Recipe for powder in the Alpps
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fishnski
October 26, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Have you ever wondered why it can be Butt cold & snowing up in the Alpps & you figure that the conditions have got to be Utah like but they are just shy sometimes?...Its the Trees! Watching the weather channel & seeing a segment on the powder at Steamboat, they explained that in order to get the best powder you have to have still conditions...these are best found in the trees. SS has a few areas that can produce good powder because of the Spruce they have lining their slopes & Canaan ski area has a couple of places But Timberline is short of good wind blocking Spruce. I've always been a Spruce fanatic & now even more...Keep the native Red Spruce at the tops but plant a Hell of a lot of Norway along the runs below where the reds have a hard time growing....thats my idea of a powder factory!..they say that if powder snow is alowed to blow hard into a slope it will pack. Bring on the Spruce & you will see more POWDER!...not to mention stopping the hardpack ice conditions...LANDSCAPE!
comprex
October 26, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
fishnski that was almost Crushsyntax :lol:
crunchy
October 26, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
well, altitude and humidity plays a big role in the champagne powder utah has. something about utah getting the storms coming across the desert i guess. but while we are on the subject of your wv alpps powder.. heres a few pics I found taken from whitegrass from earlier this year \:\)



dcmidnight
October 26, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
That was a cool show
Denis - DCSki Supporter
October 26, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,233 posts
Sounds right. But, without the prodigious dumps of the Wasatch or Sierras it helps to have drifting. The kind of wind we get in the WV highlands often means windcrust on top of the drifts. That's OK. I like it when the mountain fights back and you have to get down and dirty or get tossed like a rag doll. That's real skiing IMHO and makes light powder that much sweeter when you find it.
fishnski
October 27, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Had to Google that word of course Comprex..too Comprexcated for me....The only thing that popped up was you & your post...anyway LOL!...Can anyone explain to me how high altitude forms powder besides the fact that its colder up there? I think its The temp & Humidity where the crystals form & altitude is not a factor....That may not be my final answer!...PS I can remember getting up early one morning up at Camelback in the Poconos & found an ungroomed 8 inch layer of the fluffiest manmade powder you could imagine..it can be done even at lower elevations.
fishnski
October 27, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Your getting me pumped up Denis...Lets Roll!
Roger Z
October 27, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
Can anyone explain to me how high altitude forms powder besides the fact that its colder up there?


Temp and humidity, like you said Andy, are probably the big factor. Snow that falls in Salt Lake City (4,000 feet) is almost always dryer than the snow that falls in the Cascades (6000-9000 feet) or the Sierra (8000-1000 feet) for instance.

So what matters for the Alpps is the storm direction. Gulf storms coming up the coast bring a lot of humidity and moisten the snow, but once you get the wrap-around coming out of the northwest the air dries up and voila- lake effect bliss.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 28, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
For Utah Powder:
1. The air moves across the Great Salt Lake and creates a localized Lake Effect snow that lslams into the front side of the Wasatch and its box canyons dumping prodigous amounts of snow...that is why Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighten receive 500+ inches of snow a year and the resorts on the back side of the Wasatch front average 300+ inches per year.
2. Because of the dryness of the desert, the water content of the snow is minimal, thus falling as powder.
3. As for trees...the only impact they have is containing any wind blown snow providing deeper powder and holding the snow longer.
The Colonel \:\)
fishnski
October 28, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Thats the same recipe for powder in the Allps colonel.Like roger said..you get the very cold & dry Arctic air dropping down & blowing over the Great Lakes & then slamming into the western front of WV/sw PA.....add some wind block in the form of spruce & VOILA!..Powder just a little over a 100 miles as a crow flies west of DC...good deal! One day maybe man can take advantage of those cold dry blasts & make a product that could rival Mama nature.
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