Snow, in this reference, means that wet white moisture which falls on the ground from above. To a ski enthusiast and new resident of a ski resort, it means fun in all capital letters; pure unadulterated FUN. Powder hounds start howling as the first fluffy flakes drift down. The noise intensifies as the depth accumulates. 29 years of living among that pack and participating in powder rituals still inspires a chug chug and a double back flip heartbeat.
Snow takes on many descriptions and meanings:
Champagne powder means the dry fluffy powder which easily blows away with a good strong breath of air. This crisp powder resembles cool talcum powder. Wear your powder straps with this one because digging several inches or feet rummaging around seeking a lost ski is not only possible but probable. Not only the searching becomes frustrating but the loss of precious daylight powder hours is priceless.
Corn snow frequently arrives courtesy of the snow making equipment. If the sky reluctantly withholds the precious white moisture, massive snow guns generate artificial snow. Snow guns predominately appear early season when the ski resort panics at the lack of ground cover and the potential loss of skier revenue.
Dust on crust results after an inch or even a partial inch covers the hard packed base snow. Frequently spring brings warmer temperatures during the daylight hours causing slight melting of the base snow. Overnight this solidifies into a surface about as firm as pavement. Add a dusting of powder over the top of the asphalt-like base creates the delusion of powder. Make no mistake, a fall results in severe road rash.
Another term for the early morning conditions during spring skiing can be “sierra cement.” Cement being the operative word becomes accurately descriptive of the firmness of the surface. Catch an edge and go down on sierra cement and your body thuds with an uncomfortable whack; no bounce or cushion results from impact on sierra cement.
Currier and Ives presented a commendable impression of the exquisite beauty of ice and snow covered trees enclosing the boundaries of many ski runs. Even the most skilled photographer struggles to adequately capture the magnificence of such a picturesque view.
Time on the slopes enjoying snow sports or appreciating the unparalleled beauty of a winter wonderland explains why the ski industry is a multi billion dollar endeavor.
The other side of that entertainment coin involves wrapping your cold hands around the handle of a snow shovel. Snow shovelers seem to fall into three categories depending on the density of the snow. Flingers lightly toss shovel after shovel off to the side of the driveway or off the deck; this method is most productive for champagne powder and the early snowfalls before the energy and enthusiasm level for shoveling diminishes.
Scoopers arrive on the scene with higher moisture content snow, deeper accumulations and less energy. Scoopers are personified by the slightly ruddy face, furrowed brow and occasional aching back grimace. Scoopers frequently have passed the point of pleasure with the thick white moisture. Scoopers appear at the edge of the newly cleared driveway immediately after the snow plow passes through the street depositing a foot or two of icy mass all across the driveway entrance. Being within ear shot of a scooper at this time, particularly mid to late season is highly unadvisable for ladies and small children.
Pushers have depleted all energy for the shoveling activity. No longer does the shovel lift above the pavement or deck floor; snow simply pushes ahead of the shovel hopefully to a reasonable distance away from a necessary vehicle or foot path. Pushers have had it. This becomes the time when a vacation to Florida feels almost like a life enhancing necessity.
Snow in a ski resort, particularly Steamboat during many of the last 29 years become so deep that residents were known to tie bicycle flags to their car antennas to extend the reach. At times the bicycle flag presented the only visual indication that a car was approaching the intersection. When the mounds of snow at intersections accumulate to that enormous proportion, “pushers” leave town.
Pleasure, pain, or sheer frustration describes the winter moisture we frequently term snow. How lovingly the term appears in spoken or written language depends on the quantity of time your hands form to the configuration of the snow shovel handle.
Snowinly yours, Elaine Love
28 years experience as a successful entrepreneur, post-graduate degrees in Communication and Alternate Dispute Resolution, and a proven track record as a teacher, coach and mentor, revealed the success formula.
Network marketing achievements for the last 4 years. Executive Committee, Ethics Committee, Certified Consultant Seminar Program, Leadership Support Team, Leadership Award Synergy Saturday, Empower Magazine, Millionaire Mastermind Group and selected as Consultant of the Month by Network Marketing Magazine in July 2007.
Elaine Love, Owner