Monday, March 14, 2011

The Five Point Trail Breaking Scale

Recently, as we were plowing a trench through 60 cm of storm snow on the way to North Evening Ridge we came up with the five point trail breaking scale which I have reproduced in its entirety for your edification.
  1. Wussy = your grandmother, with her walker, could break this trail. Your fellow skiers will actually volunteer to break trail. Average depth is toe nail top.
  2. Modest = pretty average conditions, some of your fellow skiers will volunteer to break trail. Average depth is boot top.
  3. Robust = almost, but not quite burley, your fellow skiers will break trail for short distances if coerced. Average depth is knee deep.
  4. Burley = beyond robust, your fellow skiers are lagging far, far behind, and strangely, never seem to get any closer no matter how slow you go. Average depth is above the knees.
  5. Industrial = movement has slowed to a crawl, you have no fellow skiers as they have all gone to the ski hill. Average depth is mid-thigh and/or the snow has the consistency of wet cement.

This scale does not apply to trail-breaking in isothermal snow in the Rocky Mountains in spring which stretches the bounds of any trail-breaking scale and is, in fact, an exercise in futility.

 Spring trail breaking in the Rocky Mountains

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