Snowmaker Mike Bentley jumps out of his Steamboat Ski Area vehicle earlier this week to check one of the dozens of guns set up along the Vagabond trail at the Steamboat Ski Area. Snowmakers are hoping for cooler temperatures this week in order to make snow at the resort - which has delayed its opening to Nov. 30.

Photo by John F. Russell

Snowmaker Mike Bentley jumps out of his Steamboat Ski Area vehicle earlier this week to check one of the dozens of guns set up along the Vagabond trail at the Steamboat Ski Area. Snowmakers are hoping for cooler temperatures this week in order to make snow at the resort - which has delayed its opening to Nov. 30.

No snow, no go: Ski area postpones opening day

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Jim Ruggiero, owner of Azteca Taqueria, adds a few extra days to a clock that counts down to the start of the ski season. Ruggiero added nine days to the clock, which has been counting down since last year's closing day.

Gondola rope reaches end of line

Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., confirmed Thursday that the ski area plans to replace the 21-year-old haul rope on its gondola. But Andy Wirth, executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer for Intrawest, said emphatically that the planned replacement of the 60-ton wire rope, which pulls gondola cabins to Thunderhead Peak, was not a factor in Thursday's decision to delay opening of the ski area.

"It's inaccurate to say the replacement of the haul rope was a factor in our revised opening schedule," Wirth said.

Allen said rough and irregular stretches on the rope system have created "operational hassles," but no safety concerns. If Steamboat had sufficient snow to open as scheduled Nov. 21, a contingency plan would have been used to replace the haul rope, he said.

"There is no safety issue with the gondola," Allen said. "There is no loss of metal area that would make it unsafe. It's a wonderful piece of machinery and has run for 54,000 hours and still runs like a clock. It's one of the most important lifts in the nation."

The gondola would have run during the Thanksgiving holiday period, Allen said. After the holiday weekend, skier transport to Thunderhead would have been re-routed via the opening of the new Christie Peak Express and Thunderhead Express chairlifts until the gondola was ready to run again.

Now, Allen said, he anticipates both Christie Peak Express and the gondola will open Nov. 30.

Allen said replacing the gondola haul rope has been anticipated for some time and is being done one year earlier than planned.

"We're not replacing the haul rope because of safety issues," Allen said. "We're replacing the rope so we can have smooth operations."

When one of the detachable grips on a gondola car gripped onto an irregular area of the rope last winter, Allen said, it tripped a safety switch that necessitated running the gondola in reverse until it re-entered the terminal and the grip released. The car was then repositioned at a smooth spot on the cable.

"Over the last couple of years, it was happening as often as several times a day," Allen said.

Wirth said the gondola haul rope was taken down and inspected last year by Knight Equipment Company, the same company that recently spliced the new Christie Peak Express haul rope and will splice the new gondola rope.

Allen said the new haul rope was shipped from the manufacturer in Switzerland in September and was due to arrive Nov. 2, but as of Nov. 6 was still in the port of Savannah, Ga., held up by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The rope finally left Georgia on Thursday bound for Steamboat.

When the old rope finally comes down, it will have traveled a great distance, Allen said.

"Based on 54,000 hours at 11 miles an hour, we figured it's been to the moon and back and is on its way back to the moon again," he said.

— For the second time in seven years, mild November weather has caused the Steamboat Ski Area to push back its opening day.

The traditional opening Scholarship Day benefit for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has been delayed from Nov. 21 to Nov. 30, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials said Thursday. All season and value passes will be honored beginning Dec. 1.

"The warm weather patterns we've experienced lately have made snowmaking a challenge," said Andy Wirth, executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer for Intrawest, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s parent company. "Snowmaking crews, which were busy making snow last night, are ready to take full advantage of colder temperatures and conditions; and, as we've seen in the past, everything can change in a matter of days."

The last time Steamboat delayed its opening day was in 2001. Opening day was delayed until Nov. 30 that year, too, but heavy snow began to fall almost as soon as the postponement was announced.

The opening of Vail Mountain also was delayed Thursday because of a lack of snow. Originally scheduled to open today, Vail will now open Wednesday.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week that early winter snowfall in Northern Colorado could depend on the positioning of a high-pressure system associated with the La Niña phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean. Current long-range forecast models show Northwest Colorado has almost equal chances of average, below-average and above-average precipitation through February.

Wirth said Thursday unseasonably warm and dry weather this month was the only consideration in choosing to postpone opening day. The construction projects wrapping up on the Headwall trail at the base of Mount Werner were not a factor, he said.

"This was based on one factor, and that was the weather," Wirth said. "The weather to date combined with the short-term forecast doesn't give us any information that a normally scheduled opening would be advisable."

Wirth said nine-day forecasts give ski area officials reason for optimism. Chances of snow in Steamboat Springs are forecast through next week.

Pray for cold

Wirth said the ski area's management team, including Vice President of Mountain Operations Doug Allen, conferred Monday and did the math. Even if the Yampa Valley had experienced ideal snowmaking conditions beginning Monday and continuing through the originally scheduled opening day of Nov. 21, there would not have been sufficient time to build the necessary snow base, Wirth said.

Steamboat's snow guns have operated for three sessions this fall, including Thursday morning, when the plumes of snow were visible just below Thunderhead Peak on the Vagabond trail, ski area spokesman Mike Lane said. The first snowmaking session of autumn was overnight Nov. 3 into Nov. 4, when modest amounts of snow were produced on the Betwixt and Between trails. Daytime highs in the 50s and 60s eroded what little snow was made.

