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Hard pack Vs. Soft powder


jtslalom
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I'll take a day on hard pack over fresh powder any day of the week. There is nothing like driving a hard line across some nice hard packed snow. Those from the west, you don't know what your missing. Given five days after an 8 inch dump and after a few thousand metropolitan people have run it over, conditions become PERFECT for carving. So as to the east vs west thing, you boys and girls from the west haven't lived until you've experienced a nice hard pack east coast day.

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WHATEVER!! Yeah, you may have your east coast bullet proof hardpack but here in southern cal we got courduroy hard pack!! In southern cal you gotta love the temperature swings. One day it will be a brisk 20 degrees on the hill next day it will be 50, what does that do to the snow?. The groomers come out in the afternoons and evenings and groom that slush into the flattest courduroy that you have ever seen. Only problem is that when you get on the snow first thing in the morning it is frozen solid. BEsides the frozen 'roy you have death cookies scattered through out the hill. Ya gotta love the inexperienced groomers when they leave a ridge of 3-4" high between passes.

You usually have a window of 3 hours when it starts to soften and then after that it gets down right slurpeeish, only to freeze again during the evenings. Yeah, us western riders have it so easy. I think you may be referring to the Rocky Mtn states and maybe Tahoe. Not us down here in SoCal.

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I sincerely hope the resorts are close to opening for you folks out there :rolleyes:

Whatever that white stuff looks, smells, feels, tastes, like - powder (see not that hard to type it out), hard-packed, chalk, ice, corn, slush, chopped up, etc. etc. etc. - PLEASE GET OUT AND ENJOY :D

Oh and, as Bordy says on his signature: GFDF!...GO FAST DON'T FALL!

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Done my fair share of New England hardpack and Rocky Mt. pow. Must say that while both are fun, I'd take deep, untracked, blower powder over hardpack or corduroy. I'm always happy to hike for freshies. Sometimes I hike for cord, but not nearly so often.

Good thing we don't have to choose one over the other: the variety is what makes it fun!

<img src="http://i15.tinypic.com/2v9xlxc.jpg" border="0" alt="Powder is worth hiking for!">

Hiked Vail today and rode knee to thigh deep pow all the way to the bottom of Chair 10. More is forecast this evening--tomorrow should be very good!

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I'm with boostertwo. Both conditions have there place. Granted the hardpack is the preference out here in the midwest. But when I head out west, Im in the trees and bowls just as much as having the alpine board strapped on.

By the way Boostertwo, I am going to be out in Beaver Creek, and Vail over New Years this year. Be great to catch up with you once and take a couple of runs. I've boughten two of your FP's off of ebay. My wife and I are going to be out the 26th through the 2nd. Let me know if you'll be in the area, I can give you a few pointers. :biggthump

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WHATEVER!! Yeah, you may have your east coast bullet proof hardpack but here in southern cal we got courduroy hard pack!! In southern cal you gotta love the temperature swings. One day it will be a brisk 20 degrees on the hill next day it will be 50, what does that do to the snow?. The groomers come out in the afternoons and evenings and groom that slush into the flattest courduroy that you have ever seen. Only problem is that when you get on the snow first thing in the morning it is frozen solid. BEsides the frozen 'roy you have death cookies scattered through out the hill. Ya gotta love the inexperienced groomers when they leave a ridge of 3-4" high between passes.

You usually have a window of 3 hours when it starts to soften and then after that it gets down right slurpeeish, only to freeze again during the evenings. Yeah, us western riders have it so easy. I think you may be referring to the Rocky Mtn states and maybe Tahoe. Not us down here in SoCal.

not to mention that none of the local peaks breaks 8200 ft. and yeah the slopes see temps of around 50 degrees, sometimes as high as 60s at the hottest part of the day. that's when all the rockstar teenie kids show up in nothing but some SUPER baggy snowboard pants and a plain t-shirt. then, when the sun sets, you get temps of around 20F or lower. and the groomers are m0rons. if you ever wanted to link jumps in between carves, this is the place to do it since they leave these huge mounds of ungroomed lines going down the whole slope.

essentially, your snow conditions can be summed up this way.

8am-10am: super hard pack with death cookies everywhere

11am-noon: slightly hard pack (softer) with a nice coat of shaved snow/ice

1pm-later: slushie like a slurpie

oh yeah, and don't forget that just below those slopes you have a population of over 7million people converging to those slopes. Los angeles county alone has over 5 million people. I don't know what that population is if you include San Bernardino county, Orange County, and maybe some from San Diego.

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Guest kennyusmc

I love the east coast vs west coast arguements , no matter what forum it is this beast comes out !!!

The midwest is not the east coast. Hence the name the midwest. I grew up in Illinois but live in California. Big ten states plus Ok, Misery, and Iowa are the midwest. Nebraska and so on are the great plains. States that boarder the Atlantic are the east coast and ones that boarder the Pacific are the west coast. Colorado , Utah and so on are the Rockies or mountians .

So stop sounding like the east coast west coast buggy tupac thing.

