Thursday, December 29, 2005

Auld Lang Syne

I just saw this over on the NWAC site and had to cross post it, much better than anything I could ever write:

It’s three days before the end of the year,
And recent snows have changed gloom to cheer...
With more on the way spirits are soaring-
For the weather ahead will be anything but boring.

After a day of drying, the westerlies arrive,
And Friday promises to shift park to drive;
Heavy snow, high winds, we’ll break but not bend,
Just need to get through a brief warming trend.

The easterly flow will help near the crest,
And will minimize the rain for we feel that’s best,
As we close out the year and start out 06,
The weekend ahead looks snowy and brisk...

So enjoy the storms and the ones beyond those,
But stay aware of the danger and don’t get hosed-
Keep checking for clues wherever you go,
For it’s hard to enjoy if you’re under the snow.

Well, I am hopeful that we will (w)ring out the old [snow pack] and bring in the new [freeshies] this weekend. Now anyone paying attention this year knows that the forecasting has been, much like this stupid blog, a bit erratic. So all of this must be taken with a bit more salt than usual. However, this is the deal for the moment: A new front is supposed to move in to the area tonight/tomorrow and bring in some ample precipitation. On that matter I believe most forecasters agree. The key component here is what will the snow levels do. This is where things break down a bit. I believe that it will start low, and raise on Friday coming back down on Saturday, and staying down hopefully for awhile. So how high will it rise? Well, one forecast has said it will stay at or below pass levels, meaning constant snow in the resorts and ski areas, others have said it will go as high as 7000 on Friday. Generally speaking they keep revising forecasts to lower the snow levels. With all this in mind this is what I think

Thursday Night: Snow Turning to Rain Late
Friday: Rain
Friday Night: Rain turning to Snow
Saturday: Snow mixed with rain early, then snow.
Saturday Night: Snow
Sunday: Snow
Monday: Snow
I think there will be a good chance for some New Years Eve Skiing and that the snow will just get better into the weekend and Monday.

Longer term: Potential for more consistent low snow levels and ample moisture into Mid January, maybe a brief period of drying out, but expected to be minor.

In reality who knows so ski it when you can.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday Fruitcake

Happy Holidays!


Farewell my esteemed SC followers. This may be my last post. The tempest has been unleashed and the waters are rising. I have finished my arc and loaded up two of everything: 2 skis, 2 telemark bindings, 2 gloves, 2 boots, 2 poles and 2 cases of beer. It may seem like it will never snow again, but I know deep in my heart that once this tempest has unleashed it's worst, it will get cold and the snow will fly once more, and I will be ready! In the mean time I would suggest practicing your doggie paddle, because you ain't getting in my boat.


Apparently some cold mass over Quebec is moving east to Greenland causing a shift in global weather bringing warm moist air in to the west. I don't know why this is happening but looking back to my previous post I have to wonder if there is a connection. Although I will point out that the models are not in complete agreement, two show this happening while the third and more aggressive of the models shows a ridge building. Either way it is no good. What started out as a great snow pack is just getting hammered right now. With the amount of rain we have gotten in the last 24 hours it has got to be like a sponge up there. The snow level is dropping a bit today and tonight with a little drying out tomorrow, so if you happen to have some free time tomorrow I would suggest making a trip up, it may be your last chance for a few weeks. Seriously it doesn't look good. This is one of those times where I hope to God I am wrong, but unfortunately we all know SC is pretty much batting 1000 right now. Oh the curse of always being right.


I am sorry to be stuffing coal up your stocking, even if it feels like I am really stuffing up some other location. I really wish I was telling you to put up the Holiday Tree on the mountain because that's where you will be all weekend, but no luck. Stay home watch some football, drink some beer, get fat and lazy like the rest of America. I also apologize for such lame posts lately, it's hard to be funny and creative when you're bummed.


So here's to hoping 2006 will be a good year,


Have a safe and happy holiday



Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Luau Time

Recently Quebec hosted the most recent round of talks on Global Climate change. The main purpose of the meeting was to plan the post Kyoto treaty years, and how the world will deal with the issue of Global Warming.


Most of us remember that the wonderful US of A did not ratify the Kyoto Treaty protocol on global warming. What may be surprising is that we were joined by Australia, in rejecting the international treaty. Continuing that thread it was no surprise that the US didn't officially join these recent talks. There was an envoy there, but it consisted of very low-level personnel, there solely to observe. In contrast I believe Vice President Al Gore attended the original Kyoto talks. A big shift. However the real surprise this time was that the US was alone in not attending, Australia broke ranks (read couldn't be bribed out of going) and attended. Once again we go it alone.