As much as skiers and riders could now be wishing for a powder dump, ski area officials are probably praying for a series of cold clear nights.

"At this stage of the game, we'd lean toward colder temperatures," Wirth confirmed.

Bob Milne, president of Steamboat Resorts, was leaning toward the pack of Rolaids he keeps in his desk on Thursday afternoon.

"We've been through this before, but it's never easy," Milne said of the delayed opening. "It's probably the right decision given that it's 45 degrees out right now."

Milne's staff was busy calling a list of 150 reservations booked into resort condominiums during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Guests were being told they are welcome to cancel with full refunds of their deposits.

"Surprisingly, a fair number of them are saying they're coming," Milne said. "We started calling the people who are traveling from out of state. Of our owners who were planning to come, all of them are still coming."

Steamboat Resorts plans to welcome its first college ski group of the season Dec. 3. That group is likely to be more sensitive to snow conditions, Milne said.

Changing course

Dedicated local skier Kevin Olsen, who typically logs 100 days a winter, said he'll continue to make the most of his Intrawest Rocky Mountain Ultimate Pass by skiing Copper Mountain until Steamboat opens.

"I think about skiing every day of the year," Olsen said. "It's always a bummer (when Steamboat's opening is delayed), but I've put down five days at Copper already. If the rides are open, I'm there."

Chris Smith, who has operated Powder Pursuits snowboard shop in Ski Time Square for 22 years, said his hope is that Steamboat's holiday visitors will spend more time shopping with the lifts closed.

"I usually stress out until the day it starts snowing," Smith said. "This year, I'm not going to stress out."

He had booked snowboard rentals for a group of students from the University of Colorado and spoke with them this week. They plan on coming to Steamboat despite the lack of snow, and Smith will host an equipment-buying event for them.

Wirth said like Steamboat Resorts, Ski Corp. is actively communicating with its clientele and about the snow situation. The resort has reached a crucial point in the annual vacation reservations calendar, as skiers and riders continue to book December and January trips while others begin to book deeper into February and March.

"The next 45 days represents a very important period when we experience a confluence of demand," Wirth said.

If the weather cooperates in historical fashion, he hopes to have a brighter snow message to relay to Steamboat visitors.

"It is what it is," Wirth said. "We have a savvy customer base and we've all seen it turn around fast in Steamboat in the past. We'll continue to be forthright with our guests."

Comments

steamboatgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

This is how Intrawest is taking over the mountain, by disappointing the locals? There is no excuse for not opening when other resorts in the area are open and have been for quite some time. They spent over $1 million on new snow making equipment, where the heck is that going???? I think season pass owners deserve a little compensation for this delay. I have family already flying in who anticipated being able to ski on Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe we will head over to Copper where the base is incredible for this time of year due to cold nights. Oh but wait, we are getting those cold nights too! So why isn't Steamboat making snow??? Last year we got off to a rough start, but at least ASC came through and still opened on time. Oh, and hey, let's due scholarship day on a day when the kids are supposed to be in school! That was a brilliant idea. I never thought anybody could start off as bad as ASC... Intrawest is supposed to be making this place better, not worse. Way to get off to a bad start Intrawest.

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RoxyDad 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey BoatGirl,

Don't be so angry. The base is definately a mess but it would seem that the weather is way to warm this year to be making snow at the lower elevations anyway.

I'll meet you at a local pub and we can have fun this week anyway.

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 1 month ago

Have you actually looked at the Mountain??? THERE IS NO SNOW!!! Are they responsible for the weather too? Put your Board back in the closet for a couple of days! Personally, I hate to ski on the "ribbon of death"!

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katrinkakelly 7 years, 1 month ago

Not the true reason!

I remember when we rode the Gondi up one season because of a lack of snow, Vagabond anyone?

Where is the Gondola cable??????

Gonna dump on us next Wednesday and Thursday!

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katrinkakelly 7 years, 1 month ago

Must be at least ten snow making machines at work behind the Ptarm.

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id04sp 7 years, 1 month ago

Steamboatgirl,

Look up there at the top of the page where it currently says 48 degrees ( at 1:15 PM on Thursday).

You cannot make and keep snow when the temperature is above freezing.

Copper bottom Elevation: 10800 feet Summit Elevation: 13050

Steamboat bottom Elevation, 6900 ft Top Elevation, 10568 ft.

The standard adiabatic lapse rate is 3 degrees Centigrade per thousand feet of altitude change. So, when covered by the same air mass (not separated by a weather front) you would expect Copper to be 11.7 degrees Centigrade colder at any given time.

I think if you took the trouble to graph out the temperature at each hour at both locations over the last week or so, you'd find that there have been a lot more hours of snow-making temperatures at Copper than at Steamboat. The significant altitude difference between the two areas is the most reasonable explanation for the delay in making snow in Steamboat.

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Token 7 years, 1 month ago

Steamboatgirl, bet you're the one yelling at airline agents when flights cancel due to thunderstorms.

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Anonymous 7 years, 1 month ago

SteamboatGirl -

First of all, the last time I checked....Intrawest does not control mother nature.

Second of all, Thanksgiving falls a week early this year, so technically you are not missing out on much anyway.

Frankly, I am happy about it!! This will be the first time in many, many years that I will get to spend all of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with my family because they won't have to work for Ski Corp!!!

