Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fraud: (n) a person who is not what he or she pretends to be.

Dear readers, I am afraid I must confess that I have been a fraud. I have been living the life of an imposter, deceiver liar and all around fake. No, I am not really a knuckledraggin’ snowboarder, please! It is almost as bad. Here it is December 13th, there is over 5’ of snow at the resorts and I have not even touched the snow! As a matter of fact, the only snow I have seen was on the ground in Gresham. Gresham of all places! Oh the shame. After years of mocking our fellow comrades for straying home to work around the house or do errands on a powder day, the time has come where for the past three weeks I have forgone the graceful bliss of the original art form that is Telemarking to work on my new home. My head hangs low.

But fear not kind and gentle readers, true to my nature, when presented with the time to go skiing this past Sunday, I, the original Snow Curmudgeon, raised my nose in the air and deemed the snow unworthy of my presence and rode my bike instead. So rest assured my friends, while I may not be shredding the gnar gnar in person, I am there in spirit, mocking all the lesser mortals.

The forecast:
After a record setting November, followed by a typical dry spell, we are finally getting some more needed precipitation. Currently the snow levels are lower than expected, but the winds are brutal, averaging 35+ with gusts towards 60. So fear not Lifsey, you chose well and can be comforted by the warmth of your current location. The folks in their little windowless rooms staring at computer models figuring out what it is doing outside say that while we are having a momentary break today the next wave will hit us tonight and keep strong through Friday, transitioning to cooler showers for the weekend. So far things look potentially good for the weekend, with main exception being these pesky high winds.

In summary, I hope you got your holiday shopping done this past weekend when the snow sucked (I didn’t) as it may be good this weekend with snow levels approaching the valley floor for Saturday and Sunday, just keep an eye out for those winds….it could really screw it all up.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Black Friday

I, as so many others have, spent the day giving thanks. You know, it's what we're supposed to do on Thanksgiving. What did the Snow Curmudgeon have to give thanks for? Good question, lets take a look.

Well it is nuking on the mountain right now, the snow base is building fast, and the snow levels are low. Unfortunately can't get to most of it since the damn road is still closed. Not much to be thankful for there.

Tomorrow marks the first official day of the Holiday Shopping Season, a time, as you may guess, quite annoying to me. I get to look forward to 31 days of Musac Christmas Carols everywhere I go. Feel the pressure of having to spend money I dont' have on family and friends for things they don't really want or need, so they can spend money they don't have on me for things I don't want or need, all in the mane of some self proclaimed son of God being born 2006 years ago. Sounds perfectly logical, I'm thankful for it.

I have been drinking since 11:30 this morning and now I have a raging headache. And somehow I am hungry after stuffing my face all day. What the hell.....

So yup, pretty par for the course here at curmudgeon central. I guess I'm thnakful for all the BS I have to be unthankful for, or something......

As for the forecast....well it is going to rain a lot here, and snow a lot on the mountain, and since I won't be enjoying it, you can go find your damn forecast from someone who gives a crap.

Happy Holidays......


Friday, November 17, 2006

Nature Hates Meadows!

Before you all think I'm getting a little extreme even for me, let me lay out my case:

Winter 05/06: Tree falls and takes out Shooting Star

Summer ’06: A near miss lightning strike starts the Bluegrass Ridge Fire complex, just north of meadows (I guess lightning is hard to aim, God may want to look into electronic guiding systems)

Fall ’06: Simultaneous attack by White River and Clark Creek to cut-off meadows from the rest of the world.

I want to know what the government is going to do about it? Where is Homeland Security now? We need to be opening a new front on the war on terror, and start to fight nature where nature is, or we will be fighting nature where it isn’t….huh?....Anyway, there is a new Axis of Evil: Trees, Lighning and Rain. They are working together to strike fear into heart of all Freedom loving glissaders.

Thanks to Nature, meadows remains closed. And not likely to open until sometime in December. In the meantime, staff at meadows are grooming the ski area to “compact the snow and prevent loss from wind transport”. My ass they are, those bastards are up there grooming a few runouts and skiing the hell out of the place, all to themselves….Now I wish I was a Groomer more than ever….

And now, thanks to the closure, all the Timberline pass holders almost look smart, except that Meadows being closed doesn’t make the terrain there any less flat, so while they may be skiing, they’re still skiing crappy terrain. Come January they’ll be suckers again…..

OK the forecast: Since we don’t need to be too concerned with the specifics I’ll just go with a general short-to-medium range forecast:

The Westerly flow seems to be poised and ready to pump more moderate to heavy rainfall into the region. As such, we could see some very interesting weather in November and December, and even into January. I will stay the course and keep us wet, Blustery and rather mild. However, heavy Mtn snows likely under this regime as well!

