Thursday, May 17, 2018

More Thoughts On Snowfences

Here are a few more thoughts on the three types of snowfences. In general, fences work better above timberline. The ideal fence is on or near a ridge crest and deposits snow where skiers want to ski.  Often, our bigger, permanent fences are on the edges of a trail. As wind and snow blows towards a trail, it hits one of this big fences and slows down. When the wind slows down, the snow falls out making drifts. We try and position the big fences so the snow lands where the snowcats can get to it and create beautiful, groomed ski trails.

The snowcat and human portable fences are a bit different. They don't catch as much as snow, but they can be very effective. We typically set them right in the middle of the ski trail. This way we catch snow right on the trail. Much of this work occurs before the trail is open to the public so our guests might not always see it happening. Once the fences have effectively caught snow, we move the fences out of the way to let skiers or the snowcats pack it down. In yesterday blog, I was talking about putting the fences right back in the middle of the trail to catch snow next fall.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love summer and summer activities but this time of year always feels like the start of a neverending wait for the next opening day.

Jeff said...

I once rode the Zuma lift with a stranger who asked about the fences. I told her that’s where they keep the mountain goats at night, and described the nightly goat roundup in great detail. She did not respond, and it was not clear whether she was picturing the scene, or if she was worried she was sharing a chair with a crazy person.

Lawrence Romeo said...

I noticed in Wyoming the ranchers sell the aged snow fence wood for custom carpentry. Just lookin out for the bottom line Al !!

Anonymous said...

I was always told the goats follow Al home at night.

EyG said...

I love the information you share on this blog! I wish Snowmass would use more snow fences, especially on the Big Burn and top of Elk Camp.

KSA 1 said...

The goats have been spotted down at the river staging photos to get Rio in trouble