Trail Conditions

Not another Scale!

Before you start wallowing in recollections of the misery of forced childhood time at the piano practicing some F flat in G minor scale, just breath in , breath out, and relax. It is not the musicians demands we are faced with but the hoard of Empiricists, plagued by the Eternal Question, and desperately wanting to know more precisely, before they hit the trails, – “Just how sticky is it going to BE”? Well so would I, so I thought perhaps we could have another grading system, and although in the past there have been calls for a 1-10 scale, which would put “Stickiness’ in company with scales for pain and cancer grading, I thought it best to stick with a 0-4 scale- enough of you numerically challenged are having trouble getting to 4, let alone climbing any higher. In keeping with the Glide scale I thought it best to make the zero be no chance of sticking, and 4 100% chance of sticking, keeping with lower is better. Although we are presently writing up NSERC grant proposals to develop an objective format as we did with the Glide scale, for now it will remain strictly qualitative, which will satisfy the social scientists nicely but no doubt leaving the physics folks aghast. I would also qualify this endeavor with the fact that I come from a healthcare background where the only thing that is 100 percent sure is that every night when we lay down to dream of ski glory, we are one day closer to death, and although from a philosophical perspective this can be very helpful in informing how we lead our lives, it is merely to say that if any zeros or fours end up in these missives then you’ll know I am on something. Suffice it to say, because this is getting way too drawn out, that if you see numbers in the 0.00001 to 1 range, you can relax, and if you see numbers above 3 make sure you have your scraper, all those fancy sprays, or go for a walk. Today with fresh snow around zero the Sticky Score would be 2-3. Worse should the sun come out, better if someone packs the fresh snow before you(It won’t be Bucky because when the snow gets sticky his gear too starts to clog up with packy snow and well, that is not good. He hopes to be out tomorrow morning though. Finally, to minimize stickiness- pretreat ski bases with some Icing prevention product or a silicone based boot waterproofer, carry a scraper(you can also use your ski edges as scrapers in a pinch), and try to avoid lifting your skis off the snow. Have fun,