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Yourski Special: A perfect ski trip, Snow

After determining where and when we live and ski, we should think about snow - one of if not the most important parts of any skiing trip.

Which freerider doesn't like good snow? Yes, no such - everyone loves. And we are no exception. But the only difference is that some are waiting for him calling on the gods to send him, while others are looking for him and finding him. We belong to the second group and on our trip, which we analyze, we did just that: we analyzed the weather and searched for snow, and after finding it, we went to it and rolled it without pity. But, we must be able to analyze and predict where and how it will be. Let's have a look.

Immediately the snow itself interested us partially. We were interested in a complex weather condition: excellent visibility and good snow. The subtlety is what is considered "good snow." Just a lot of snow is easy enough to find at any resort in any weather - go to the leeward slope and there is snow to the very tomatoes. But what to do with him? Ride? Only those who are completely confident in their immortality can ride on such snow because avalanche danger is maximal in snow blown by the wind. It turns out that good snow is not only deep, but also safe snow. And here it is not enough just to know where it is a lot, everything is a little more complicated.

So. A week before departure, already knowing exactly what and how we plan to roll, having not only a list of resorts, but also an idea of ​​which slopes at the resorts interest us more, at what height and with what relief, namely this inventory we made the previous step of departure planning, we began to analyze the weather at the resorts that were in our list of interests. Tracked and analyzed are:

  • temperature - especially in the format of zero transitions and strong jumps that uniquely strongly affect the avalanche environment. In our case there were several transitions of zero, but below the height of the skiing area of ​​interest to us.
  • snowfalls - naturally it is necessary to monitor the source of snow: how much fell, at what temperature.
  • wind - the main architect of the snow cover. By the wind, you can accurately understand how much and where the snow moved, where it lay and how.

According to the results of the weekly observations, we had on our hands a certain idea of ​​how much and what kind of snow lies on the different slopes of orientation at different heights. Of course, all this was in theory, but better than not at all. The empirically obtained information completely beat the information from weather and avalanche services in resorts and in the region.

In the observations we used the following sources:

As a result, the obtained assumptions about the avalanche danger and the condition of snow can be checked with the data of the site of the French meteorological service: information on the region of interest to us:

Snow map

There are a great many options for predicting the state of snow and, given that ultimately you only need to get an approximate picture that should only reduce the time to study the real state of snow in place, that is, the value of the data is not great, and the cost of error is small can choose their method and principle of forecasting. In the end, according to the results of forecasts on several trips, after receiving feedback, everyone will understand what to do and learn how to make a forecast with an enviable degree of realism. Personally, on our trip we did this:

- snow brings snow. If the snow falls in warm weather, the snow is wet and heavy and it falls well and well. If after such a snowfall comes frost, then this snow freezes and there is little free-ride benefit from it. Also, such snow is not carried by the wind, but only it is dried and blown into the crust. If the snow is frosty then the snow is light and it is easily carried by the wind.

- the wind. After the snowfall, the snow is compacted under its own weight and sets. If the wind blows immediately after a dry snowfall, then snow transfer will be significant. In this case, the wind, even 3 m / s, can move 10 or more centimetres in a few hours. Well, the wind is 5 or more meters per second and completely blown away everything that fell in the snow. But, the snow that has lain down and the donkey is transferred more difficult and after a day of lying the wind of 3 m / s practically does not tolerate anything.

We follow the snowfall, temperature and wind and predict the transfer of snow by adding pluses to where it was transferred and removing pluses from where it was transferred.

As a result of our observations, we got for ourselves a picture of the condition of snow:

Does this mean that on arrival we can rush headlong into the first slope on which, according to our assumptions, there is snow that is interesting for us in good condition? Of course not! This is only preliminary information that we can use in weather forecasting when choosing a skiing site directly for each day, but only after checking for compliance with reality. And nothing more. Is it worth it to collect it for so long? Definitely worth it, because in skating it gives a lot. And, besides, collecting it you will understand perfectly and understand how resorts chosen for skiing are arranged, you will understand exactly what resort to waiting and where to go in search of good skiing having arrived at a particular resort.

Well, here we have decided all the transport, domestic issues and have a fairly dense idea of ​​the snow. That's all preliminary questions can be considered closed and now we just start to ride. Well, within the framework of this material,

I will tell you what and how we did each specific day, how we made decisions at the place of skiing, what we relied on in decision making and in weather forecasting and what all this turned out in real life.