Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pali and North Side closed

When I wrote yesterday's blog, I thought we would be skiing the North Side at least through today (Sunday). The forecast was for moderate temperatures and cool and cloudy weather. By the time I was skiing Pali Face in the early afternoon I was quite surprised. The temps were quite warm, there wasn't much of a breeze, and skies were mostly clear. As I spent time with our patrollers, we knew the snow transformation was happening fast. The overnight low was well above freezing. Skiers were starting to punch through the snow. Our electronic probes that measure water in the snowpack gave positive indications. The flow of the Snake River started spiking. And it is even warmer today. Water is moving through the snow. The change happened very quickly. It was time to close the North Side and the East Wall. Sorry we were not able to give you more warning. Pali Lift will be open through tomorrow (Monday).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I trust your judgment keeping us safe. You guys do a great job - I bought a season pass today.

Ryan C said...

Hi Al,

I was disappointed to see Pali face close but as you said it's been a great year. Happy to have made both it's last and first day this year! Especially enjoyed the ride up Saturday with an 80 year old man on his 77th day skiing this season!

I'm curious how the water in the snow relates to closures. The West Wall is frequently filled with heavier snow due to all the sun on it. I imagine it's water content is quite high. What's the difference between the two slices of terrain that allows the west wall to stay open so much longer? Is it related to the steepness and run length?

Now it's the time of year to watch the pond form and see just how many times we can hop the cornices on the west wall in a single run. Up to three in one run so far. :)

Thanks,
Ryan

Dan said...

Ryan, check this paper out if you are interested in the science: http://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science/objects/P__8021.pdf