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chairmanoftheboard 7 years, 1 month ago

Steamboatgirl,

Why don't you change your handle to Coppergirl? Watch the door on your way out of town. Your "local" sense of entitlement is mis-guided and delusional. Why do season pass holders deserve compensation for a factor that is completely out of the mountain's control? Do you really want to go back to ASC management?

"Oh, and hey, let's due scholarship day on a day when the kids are supposed to be in school!"

Maybe the kids in Steamboat should stay in school and learn how to spell!

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 1 month ago

The Gondy cable is on a boat "albeit" slow from Switzerland...Let's be thankful that Intrawest has the bucks to actually pay for the cable to replace...something ASC could not afford!

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snowysteamboat 7 years, 1 month ago

Ido4sp-

Just the facts.

Copper Base 9,712 Copper Summit 12,313

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Anonomous 7 years, 1 month ago

Did you not hear that ASC went completely bankrupt and pretty much imploded on themselves? Didn't think so.

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housepoor 7 years, 1 month ago

might make for a better turnout on scholarship day!!!

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Hammurabi 7 years, 1 month ago

Just a reminder that there have been several years when November was dry and January was nothing but powder. There were also many years in the "old days" when we waited until there was a good base for the mountain to open, and several years when the Ski Area asked locals not to ski to be able to "bank" snow for the Christmas holidays..guess what, we willingly complied because we all thought, at the time, that we were all in this together....my how times have changed. Now the resort "owes" us every day on the mountain and they better get the weather to cooperate or ELSE!!!

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mtnkids 7 years, 1 month ago

right on chairmanoftheboard. i didn't think anyone could squeal like ned beaty but steamboatgirl proved me wrong

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housepoor 7 years, 1 month ago

The Steamboat Ski area postponed the opening day until Nov 30th, claiming the Bush administrations lack of acknowledgment and action on global warming has caused ski season to start a week late.

A. Gore

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weissbl 7 years, 1 month ago

If Wirth is truly aware of the 9 day forecast, then he knows that a major pattern change starting on Tuesday will bring much colder temps and possibly big snow lasting for a week or more. Why push back the opening 9 days when the mountain could have enough snow to open a few days after the originally projected opening? He's already proven that 6 days is enough notice to change plans, so I don't understand why he doesn't say the mountain will open as conditions permit.

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housepoor 7 years, 1 month ago

They are not ready to open, did you see the base area? The weather has been a blessing.

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kusellout 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm going to put global warming in my lockbox for social security.

A. Gore

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bcpow 7 years, 1 month ago

What a great day to go for a bike ride or hike. Low 50s and beautiful out. Take advantage of it. Sbgirl...do you understand anything about weather, snowmaking, ski resort operations, mountains, colorado or reality in general?

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threeyearlocal 7 years, 1 month ago

What's the big deal? Vail is supposed to open with one run. SBgirl, are you really going to get the skis out for THAT?

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longtimelocal 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey Boatgirl,

Chill out! Maybe you should not have made such hard and fast plans so close to the mountain opening. Intrawest cannot control the weather. Enjoy the nice fall for a few more days. Winter will be long enough as it is.

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Lura 7 years, 1 month ago

LOL! Business is business and weather is weather. They operate independently of each other. Steamboatgirl, take your folks all around town and enjoy yourselves - I'm sure there will be some sort of event planned... there's always a reason to go party in this town.

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bartender 7 years, 1 month ago

Poor Steamboatgirl. Some people are just so out of touch with this town. Anyone with any experience around here would have known they were going to get a butt chewing for such idiotic ranting. Not to mention that if you want family to come in for a holiday don't encourage them to go skiing on opening weekend.

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

There controlling the weather by spraying the sky. Remember when the funky contrail with the little droops were thought to be made by the Aurora aircraft.

Those contrails are all over the place, in our skys. I counted 9 aircraft at one time. Leaving gross looking smoke behing them

Look at headwall. Google Storm Peak Lab. They are spraying Sh&&t in our air.. Look at the smog. it's blue.

Look into weather control. Look into the amount of Natural Gas in the area. Check out YVEDC. Their agenda is to take tours to check out oil wells. They are meeting in Hayden

We are sitting on the Nations largest reserve of Natural Gas,, and they want it bad. Look into please. Things are messed up.

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skisteamboat 7 years, 1 month ago

Stompk: I think you, with Steamboatgirl, need an examination and possibly some medication.

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Carrie Requist 7 years, 1 month ago

So, scholarship day is normally on the Wed before Thanksgiving, which is a no-school day. Now it will be on the Friday a week after Thanksgiving, which is a school day. I wonder if it will be as successful without the kids or if people will just pull their kids from school for Scholarship day?

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mtnsmiles 7 years, 1 month ago

hmmm. construction was not a consideration? Funny. Has Mr. Wirth viewed Headwall recently? Hardly "wrapping up". Yes, there is no snow BUT be honest, that saved you guys - cuz the mountain isn't ready to open. LUCKY BREAK.

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oofcboy 7 years, 1 month ago

I am not sking rocks, didnt ski the rocks last year either. I mean the grassey slopes I have some misquit wood that I am cooking my turkey with so I need to stay home anyway

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chairmanoftheboard 7 years, 1 month ago

So, scholarship day is normally on the Wed before Thanksgiving, which is a no-school day. Now it will be on the Friday a week after Thanksgiving, which is a school day. I wonder if it will be as successful without the kids or if people will just pull their kids from school for Scholarship day?

from the full press release at steamboat.com...