What's the US's deal? Well all of this boycotting has been in the name of Economics. It is the position of the current administration that carbon reduction will hurt our economy. Meanwhile the dollar is getting its ass kicked by countries who have ratified the treaty, Detroit is being beaten by Asian and European car makers who are putting out more fuel efficient cars, just like they did in the '70s during the oil embargo. What has been the US's response?: More fossil fuel development. Yesterday the House stuck funding for drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge onto a Pentagon bill, passing there, and sending it to the Senate where leaders are promising to send it to the President.  Shameful, and depressing. And that is not even touching the whole war in Iraq and oil supplies.


This has lead to the Inuit of Alaska filing a lawsuit in Federal Court against the US government for violation of Human Rights. Claiming (rightfully so in SC's view) that the lack of action, and stubborn ignorance of scientific evidence is leading to continued global warming, affecting their way of life and even their very existence, hence violating their basic Human Rights. It makes me happy, and very interested to see how this will work out. Maybe our froofy drink lawyer friend can really be useful, and give us a run down on the merits of the case instead of bashing poor old SC?


All this has you wondering I am sure what is going here, this is the SC blog, usually a much more local look at the weather on and around Mt Hood Oregon, not a political think tank. Well, right you are. However, looking at the forecast for the next 14 days has me thinking of pulling my Hawaiian shirts out of the closet. Looks like Santa is sending us our holiday moisture via the Pineapple express. Snow levels are currently being forecasted to hit 11,000' after Christmas. This all has me thinking that I should see about having Margarita get me listed as a co-complainant on that lawsuit, as I am really feeling like my human rights are being violated. Skiing is part of my existence. With all the gas money we have been saving by not driving to the mountain, I figure we can get a pretty good retainer going for a lawyer. You can contribute to the Snow Curmudgeon via paypal, or just find me at the local pub, I'll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt crying into my beer.


Happy Holidays, bah humbug!




Monday, December 12, 2005

Loss of Faith

In these Holiest of Days, we are oft reminded of the magnificence and beauty of God, and all the miracles which he has created. Well God, it is time to wake up and get to work, because you are losing one of your flock. Ok I was never really one of the flock, more a wolf in sheep's clothing, ok, ok I 'm not even in sheep's clothing. I am a blasphemer, but still, there are plenty of God loving/fearing people on snow, why can't God step up to the plate for them? It has always been my plan to use a loophole in religion to ensure myself entrance into the life eternal above. See, I figured that as long as someone who loves me is a good Christian their Heaven will be incomplete without me, so for them to truly be in heaven I must be there. Hence my Mother is my one-way ticket to the great beyond, where everyone Tele's and there's waist deep powder every run with no lift lines. But in the mean time I have been relying on all the rest of the good Christians out there to be sure God treats us right and ensures an ample supply of the pow pow to get me through this lifetime. So what gives? Who's f'n up out there? Whoever you are, you better get cracking.


Enough proselytizing, what's up with the snow? Well for those of you living in a shell, we have been experiencing the dreaded INVERSION. This weird phenomena here in the lower Willamette Valley where these clear nights, cloudy mornings and the cold desert air blowing through the Gorge manage to keep it colder in town than up in the mountains. With this in mind old SC headed up to the BC to hunt some stashes of powder and earn some turns. Was I successful? You bet. I found a nice N exposure cut that has some cold fresh powder waiting for me. The only downside is when I got to the sno park, my worst nightmare ever was realized. There were two sledheads there, and we all know I hate snowmobiles more than anything. But to make it even worse, they were loading SNOWBOARDS! Why does God continue to punish me, oh that's right I am a blasphemer, so much for my loophole. Well besides the fact that these lazy ass mofos needed their sleds to make the approx. 1 mile hike in, and that they sno-shoed all over the nice skin track making me lay a new one, it was a nice day skiing. Oh that's right, I also had to deal with hearing that crappy music that Meadows plays at the base of Vista. Has anyone else noticed how bad that music is? It is like some 80's soft rock music my Mom (bless her for loving me) listens to. Yet I digress, or forget what I am saying. Oh it was a good time. Oh yeah, I skied to about 1pm when the snow started softening as the inversion continued to spread, and I could see Meadows in full sun, meaning all fresh snow was pretty much gone. I did also go up on Sunday, and actually had a great time skiing. Once it warmed up, the snow softened nicely, and it was like skiing in May. Heather was open and I got my first official* Heather runs in two years. The downside: It is December and NOT MAY. It should be snowing. I don't care if Danimal says no more complaining about snow, there is still no real precip in the forecast. I am pissed. Period. Oh and to make matters worse the inversion is passing on so it will be nothing but frozen snow on the mountain until we get some precip. Maybe on Sunday. Whatever, I have lost faith in these weather barons. I expected that sacrifice to last a little longer. Hmm, maybe Zaphino wasn't enough, anyone know how to get a hold of Al Roker?



Start praying,




*I hiked into heather last year for some unofficial runs, shh don't tell meadows.




