“Busta” Rime Ice

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. There may be no snow where you are, but we have it here! Mtn. Ops Maestro Mike McAdoo sent some photos from the summit this morning, proving we have winter weather up here! Rime ice is white ice that freezes to surfaces at higher elevations, sometimes we gotta bust it off the lifts. Today we’ll have 46 trails (26 groomed) open and 6 lifts operating. Madonna I is closed today, and possibly tomorrow due to snowmaking operations. We are currently making snow on Upper FIS – aka Fizz or as Snoop Dog says Fizzizille. Ski U soon.

Madonna I Lift rime ice. Photo by Mike McAdoo.

New Smuggs family members

Rob and Mae at the top of Catwalk
Mae and Rob with rime ice-covered trees

I was skiing down Upper Chilcoot and was about to turn onto Catwalk when I saw a couple taking photos. I stopped and asked if they wanted me to take their picture. They said, “Yes please.” After I took their picture we had a wonderful conversation. The first time Mae and Rob had ever been to Smuggs was yesterday. Mae asked Rob ” Why did you wait so long to bring me here?!” They told me that they love it here! The people, the terrain, the uncrowded trails, and the vibe is just great. I told Mae and Rob that I’m the Snow Reporter here at Smuggs. This led to a conversation about snow. I was telling them that the white stuff in the trees is not all snow. Sometimes the trees have rime ice on them also. I asked Mae and Rob if they would like to see an example of rime ice-covered trees and they said “Sure.” We took a short hike to some exposed trees with a good bit of rime ice on them. They told me “That they had never seen rime ice-covered trees like that before.” We had a wonderful time checking out the rime ice. It was fantastic meeting the two of you and I look forward to seeing you on the slopes of Smuggs again!


Rime ice

I took this photo this morning of the rope line at the base of the Madonna I lift.

Rime ice is formed when small supercooled water droplets freeze almost instantly on contact with a solid surface. Last night we had high humidity and falling temperatures which lead to the rime ice you see here. The rime ice also built up on the chairlifts and cables overnight. For a while this morning we had to load every other chair on Madonna and Sterling. If there is too much ice on the cable it does not let it grip with the bullwheel liner. To make sure the cable and bullwheel liner do not slip we lighten the load. This allows the cable to warm up and clear itself of ice. I would like to give a shout out to Boder Stephens, Brian Williamson, and the rest of our lift staff for all their effort to get the cable and bullwheels clean. I would like to thank Ski Patrol for lending a helping hand in clearing the chairs of snow and rime ice.