"With Friday's opening being a school day, the resort will offer local students, teachers & administrators (K-12) the incentive to stay in class and still enjoy the benefits of Scholarship Day. The resort will provide a special voucher to students that allows skiing/riding on Saturday, December 1st at the Scholarship Day price. In addition, starting December 1st, all season and value passes will become valid for the season."

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seeuski 7 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the laughs, it put ten years back on my life and I hope for ten more openings like the one we had 2 years ago. Al Gore

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id04sp 7 years, 1 month ago

Snowy,

You are right. I copied the elevations without opening the whole link. I think the ones I posted are for A-basin.

The principle is still the same. Copper is higher, so it's cooler. Instead of almost 12 degrees C as I posted above, it's closer to 9.

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Token 7 years, 1 month ago

oh my god, hilarious...thanks for the laughs today!!!!

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steamboatgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

wow, i spoke my opinion with about 15 others in the room with me who shared the exact same opinions. people who have been in this town for over twenty, thirty, and forty years. it is sad that people in this town can say such horrible things on message boards to people they do not even know. and i would bet millions these people wouldn't say a peep if faced with a debate in person. has anybody noticed the temperatures at night? has anybody noticed we had less snow at this time last year, but the mountain still made snow on a few runs to keep opening day? this has nothing to due with the weather people! it has everything to due with the fact that they couldn't get the base done in time regardless of the many press statements released to the pilot saying they would be ready by thanksgiving. it has everything to due with the fact that they wasted all this time on the base instead of making snow in the COLD evenings. if anybody really wants to say it hasn't been cold enough, they clearly are only out at 3:00 in the afternoon. this has absolutely nothing to do with the weather and people who have been in this town for a long time should know that. so go ahead, believe the press release and all its candy coating. and keep on judging and trashing people you have never met.

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wzstfu 7 years, 1 month ago

steamboatgirl - whatever chick... I'm not reading any press releases. I'm walking around in short sleeves in the middle of November. It may be cold at night, but 50 degrees during the day does not make good snow. It's more like mud. Your original post which started this hilarious thread was pretty ridiculous. Intrawest cannot make it snow. I'm pretty sure that it's safe to say that if they could, they would.

Also due = do

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Scott Wedel 7 years, 1 month ago

I predict big problems resulting from this. I know this is sacrilegous, but someone has to say it:

If Intrawest cannot control the weather and must delay opening date then Intrawest is not God and is not perfect.

So what do we do now that there is no skiing for another week and the impotence and imperfection of Intrawest has been revealed?

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mtnkids 7 years, 1 month ago

blame it on walt disney. he's the one who introduced the concept that mickey could just walk over to the spigot and turn on the snow.

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id04sp 7 years, 1 month ago

This is hilarious. People who have slummed around in the bars for 20 or 30 years and hate ski corp for charging admission are just complaining because they're not getting what they want. 32F is 32F and the number of hours it's below 32 are the controlling factor.

Ski corp will lose lots of money by not opening on time. They would probably lose more by opening on time with insufficient snow, meaning fewer skiers after the first day but still having to operate the facilities anyway.

Hey, is anybody going to ask for a prorated refund on their season passes and tokens? Good luck with that!

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Brian Smith 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if the snow melts in Copper when it is 50 degrees...probably not, I bet Intrawest has bought some fandangled machine that keeps that mountain cooler. Hopefully Steamgirl bought the super pass, then at least she can ski Copper for free.

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nxoby36 7 years, 1 month ago

Having lived here for the past 35 years ( seems to be your credentials for a considered opinion ) I want to ask your other long time " locals " if they remember only being open for a few weeks one season , several seasons having to ride up the gondola or Christie & Thunderhead before touching snow , Skiing down on straw ? the Year they closed the Gondola during christmas ( Warren Miller did a great movie on the loading and dumping off of the skiers on the Christie when it was ran at full speed ) Yes we even had the Cowboy Down Hill on Upper Vagabond one year . Buying a pass early has always been a gamble , save money vs the possibility that the snow will be lousy or nonexistent . As I remember there were a lot of people that lived in the " Twig " , " Club 86" , " El Rancho " and " Cameo " that never skied always bitched and never helped out when the ski corp called for volunteers to haul snow from the trees out to the runs . Anybody remember the bonfires at the remote parking lot where we sacrificed old skis to the " Snow Gods" ?

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mtroach 7 years, 1 month ago

mTnsmith is right; I heard that what interwest is really doing to the base is installing a cold air transportation system to basically air condition the copper mountain ski area so that they are able to make snow up there at our expense. That's the real reason for all the work around the base area, the "regradeing" is just a ruse to install the cold air transporter.

Now they get the snow, and we do not.

Their ultimate goal is to operate Copper year round, and they will do anything to make this happen, even bankrupt Steamboat. They rationalise that operating an exclusive year round ski resort is more profitable that several "seasonal" resorts. Sources tell me that they are currently petitioning the Forest Service to dome over the whole of Copper, once that happens, were finished, Steamboat will be closed down to save money.

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STEMBOATwannabe 7 years, 1 month ago

Quit dumping on Steamboatgirl....she is entitled to her opinions too!

Maybe the season will be able to be extended to May?? Wouldn't that be nice!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

How many people on this thread actually have to deal with a guest who has spent a couple thousand dollars to bring their family here for a Thanksgiving ski vacation that now won't be able to ski? Raise your hands!

Now- how many of you that met the above condition are going to tell that guest to their face that they should have waited until later in the season in hopes of making them feel better about the money they spent or tell them all the "other" things they can go do right now with no snow? Raise your hands!

