skiing above the timber line (or not much above it, at least).

IDK what that strange patch of vertical lines up on the left quadrant of the image is. I asked at the lodge but (legal weed and all), the answer was "Huh? Maybe grooming?" Like...corduroy? I don't think so...
 

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