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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Now we know it's possible

When this episode began last Friday,
it did not occur to me to document the opening scene.
So, picture the slopes below completely pristine and snow covered.
From the snow machine, mother nature being out of the building.

Friday night Emily was notified not to come in Saturday morning,
as all day rain was forecast.
However, come in Sunday morning at 7:30.

It did rain, beginning Friday night and lasting to this morning.
The river, my constant, is very high.
Ski slopes are not a constant in my life.


When I delivered Emily at 7:30 this morning, the parking lot is half a lake
and I wondered how those slopes could be skied upon.
I took these images, hand held, several second exposures.
That bright light half way up the hill is a machine that smooths the ruts away.
I thought surely they would have made more snow, but on second thought,
how do they make snow in the rain?
Obviously, they cannot make snow once customers arrive;
and risk pelting one with frozen water.


The end of the shift, when I retrieved Emily.
The parking lot lake is full.
Folks are skiing under that glowering early afternoon sky.
This is the 7:30 a.m. scene directly above!


People are skiing down.


The lifts are going up.


Here is the answer to the mystery.
Real snow is fluffy stuff, generally, and is broken down and made far less by the skis on it.
Snow machines make ice balls, not snow flakes.
The balls disintegrate far more slowly than flakes, and also retain their shape, as opposed to snow flakes losing all their pretty edges and becoming too fragile to hold up.


So there you have it. As long as that smoothing machine can take care of yesterday's ruts, skiers are good to go. I wonder if it has a name, like hockey's Zamboni.

Well, next week I'll take a picture of lots of snow on the slopes, and then we'll let Emily get on with working.

27 comments:

  1. I wonder who first got the idea to strap strips of wood on their feet and hurl themselves over a hill.

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  2. How fascinating. Thank you so much for the lesson.

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  3. not much of a slope. it must be higher than it looks.

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    1. 264' vertical drop, I read on the web site. What that mean.....?

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  4. Looks bleak. Very similar to here.

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  5. I did not know about the difference between "natural" snow and that made by a machine. I had noticed though that it seemed to melt more slowly. Thank you for letting us know.

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  6. Personally, I stay as far away from snow as possible... however, my daughter and family in NY (Hudson Valley) love skiing, snowboarding and all those other insane activities. I have to admire Emily that she's able to work the ski lift and still have a smile on her face..... but as I've said, I'd be by the fireplace having a hot toddy......

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  7. When I think back to the days when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and I was skiing, I recall a fair number of falls. (Being from Virginia, I didn't ski until college and about the only thing I had going for me was a belief in my immortality.) I think I'd much rather ski on real snow than that icy stuff, which if I recall correctly, is also a lot faster.

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  8. That was interesting to read about with making snow. I am sure they were glad to get a day of skiing in today.

    Betty

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  9. When I skied it always seemed leaving like the weather was not good. Too cold is no good, rain is no good, heavy snow is hard to see and ski, too war not good, and yet from all possible conditions the worst was too cold, and or heavy snow fall.

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  10. In the first few photos the snow just looks like smallish drifts that have collected in hollows; it's only the last two photos that show the area is actually bug enough for people to ski on. Looks can be so deceiving can't they?

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  11. I learn something every day, today I have learned that snow machines make ice balls (smile)

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  12. Hari Om
    ...and I can't help wonder if there would be a better use for the money it costs...YAM xx

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    1. I think about the young people with no health insurance transported by the local EMS from the slopes to the hospital. No health insurance, but cell phones and recreation and who knows what else their pay must be spent on. Cannot drive a car to the slope without insurance. So they do not pay the ambulance bill and the seven hundred taxpayers who support the EMS service pay for the fun of having fun with no insurance. End of that rant.

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  13. I wonder which of the many words the Eskimos are said to use for "snow" will be right for the slope sort?

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  14. I see where a lot of snow is coming your way this week, so there will no need to make any. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it misses us in eastern PA.

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  15. The ski 'resort' in our area opened this past weekend. It looks like it's about the same size as the one Emily works at. I've never been there, and have no real desire to.

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  16. I love that last photograph - it looks so real.

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  17. Just saw on TV recently about the lack of cold.
    Hope Emily's is enjoying her job - sounds like it would be fun working at a ski place.

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  18. I love how curious your mind is, Joanne - and we all benefit from hanging around you!

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  19. We have just got rid of our last downfall, otherwise I would send you some. You might not think you can send snow by airmail, but it they can create artificial snow, such things are not beyond the wit of mankind.

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  20. This reminds me of deserts with green grass golf courses only you have wetlands with snow. Hmm. -- barbara

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  21. I have never skied in my life. Too afraid of having broken legs. Lol.

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  22. BIg difference skiing on cooked snow. I recall spring skiing when the parking lots turned to mush. Hope they get some real stuff soon. Lots of its.

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  23. It's been a long time since I snow skied. I was caught by the snow machines once. Last run down the slope and the machine was turned as I was going up a rope lift. I was a snowman at the top. The man-made stuff may last longer but it is icy and not like fresh powder.

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  24. Loved most the comment about "I wonder who first got the idea to strap strips of wood on their feet and hurl themselves over a hill.". says it all. Never did, never will.

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  25. Skiing was once used for getting from one place to another in nordic and snowy places. Transportation. Now it is an expensive entertainment sport. Delores is very wise.

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