Now, who will own up to who they are and where they work where they can get away with telling a guest the Paragraph 2 scenario and not hurt their business? C'mon! Raise your hands!

chirp...chirp............chirp...chirp...

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steamboatgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

If any of you could read you would've realized I didn't blame Intrawest for the lack of real snow. Maybe you are the same people who have been so drunk for the last year that you don't remember what the beginning of last season was like. No snow, but they started making snow right after Halloween as usual (thanks to the cold nights, duh). The first day sucked, but at least the Vag was open and people could get up there and do their thing. The rest of the mountain was still very bare, just like it is now. If you talk to anybody who works up on the mountain they will tell you the real reason is because construction is behind.

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agentofchange 7 years, 1 month ago

Be thankful this season for what you've got, and where you live. We really have so many reasons to be joyfull at this time of Thanksgiving, here in Routt County!

If you don't agree, look around the country. We have it soooooo good. Every day is a Holiday compared to what others live with.

The snow will come. Sorry Al Gore.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Agent

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Tammie Delaney 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey folks--remember the winter of '76 when the only snowmaking was icing down 'Homer Seepage' so that Winter Sports Club could train some gates? Now that was creative! (Only 91 inches of snow that winter...)

Needless to say the ice skiing (could clearly see through 12 inches to the grass below) and arm strength from hanging on to the rope tow produced some of the best racers in the country and world. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough get going and get out and do something about it.

I urge us to stop hammering on one another and instead enjoy the last gorgeous days of Fall and get creative in dryland training (bike, hike, ride, and more!) and positive thoughts for some good snow days ahead.

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Aaron Murphy 7 years, 1 month ago

tdelaney-- Well said!

We live in paradise, right? 97%of the people who live here are here because they love it. Our summers are mild, our winters are white, and we have recreation opportunities year round.

Instead of complaining about the mountain opening nine days late, and arguing about whether it is because of construction delays or lack of snowmaking conditions, sit back, take a minute, look out your window (no matter what the weather is doing) and remember why we live in this beautiful place. Get out there and have some fun! That's why we're here!

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steamboatgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

I love the attitudes of agentofchange and tdelaney. At least we aren't stuck somewhere back east where it could rain through winter and barely get any riding! I'll be taking the dog hiking the extra days until the season starts. Any word on if they would open earlier if the storm next week hits big?

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Token 7 years, 1 month ago

if you wouldve said that in the first place, this thread wouldnt exist....

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skichik 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm one of those people who have to 'deal' with guests coming from out of state....and yes everyone is disappointed but hey, here's a shocker....most skiers (locals & out of state - we've been both) know that Thanksgiving skiing is a crapshoot! And honestly, any time of year is a tossup..there's been years where the conditions have been better in November than they were in January. I think it's better to know there's no skiing than to have the mountain open with an unsatisfactory experience. To tell your guests 'they should have waited till later in the season' , well if skiing is the main point of their trip then yes have they no business booking for November. As for Copper, it's not like that's so much better. Very long lines to ski a few very crowded not-so-great conditions runs.
And yes, there's "other" things to do and enjoy even if it's not going downhill! From someone who envies the fact you all get to live there all the time!

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WRXRoadRunner 7 years, 1 month ago

Steamboatgirl, what's up the sudden change of heart? You gonna take your family to walk your dog too?

Maybe Intrawest should foot the money for our gas so that we can get down to Winter Park and Copper next week. But then Al Gore might sue them for contributing to global warming. In fact because the mountain isn't opening next week I am driving to Copper and Winter Park, so they are hurting their business for future years. Why? Well, you see that's just that much more pollution contributing to global warming.

Sorry Al, but I really just want to ski and ride. I have had an itch since about April 9th. Besides I don't think I am the only one going.

Nonetheless, after dealing with the terrible crowds and everything, I will not REALLY want to go until there is real snow rather than the stuff that resembles icy mashed potatoes. So pray for snow people! The snow gods will respond soon.

Otherwise enjoy the outdoors and the lack of tourists milling around downtown, drinking at our bars and stopping in the middle of the street to take a picture in front of every sign that says Steamboat.

By the way, does anyone got about 275 feet of cable we could borrow?

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corduroy 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm not going to complain, I'm going to Copper tomorrow, and with the time I have off for Thanksgiving I'll more than likely go there again, or just take the dog up on Rabbit Ears with the cross country gear and earn my turns. The only thing stopping you people from getting out there is the fact the lifts aren't running yet. :)

Stompk: I HAVE seen all those trails in the sky this past year. Who is it doing it and what are they doing? It's VERY curious and its definitely not tourists flying into town...

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RoxyDad 7 years, 1 month ago

Kielbasa I am raising my hand. Have family from Wisconsin that left today for Steamboat. None of are upset about not having snow. Steamboat is to great a place. (different story if no snow in another 3 weeks) When you make a trip at thanksgiving for snow you are taking a chance. I suggest trip insurance.

Look, we all wish there was snow. There isn't and its not Intrawests fault.

Boatgirl - I'm glad you hang with like minded people but I still think your too angry and should lighten up a bit. As for us making comments to people we don't know on the message board why don't you take your own advise and stop the comments about Intrawest (or do you personally know them?) and why don't you introduce yourself so we don't have to make the comments to someone we don't know! We can then make the comments to someone we know.

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stmbt_boreder 7 years, 1 month ago

A recent TV special on PBS said that in 100,000 we will be entering the next ice age so pretty soon there will be snow in Steamboat 12 months out of the year!!