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can't get enough, it's like sex with a lover you know really well and love, fulfilling as it can get

carving good cord is a totally different experience, edgy, fast and sorta raw, like getting with that crazy punk rock chick you always fantasized about and when you got with her it was even more wild, rough and raw than you imagined.

my point is they both rock but I have my preference

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I'll take a day on hard pack over fresh powder any day of the week. There is nothing like driving a hard line across some nice hard packed snow. Those from the west, you don't know what your missing. Given five days after an 8 inch dump and after a few thousand metropolitan people have run it over, conditions become PERFECT for carving. So as to the east vs west thing, you boys and girls from the west haven't lived until you've experienced a nice hard pack east coast day.

Carving is a rush and a half but....................................................................................................Theres no substitute for waist deep freshies :biggthump

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Problem with freshie fun is that it is usually chopped up so you get 2 hours of perfection and then diminishing returns over the rest of the day.

For me, ankle to max knee deep is great, can still ride a race board, deeper than that and the board is submarine, the wipeouts and subsequent remount is a pita and any runouts from runs often seem to end up with walking. Chalk it to lack of experience and riding on the wrong equipment. I remember a few years ago I won a day heli skiing and never used it; don't mind hiking for a run or two, but a day in waist deep powder is not really my thing.

Best condition I ever found was at Mammoth, and saw it in Siberia Bowl Squaw and a few other places as well; fresh snow packed down with a wind going up the slope; wind packed powder.

Firm enough to really ride it hard on a race board, but a little bit deeper, and also steeper than what you could normally get a groomer up. Scotties, Cornice, P1 - all great for that condition. But under fresh powder without the wind, these same runs wuold suck very very quickly.

EAzt C0AZt oF aNdAmAN sEa :-) yo.

It might just be me, but the standard of grooming at most USA resorts is miles beyond Korea or New Zealand fields; snow coverage, underlying terrain and technique most likely. The bumps and tracks and gaps all make for fun things to carve around. The death cookies...well...less so. :-)

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....I remember a few years ago I won a day heli skiing and never used it; don't mind hiking for a run or two, but a day in waist deep powder is not really my thing.

WOW not liking a day of waist deep pow...............i suggest therapy ....lol.........next time you win a trip ill be more than willing to take away your pain of waist deep snow :biggthump

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I won a day heli skiing and never used it; don't mind hiking for a run or two, but a day in waist deep powder is not really my thing.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I don't get it. A bigger board, go faster --- something. On any given day I am split down the middle on which would be best - heli riding should always be done if the opportunity is there.

That is kind of like saying there were miles of unhit cordory but I didn't really want to hit it. :nono:

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It's a perspective.

I'm glad not everyone likes powder: that means there's more for me.

I would advise you against heli-boarding, as once you've done it you really don't want to mess around at resorts. It absolutely *is* the snow, but it's also those lift things full of garlic eating smokers (look, I'm a Euro), and then there's the crowds of drongoes on the piste.

If I have to ride on piste or plastic or indoors, certainly I carve, and it's good. But it's not as good as powder, in my opinion.

These days I mostly ride powder as I have the choice.

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You, my friend, are certifiable.

Indeed :-)

IN my defense, at the time I was 18, only had a nitro EFT 156, and to go heli boarding would have involved hitchhiking around 1500km to the take off point, then hitchhiking back. Broke student syndrome.

But that said, I plan my USA trips around not hitting too much fresh snow. I've ridden in-bounds powder, I've hiked a few and I can honestly say....it isn't my thing :-)

So...more for you guys!

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on a freeride deck

Kipstar, you need initiation into the tanker posse

Yeah, I think so. I vaguely remember my first 2 years riding soft boots in agony almost the whole time. Switching to hard boots was great, but in NZ north island deep powder within most ski fields is like knee deep at the absolute most, so race board asym even was fine. Mammoth was a step up, and then tahoe sierra cement a step up again.

But after riding a few epic days in swallow tail type hip deep conditions, and having to do the walk of shame more than once (partly as a result of riding a nitro scorpion/nitro epic/hot logical perhaps :-) I figured I love powder up to knee deep on standard gear; deeper or choppier than that, and I'd rather not have to deal with it.

But....sort me out a tanker, and I'll be willing to reeconsider. not sure my destroyed feet (with multiple broken toes and bones inside) can easily handle soft boots though :-)...maybe...maybe.... ;-)

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got any softer hard boots like a raichle 413?

that would do it, softies are really a preference for interface where you like the lack of response or low angles, I like both in pow so thats what I ride

I'll put you on a tanker if you're ever where I am (eastern US) come on out!

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after riding/racing in ski boots (modified) up to about 8 years ago, then not riding at all for 6 years, then returning, breaking my raichles and trading to Indys (which I considered with race tongues to be crazily soft the first time out, and now find kinda stiff a year later) I must say, no, I have not tried soft hard boots.

That might be the solution. If the gear vacuums leave me some crumbs, I might see if I can do dat. But with only somewhere between 5 - 15 days per year, and 20+ hours of flying time each way to get anywhere near USA, last USA trip the powder was the low point, as Mammoth was chopped up beyond belief; that was the moment when I decided I would never again plan a trip with an aim of hitting fresh powder, if the choice of decently groomed or windpacked powder was available.

Toss me the boots and the tanker, and I'll reconsider Bobdea :-)

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