Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dust on Crust and the Carr Effect

One of the remarkable things about Utah skiing is that even when the skiing shouldn't be very good, it is.

Today was your classic dust on crust day.  Two inches fell after close at the Alta-Collins stake yesterday evening, covering up a melt-freeze crust on most aspects.  No powder snob gets excited about conditions like that, but the groomers were fast, the skiing off-piste was fun in select spots, and the sun felt great! Attitude is everything.

Yeah, it was dust on crust today, but with blue skies
and a warm sun, nobody was complaining
One of my ski partners today was Fred Carr, Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.  He was the director of that program for many years, and is now making up for lost time on the ski hill by skiing Alta and Taos as much as possible.  He makes a pretty good turn for a Sooner, although truth be told, he was an avid skier growing up in New England.

Fred Carr sampling dust on crust today at Alta
Fred has skied Alta on many occasions, but he was always missing out on the good storm cycles.  His luck was so bad, we started referring to the persistent droughts during his visits as the Carr Effect.  For this reason, I was quite concerned about sponsoring a one month visit for him during the ski season, but mother nature has been kind to us since he arrived, laying down more than 100 inches at Alta.  The spell is broken, but I suggest we blame any future persistent ridging on the Carr Effect.

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