Every year is different, the snow always comes.

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momofthree 7 years, 1 month ago

Regardless of the reasons, you'd think Intrawest would offer season pass holders the option of paying $50 now to upgrade their pases to take advantage of Copper between now and Nov 30, if buyers didn't go that route when they bought the pass. Intrawest will make a little incremental $$ (not just from the pass, but from the parking, food sales, etc.) and local pass holders who didn't opt to spend the $50 because they didn't think they'd ever leave SS to ski somewhere else can do so now for a great price. The goodwill would be beneficial all around.

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jlkar 7 years, 1 month ago

Day off on Thanksgiving is going to be grand. I would be fine sitting on the porch in a tank top with a beer. Steamboatgirl... by the way... attacking people we don't know- what was with the "YOU were the ones drunk for the last year". huh. sweet, since we have patiences we must be drunk? And finally, Kiebasa, ya dork- you were the one who asked if I remembered the winter of 80/81 with no snow and hinted at its comeback- why don't you tell your little tourist friends that. no rec center AND the possiblity of no champagne powder. Board the windows- ghost town here we come.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

jlkar- I don't tell them that because it doesn't make them feel better about having nothing to do with no snow. Do you exacerbate an irritated guest by telling them they planned improperly? If so, what kind of return business do you get based on further ticking off a guest/client?

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WRXRoadRunner 7 years, 1 month ago

stmbt_boreder, first off I hope you are making a pun and you realize that boarder is spelt b-o-a-r-d-e-r. Secondly, I really am thinking that the year 100,000is 7993 years away. I don't think that is pretty soon. And it truely is all speculation as to when the next ice age might occur. Theory is not definate fact, it's just a darn good guess.

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Token 7 years, 1 month ago

jlkar, yeah the drunk comment struck me too. What is she, 17?

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mtnkids 7 years, 1 month ago

winters of 68-75 in crested butte...always tons of snow, sometimes so much the road would close from gunnison. days of youth and we didn't care cuz we were havin' fun. the ski areas never planned on a thanksgiving opening. they were at the mercy of the snow gods. areas didn't open til the snows came, usually around mid-december. closing was generally around april fools day. anyone else remember the 1st flauschink?

winter of 76...ugghhh. the winter of "un". the 1st drought year in anyone's memory. they had to put in a midway station at the bottom of the paradise bowl just to let people ski off it. that was when colorado ski areas decided that snowmaking was needed. and hey, since we can make snow, let's shoot for a thanksgiving opening and generate some extra revenue.

79-80, 465" of snow that winter. june 1 we still had waist deep snow in the yard. 80-81 was another lean year, but the following winter. presto, it started snowing on thanksgiving and snowed for 49 consecutive days. i think it was around 84 that the boat got that 48" overnight. talk about epic.

things have been up and down ever since, but the mid 90s in the boat did produce two consecutive years of 440'+. however, not too many years ago, it didn't even start snowing til thanksgiving night.

moral to the story: we are always at the mercy of the snow gods. there is a reason that they call these mountains the rockies, and i won't ski on rocks or the previously mentioned ribbon of death.

i'm going to suggest that we have successfully spoiled the younger generations who have only seen leather lace-up boots, bear trap bindings, and wooden skis in the old photographs, never attached to their feet, kids who have never skied a mountain that had only one snowcat, and if you were lucky, you could find it and ski behind it.

steamboatgirl is certainly entitled to her opinion...she just doesn't have enough experience or acquired knowledge to substantiate it.

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dave reynolds 7 years, 1 month ago

StBt Girl..How Retro..back in the day it was the thing to rip on the ski area..Intrawest just dumped 25 million into improvements did it ever dawn on you they might want to provide a quality product for the customers..if you lived here as long as you say you have then you should know Thanksgiving and late Spring skiing are as one poster said is crap shoot..i have family who work year round at the ski area who are way more knowledgeable than you pretend to be..so you want to debate lets do it..one point if it is 20 degrees from 4:00 Pm till 6:00 AM..Ok lets make snow when temps reach 40 degrees it melts fast cause man made so is not as dry as mother natures..don't believe me test it on your stove..grab man made then natural you will see man made melts much faster..so answer us all this why didn't you suggest maybe mid January or all of Feb. into March we generally get the best snow then..just curious

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panky 7 years, 1 month ago

FYI...

The condensation trail left behind jet aircrafts are called contrails. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with environmental air of low vapor pressure and low temperature. The mixing is a result of turbulence generated by the engine exhaust. Cloud formation by a mixing process is similar to the cloud you see when you exhale and "see your breath".

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Token 7 years, 1 month ago

panky, you missed all the fun...

paddlefisher, right on hipster...lets just play and say it is indeed an evil coverup and base area/headwall construction IS to blame. So what. These people started working 7 days a week monday morning after the ski area closed last season. Its not like their sluffing off and their are DUMPing money into OUR ski resort. I'll take it AND a another hiking/biking week. Ahhhhh the trials and tribulations of living the dream...

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dave reynolds 7 years, 1 month ago

yep going golfing tomorrow..gotta get that last round in..plenty of time to ski..BUILD IT THEY WILL COME..the they being snow

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oofcboy 7 years, 1 month ago

well if it turns into ghost town ,housing will be cheaper,but you still will not be able to afford it .I am still smoking my turkey thanksgiving and maybe other things,got any hemp rope?

