Friday, February 09, 2007

Eating paste

We've been getting little bits of new snow since Wednesday, but today was the first powder(ish) day of this storm. It's a warm storm, coming from the south, and the weather forecasts have been saying nasty, untrue things about rain. The Weather Gods should consider suing the NWS for libel. In any case, the snow that came down overnight and during the day today was wet, sticky, and dense on the ground.

I spent the first hour and a half or so submarining the nose of my board and getting stuck, frequently in a standing position. On one occasion, I actually had to dig it out with my hands before I could roll into a position from which I could get up and resume the run. Finally,
I decided to move my bindings back to the next position, which is only about 20mm behind the centered position. I didn't think it would make a difference, but I figured I was actually pulling up on the nose with my front foot, and it was getting a little ridiculous. It turns out that those two centimeters are actually very important. After moving the bindings back, I got a lot more float out of my board. We'll see if I can ride it that way on groomers and hardpack - it felt a little squirrelly on skier-packed traverses. If it's a problem, it'll bring the number of setups I want to three - a crud and a powder board to go with my soft boots and one hard-boot carving setup.

After moving the bindings I did some more riding, did a couple runs with the night security guard, apparently the only other person who's working on the mountain to go skiing a lot, and added a really bad run down Crow's Face, a steep, treed face run just outside the avalanche control gates, to my double-black resume. I'll have to give it another look when the top gate is open and the cross-country resort has groomed their run that goes to Sugar Bowl.

While I was having lunch, another snowboarder and I agreed that the consistency of today's snow was a lot like the elementary school paste that's made out of flour, water, and corn starch. However it was also the best day of the season so far. If you can't handle thick, wet, sticky powder... Get out of the oven?

1 comment:

Zach said...

That reminds me of a sierra cement day last year. We could point our equipment straight down the mountain and still not move very fast. It's a weird feeling pointing straight down and kind of oozing down a run.