mercoledì 31 marzo 2010

Lofoten#5 - Kinds of snow


This orgiastic kind of snow is the one you're heading to ski on endless and rolling in it. It's useless for snowball fights because one can't compact it, you rather sink in it and while skiing it's a real easy-turning snow. It enters underneath your winter jacket and it makes you feel fine. Unfortunately it can't be found always. Usually one can find it just after it snows when it's very cold, in the wintertime. It's a pure snow because it's not wet and then it's light, because it reduces the noise of the skier which is turning and it allows to leave very deep tracks where one is passed with his own skis.

Firn (also known as Corn)

This is the spring snow, the one which has been exposed many times to the sunlight and many times froze while being in the shade. This kind of snow allows one to ski on very steep couloirs without any fear of avalanches and with an excellent grip. The blanket of snow is made by a hard layer laying below few centimeters of soap-like consistence, that is what is needed to produce some sound while turning with skis and to leave a track behind.

Mush-like Snow

when the snow mantle contains a huge amount of water then we can talk about mush-like snow. It could happen on the south faces of the mountains in the late day in not so cold times. This kind of heavy snow can be well defined either as " Snow of the lazy-morning skier" or " Snow of the "I ski with every type of condition" skier", but actually it could be found even in little parts of downhill with a good snow mantle.

Crusty Snow

The day I'll be able to ski crusty then I'll be happy about myself!
It's composed by a very soft layer below a hard one. This upper layer is not so hard to be able to support the weight of the skiers without breaking, catching the skis and decide, instead of the skier, which direction they have to take.

Icy Snow

Winter snow not to be encountered on very steep routes and on the turns of the mountain roads. Sometimes it's so hard that, when on a mountain, crampons are needed to climb as well as to go downhill. When it's not that hard it could be nice to be skied, but remember to not fall otherwise you'll be suddenly at the bottom of the route without skiing.

Urban Snow

Traffic gets crazy, children are excited, schools close in the cities of the south. When it stops falling everybody ask themselves whether or not it will snow again, somebody go out to discover the never-walked streets a stone's throw from home.
Then it gets dark, black, it's put aside and it let everybody go back to the daily sleep.

Nordic Snow

There are deep feelings and a hidden culture behind the word snø (or snö, if you are in Sweden). It's not put away from streets and it's completely obvious to see it falling down. it could be present in a city for several months in a row and even longer on mountains. It's a basic elements of woods for a long period of the year, it dumps down frictions and it might blunt enthusiasm as well as cushion any animation for somebody else.
Note: If you come from the South the cushion effect doesn't work, indeed you are enthusiastic about the every-day walk on the snow.

On-piste Snow

Snow curated and treated in order to be skied in the best possible way. It's cool, but there too much make-up for me to have good feeling.

Mixed Snow

Crust, ice, powder and mush: you could find altogether these kinds of snow when having very long ski tours on the Alps and, above all, on the Appennino. In Lofoten it could usually be found no more than two kinds of snow for a tour, and when there is mush you can easily find something better to do.

The Snow modeled by the wind of Matese

I come from a place in which you have not so much time when it snows. Powder suddenly disappears, the wind blows the ridges of Matese and it leaves no more than a few centimeters cover of very hard snow on which you must use crampons. You'd better either go to ski just after it's snowing, or wait some days more: hopefully the snow it's a little bit softer and it's possible to do some turns.
Nevertheless it's possible to go on this kind of snow even without neither crampons nor skis nor technical boots. It's enough to be 17 years old, to have at least a real friend and to be eager to look beyond the ridge.

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