Wednesday, December 07, 2005

TV Timeout

Either you all have stopped reading the blog a long time ago, or you have been patiently waiting for my next post. I know I stopped reading it, so I don't blame you all for stopping too. And I am sorry to report that this post won't be much better. Not sure what to write to make you all happy. I thought the sacrificial post was pure genius, but apparently I way underestimated the dedication to snow of many of the readers. For shame. Where does that leave me then? Mocking Danimal for being fat is way old and cliché (really it's too true to be funny) and we all know my feelings on boarders. Frankly I am a little tired of bitching, oh Christ, now I am bitching about bitching, it's tough being the Curmudgeon. I guess it is all I can expect after having an incredible weekend only to see a Saharan like forecast for the next ten days. Sigh... Hard to find inspiration there. Rumor has it Heather Canyon will open today, and Skibowl is already open, all before mid December. Not bad, I should be happy right, but I am not. Curse this society that has turned me into a greedy person who just wants more more more. I can't be happy with what I have, or even be patient for what will surely come. Sigh... tears...streams...


I came here all prepared to issue my list of grievances from the weekend, but really, who cares? I was also hoping to have some pics from Bro-Mate to put some stoke on the blog, but he's been busy, so I will add them when I can. As for my weekend, the Danimal and I skied all day Friday, the snow was great (not quite epic) and it just snowed all day long, nice and cold champagne snow. And by the afternoon people had cleared out and we were just running laps on Shooting Star. A damn nice day. Saturday I had a cross race (finished second, won a bottle of wine), so I skipped out on the madness that I am sure Meadows was, although I did hear the snow was good, how could it not be? Sunday I was graced with the presence of Broman (welcome back bro) and Mav, a new Telemarker who rips it up. We skied all day, non-stop from 9-4. So much fun. Found some new stashes, and some great powder runs. Seemed like the longest day of skiing ever, but in a good way.


And now here we are, Wednesday and no real precip in sight (sure there are showers forecast for today, but that don't count). Apparently that same ridge that popped up before Thanksgiving is back. Damn thing. They are forecasting it to be here for 10-14 days, and it looks like we will be dry through next Thursday maybe? The bright side? It will stay relatively cool, so our base may not get hit too hard. I also saw the most recent 30-90 day forecast and they are still calling for heavy mountain snows with low snow levels at least through January, and most likely through March. In the mean time might I suggest working on your conditioning so you don't call me to bail on skiing with the lame excuse that "my mind says yes but my body says no"? Or take this time to do all your Holiday shopping and getting all those errands done that would normally keep you from the mountain so you are ready to hit it hard when it comes. Who am I kidding, I'll be drinking my sorrows away, and you all know that.


Snow Curmudgeon


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Weekend Forecast

Happy December all! It is only the first of December and already we have close to a 6' base. I know, I keep digging this back up, but just about a year ago meadows was ready for opening day, and it monsooned all weekend long, delaying opening day. As a matter of fact it was a year ago, that the Vet and the Boy Toy baptized me as the Snow Curmudgeon. I believe it was after I laughed at her for thinking meadows was going to open as planned in the basement of Laura and Mindy's old house. So here's to hoping the second year as SC is better than the first. So far it looks much better-

The forecast:

Well, the snow in town will not happen (I looked out the window for that one), but fear not my precious ones, it is snowing in the mountains. The current storm fronts moving in look to be heading into the Northern OR Cascades, meaning Mt Hood is going to get slammed today and through tomorrow night. That means tomorrow and Saturday are the days to hit it. A warning though, bundle tight, looks to be gusty, up to 40mph, the next couple of days. Looks like by Saturday night things will be shifting a bit North to give our brethren in WA a chance for some fresh, Sunday will be sloppy seconds in bounds, but probably still good and cold.

The other big news of the weekend is Skibowl opens for night skiing today. They will only have the lower lifts running, but hope to have the upper bowl going by tomorrow. I'd give it another week or two, they still only have 26" at mid mountain.

The year is off to a good start, but while we are talking about anniversaries, I would like to point out that two years ago the winter started off real strong, big heavy cold snows, Meadows opened a week before Turkey day, Heather was open around X-mas/New Years, and by January 5th it was dry as a bone and stayed that way well into March/April*, so appreciate it now, hit it hard, because tomorrow global warming may rear it's ugly head.

Drive like an angel, drink like the devil, and ride the boards like you'd ride the girl next door,


*Right now I can hear some of you saying "I can't believe he remembers the weather like this, what a freak, what, does he keep a weather journal?", should but don't, I can't even write, I remember two years ago as I broke my leg the day before opening day, and got out of the cast a week before it all dried up, so I remember that well, as for anything before that, let's just say it was eliminated by all the White Russians at Potlatch '03.