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wzstfu 7 years, 1 month ago

A heartfelt 'sorry' goes out to poor steamboatgirl. I don't think people were trying to be cruel. And if you weren't so angry you might actually find that some of these posts were downright funny. Your comment about being drunk was, however, a bit uncalled for. I may have been drunk on a couple of occasions, but definitely not the entire year. Well, as far as I can recall anyway.

Enjoy the holiday, enjoy having your friends and family close by and enjoy the beautiful weather in our beautiful valley. There are more important things than being able to ski next week. Be thankful for what you do have.

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RoxyDad 7 years, 1 month ago

Vail has automatic seeders on the top of a few peaks if anyone cares

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

well, at least I took some heat off steamboatgirl.

You people are ruthless.

Take a deep breath in and hold it.

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

According to scientist who study contrails to a great degree, because of the military implications of leaving a contrail (good way to get shot down)

regular jet air traffic leaves approx 10 contrails out of 10,000 flights @ 30,000 ft (normal commercial jet traffic alt). It is a very rare occurence for contrails to form. Conditions have to be just right -50C, at least 30% humidity, and then they are usually above the clouds.

For a contrail to form on a clear day is nearly impossible. Any high school educated person can do the math. The same condition nessesary (sp) for clouds to form, are nessesary for contrails to form.

I repeat, it is almost impossible for contrails to form on a clear day.

Cloud seeding is alive and well. The Chinese are bragging about how they can make it not rain for the Olympics.

The reason nobody hears about it, is because they use silver iodide, which is very harmful to us, and even worse to the environment. Has anyone seen all the yucky foam in the Yampa?

How about the strange duck activity lately. One should take a close look at the condition of the river. Because silver iodide is insoluble, it pools in areas. Gotta block the sunlight to see it. Sits on the surface in stagnate areas, looks like slime or fuel sometimes.

There are also rain inhibitors. It's big business. Silver Iodide is expensive, and water is like gold.

Snow Augmentation, Snomax, Cloudseeding. Just to name a few.

Desert Research Institute in Utah runs Storm Peak Lab, in case anyone cares anymore.

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

Why do you think they don't want you to eat the fish?

Whirling disease?

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OnTheBusGus 7 years, 1 month ago

Snomax is made from a bacterium, it's not silver iodide.

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justathought 7 years, 1 month ago

Those of you teed off at Intrawest, boycott 'em. Don't ski their mountains, that'll teach 'em and I'm sure they'll miss you.

If you need to blame someone, blame me. I don't ski and I've been praying for nice weather.

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trump_suit 7 years, 1 month ago

You crack me up stompk..... Just where exactly did you take those pictures on your website. They look like the back lot at the Grease Monkey, not the Yampa.....

Have you ever considered that those contrails are from Delta, United, or Southwest? They do make regular flights right over our valley many times a day, and the contrail conditions have been just right for about a month now.

Show us some concrete evidence instead of blather about being followed by helicopters and maybe you will score a few more points..

Snow will come, it always does, and I will see all of you on the slopes sooner rather than later.....

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techno_babble 7 years, 1 month ago

stmpk -- very poor research...

The Desert Research Institute does indeed run Storm Peak Lab, but they are based in Nevada, not Utah. Have you every been in the lab? I have. Not much scary stuff there unless you don't recognize basic science tools.

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jeep 7 years, 1 month ago

stmpk you should start your own news paper

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

The pictures of the Yampa are off River Road, across from Fish Creek Trailer Park.

" I know nothing about the Snowmax, but I do know about cryoprotection using non-nucleating bacteria. These are a species of Pseudomonas that outcompetes nucleating bacteria and prevents frost crystal formation, permitting the fruits to survive to -5C (Crawford, M. 1987. California field test goes forward. Science 236: 511.). The soil bacterium Pseudomonas syringae was altered so that it would retard frost formation on potato and strawberry plants in California, saving millions, perhaps billions in lost crops""


http://www.bio.net/hypermail/plant-ed/1999-August/004886.html

I never claimed Snomax is made of silver iodide. It is used on the ground. Hopefully it's not being sprayed. Does anyone know?

Yes DRI is in Nevada. My mistake. My point is it's not even in our state.

http://cwcb.state.co.us/Flood/pdfDocs/WeatherModHearings/ExhibitsDW.pdf http://cwrri.colostate.edu/pubs/newsletter/2002/Oct2002.pdf

I'm hoping if I show the facts to this newspaper, they will start investigating.

If not, I will start my own newspaper. I already have the website.

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freshair 7 years, 1 month ago

Snow? You can have it, when the temp drops below 40 consistently, I'm outa here. You'll find me in Steamboat from May thru September, and on the Big Island from October thru April.

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

Just in case you have trouble opening that first PDF

"WESTERN WEATHER CONSULTANTS APPLICATION FOR A CONTINUOUS WINTER CLOUD SEEDING PROJECT FOR THE DENVER WATER DEPARTMENT PROGRAM"

DATES OF PROPOSED PROJECT: 11/1/2007 through 4/15/08 and for the next nine winter seasons___ •

• The Primary Target Area of the operations for which the Permit is sought is a large portion of the Central Colorado Rocky Mountains generally above 9,000 ft. MSL in the Upper Colorado, Upper South Platte, Upper East side of the Arkansas River drainage basins. The target area includes parts of Grand, Summit, Park, Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Chaffee County within the State of Colorado. The Program is designed, operated and intended to affect only the Target Area within the above listed counties. • The Colorado Revised Statutes (Title 20, 36-20-101 through 36-20-126) do not require notice for permit renewals but in an exercise in caution the applicant is publishing notice in the target area counties and adjacent counties. The adjacent counties include the following: Gunnison, Pitkin, Garfield, [b]Routt[/b], Jackson, Larimer, Boulder, Gilpin, Jefferson, Denver, Douglas, Teller, Fremont and Saguache.

