The Snowflake (Libbrecht, Rasmussen)

A foray past the technical wing of Powell’s Books turned up a bunch of fun reading. Among them is this informative book on snowflakes.

IMG_0641Written by a physicist who developed a specialty in snowflake formation, and beautifully photographed. It’s a broad treatise on snow that’s accessible to everyone, from kids to graduate-level physicists. If you need a snow-focused holiday gift for someone who already has too many skis and bindings, this might be it.

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Remembering David Pinegar

Reading through the 2012 ANAM, I came across Dave’s accident. Some things aren’t fair.

David’s Thesis. His work, and his work preceding the thesis, continues to have importance to the neutrino-mass world. The tritium and helium-3 mass difference measurements of which he was a part are timeless.

John Scurlock’s memorable sunset photograph, Scurlock’s note, Dave’s TR.

Dave on Chikamin.

He always did things his own way. I appreciate that now more than ever.

Almost-equal night

The Turn isn’t here yet, but it’s coming.

.LONG TERM…FROM 330 AM DISCUSSION…WETTER AND COOLER WEATHER IS ON TAP NEXT WEEK. THE GFS SHOWED ADDITIONAL UPPER TROUGHS MOVING THROUGH THE AREA MON NITE AND TUE AND AGAIN LATER THU/FRI. WRN WA WILL BE CLOUDY WITH SHOWERS AT TIMES IN A MOIST AIR MASS AND PLENTY OF ONSHORE FLOW.

Vasa

The skate skiing hook may have been set – it turns out that skate skis are fun going downhill too. A perusal of available nordic skis reveals a preponderance of skis from many manufacturers all labelled ‘Vasa’.

What, where, or who, is Vasa? The man who led Sweden to independence was Gustav Vasa. A 90 km ski race that follows a historically important route is called the Vasaloppet (think the original Marathon). The race is huge, and the mass start is incredible.

Whence Vasa on every ski? I’m not certain. This post suggests that mass-start skis are labelled Vasa. If you’ve more information, please leave a comment! (thanks!)

It wouldn’t be a measuredmass post without a plot; here are the winning times since 1922, as found on Wikipedia.

vasaloppetWinningTime

Speed

How long does it take a gaggle of inbounds skiers to observe a slide, band together, figure out that beacons aren’t working for them, start probing uphill of trees, and get a successful probe strike?

7 minutes and 30 seconds.  Videos like these are going to strengthen the way we do avalanche education. Simple schemes to help unaffiliated groups to do rescue effectively will save lives.

Awesome job to everyone involved.