I can see some very interesting weather issues during this period but it will depend on the offshore ridge and the deep low over the Gulf and North Pac. It still appears to me that the ridge will flatten and allow some active weather to move over the top of the ridge, then drop down along the coast, then inland over the West and PacNW. If this holds true, then we could see some very interesting weather ahead. The longer term means show a much flatter weather mode as well as a flatter offshore ridge. If this is the case, then we would be in position to see some very active weather due to the Active Jet over the West. I will play the forecasts in that direction. Of note, the pattern is very flat but does support some surges of colder air dropping SE from the Gulf next week and beyond. This seems to be a variable mode right now which means that we will see colder air next week, then moderating the following week, but then returning to a colder mode as we enter into December. Heights aloft seem to hold between 534 to 558 over the PacNW, which is a very wet mode for us, and can be cool too. The above heights correspond to snow levels ranging from around 1,500 to 5,500 ft., but this is certainly low enough to build a decent snowpack for so early in the season. Of course, this can be variable but I think we will see ample snow into December, and beyond!

I really look at how amplified or how flat the global pattern is in the Fall season. That tells me a lot about the coming season. Right now, the overall global pattern is rather flat, and the means maintain this flatness as well. This indicates that we are likely to see some active frontal passages and heavy rainfall over the orographically enhanced mtn ranges. This certainly favors some heavy Mtn rains and snows over the Cascades, and Bull run. If all goes well, this will once again be a great water year! Obviously, we are off to a great start already!!

In years of El Nino, the pattern has been fragmented and broken offshore. I am not seeing this now, nor do I expect this to happen later in the season. This is all tied to the global weather pattern which is influenced more by activity to the North than to the South, as such, I will look mostly at the North Pac weather pattern, than the tropical Pac mode.
All in all, I think November and December will be very wet for us, and will stay the course with those feelings. Also, I like the overall weather pattern ahead with respects to snowfall. The pattern does favor a heavy snowfall mode as snow levels lower and moisture taps keep coming. As such, we will stay very wet indeed and snowy

(by Phil Volker, posted without permission)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodbye Dirty Girl.....

Well, it has been a long enduring fling, and while we have had our ups and downs, I loved every painful minute of it. Our time together is almost done, as she prepares to move to europe for the remainder of winter. She'll be back, I'll be waiting, but will I be ready??

A going away ode from Patrick O'grady:

This isn't much of a rant; it's more of a rave.

I love cyclo-cross.

When I stumbled into this sport back in the 1980s, my first love was road racing. But she was too classically pretty and refined to pay much attention to the likes of me. I followed her around like a retarded puppy, but she hardly knew I was alive, barring one sidelong glance at the state road championships in New Mexico back in 1991. All the jocks were crazy about her, and I was only a scrub.

Mountain biking beckoned, briefly, and like the hippie chicks of my late teens, she was big fun for a while, until she took some bad acid at Rage in the Sage one year and kicked my ass right into the ER.

Track? Get serious. All those arcane rules and nothing but left turns. A Trotskyite dervish with one foot in a bucket and a permanent case of PMS. Wouldn't touch her with a 10-foot frame pump.

But cyclo-cross, now, we're talking match made in heaven. She was kind of plain, quiet, a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl with no pretensions. Bit of a tomboy; didn't wear makeup or jewelry. And she wasn't fussy. She'd hang around with anyone who showed any interest, and they all left smiling.

We got along pretty well, because like me she was a little bent. A dirty girl, you know? She was into things that road racing thought were sick and even mountain biking considered weird. Like running through icy creeks, clambering up muddy walls, and refusing to cancel a date no matter how gruesome the weather. It could be colder than the other side of Ann Coulter's bed and snowing sideways, a foot on the ground with freezing rain on the way, and she'd just cock her head at you as if to say, "Well? You coming or what?"

We began to lose track of each other when I moved to the mountains and she stayed in town. We'd see each other now and then, but it wasn't really the same. I wasn't as eager to spend hours behind the wheel for a short romp through Boulder's frozen puddles, and she was starting to get a little more attention from the cool kids.

Last time I tried hunting her down, back in '04, all the jocks had started sniffing around in serious fashion, flexing and posing like a bunch of sand-kickers on the beach in a Charles Atlas ad. I'd acquired some extra pounds and shed a whole lot of hair, and she had taken to wearing makeup, even jewelry; titanium this and carbon fiber that. We barely recognized each other and pretended we didn't.

I haven't seen her much since then, unless you count the magazines. These days she looks like a Victoria's Secret model. Hell, she looks like road racing, especially in those Euro mags.

Still, when I heard she was coming back to Colorado as part of a national tour, I went out for a short splash through the snowy mud, just for old times' sake. Just to see if I still had it, you know? I didn't, but it was fun anyway.

Maybe I'll pop up to Boulder this weekend, wave at her as she flashes by in her finery. The wife won't mind. And anyway, she's out of town.

I don't care who cyclo-cross is hanging around with now, or what she's wearing. I know that deep down, under the glitter, she's still a dirty girl.

Stay tuned for the return of the Snow Curmudgeon......

Monday, June 19, 2006

Failing and Flying
Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that Summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagently those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, a gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stoney field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I beleive Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.