The expected duration of operations is November 1 through March 31st each year for a continuous program.

The operational procedures to be used by the applicant to achieve the stated objective are to produce silver iodide crystals (artificial cloud nuclei) from the network of ground-based generators for diffusion by favorable wind flows into selected storm or cloud types favorable for reasonable precipitation increases over the project area. "

I'm not making this up. People should be informed about this. Is this safe for humans and environment.

In my opinion, hell no!

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

One last post here for the defense of the Pilot

"The views of National Weather Service forecasters or their managers are often quoted by the local media, yet such meteorologists are unlikely to have even a passing knowledge of weather modification. This lack of knowledge can sometimes be the cause of misinformation cited by local and national media."

http://cwcb.state.co.us/Flood/pdfDocs/COFinalRptSept05.pdf

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

And this is just the State level.

The airspace is controlled by the FAA.

So the Federal Government handles that.

"Washington, D.C. The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today approved S. 517, the Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Act of 2005 by voice vote. The bill is sponsored by Committee Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)"

http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_ID=248556

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Snowmaker 7 years, 1 month ago

I know the guys that do the snowmaking and they have been very busy this year replacing old leaking snowmaking pipe and upgrading the system. They have some new low energy equipment but still many older guns that are not efficient by todays standards. After another year of upgrades they will be able to produce more snow at marginal temps but with the weather this fall we have not had many marginal temp nights above the valley floor. Summit County is doing the best in the west. Any other Rocky Mtn state is not doing as well as CO. I just got back from a road trip to ski areas in Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Some of the ski areas have not even had temps for making snow and others had only made a little bit of snow. These other states will be lucky to be open for Thanksgiving unless this next storm system dumps a lot of snow.

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mtn_emigrant 7 years, 1 month ago

I knew mountain boarding was invented for somekind of reason.

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

Hmm. No sarcastic put downs?

This is good.

I'm telling the world about it here

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread316081/pg1

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STEMBOATwannabe 7 years, 1 month ago

there is an educational value to this ... hope teachers in SS take note.. could be great science fair stuff!

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STEMBOATwannabe 7 years, 1 month ago

Just wondering. So Stompk, why is it that if the cloud seeding is so prevalent in the Colorado skies, they are not doing it over Atlanta which is having such a dire drought this year? Wouldn't it help their problem?

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corduroy 7 years, 1 month ago

they had a couple trails open at Winter Park Where they haven't made snow its just as bad as it is here in Steamboat.. BROWN! The lack of snow and the abundance of warm weather is happening all over Colorado. And NY is getting snow

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 1 month ago

YIPPEE!!! It is 64 degrees!!! I am going to head downtown to our outdoor pool and hot springs!!! Who needs a dome?!!

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

Should we breath Silver Iodide?

"Handle only in well ventilated areas.

Do not get in eyes or on skin or on clothing.

Do not take internally.

Do not breathe dust.

Do not reuse containers.

Clean up spills as they occur.

" http://www.hschem.com/msds/silverIodide.htm

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

Beetles don't kill healthy trees. They eat the dead and dying trees, to keep forest fires down to a minimum.

Bad atmosphere is will kills plants. Water in root systems. Silver is not natural in our bodies. It is only induced.

Dust, is very bad for the lungs. From there, it gets into the blood stream.

But don't eat too much table salt (iodine)!

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armchairqb 7 years, 1 month ago

talk about the instant gradification generation Learn some patience. use logic when it snows you can ski what's the rush why not go out and get a job instead of whining about the entitlement you think is your right. as for all the science , if memory serves me correctly the ice melted during the last ice age long before man arrived so we can't be blamed for that one and who says the ice age is over? perhaps it is still going on just at a slower pace.!!!

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

When did catch a release start in the river?

Around '94-'95 if I remember right. I've always been against it. Maybe there was a reason for it though.

"This action implements revisions to the Basic Standards and Methodologies for Surface Water adopted by the Commission in January, 1995. As part of a July, 1994 rulemaking hearing, the Commission considered the proposal of various parties to delete the chronic and chronic (trout) table values for silver in Table III of the Basic Standards. As a result of that hearing, the Commission found that the evidence demonstrated that ionic silver causes chronic toxicity to fish at levels below that established by the acute table values. It was undisputed that silver is present in Colorado streams and in the effluent of municipal and industrial dischargers in Colorado. The evidence also demonstrated that the removal of silver from wastewater can be costly."

http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/wqslibrary/co/reg37-20050120.pdf

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stompk 7 years, 1 month ago

""Cloud seeding is not only done in the U.S., and has been done here since the early 1950s, but there's probably 30 to 40 countries conducting cloud-seeding programs," said weather consultant Don Griffith.

Apparently, none of those counties are in the state of Georgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. ""


http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3857886

Seems like they are praying instead.

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1016462/L/

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toboyle105 7 years, 1 month ago

Years ago I was on a 747 from Chicago to the Big Island and an engine crapped out. The plane had to make an emergency landing in San Fran. It was too heavy at the time to make that landing so it dumped its load of fuel somewhere over the Rockies. How often does that happen? That can't be good for the powder.

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