Gigi Estes, head Nordic Silver Streak, reports on this week’s outing…
Wednesday, February 6
What a perfect day today! Driving north on I-93 the grass was brown and it looked like a miserable day for skiing. Yet Waterville Valley was white. The temperature was at a comfortable 20°F when 17 Nordics gathered. During warm-ups we watched a snow squall, but when we headed out to the North End the sun came out. With the little bit of new snow on the solid base the conditions were perfect. The trails had been freshly groomed and we were almost the first to ski on the beautiful corduroy. We scattered skiing in small groups: Lower Osceola, then some Upper Osceola and John Deer, others Moose Run and Wicked Easy. We all had in common an exuberant joy for being outside. Back at the Nordic Center for lunch, coffee and goodies another Nordic joined us. We were in for a special treat today: below the waterfall in the eddy we saw a rare phenomenon. There were ice “lily pads” floating on the water. None of us had ever seen anything like it. How in the world could these have formed?
I would like to have our group photo taken next Wednesday. Please come early so we can gather for the photo right after the warm-ups, about 9:50 a.m., before we take off to ski.
P.S. I have received information from two of my friends and colleagues from PSU. The ice formations are called “pancake ice.” Here is a quote from Professor Doner, “It would be caused by frazil ice that has bumped around and developed rounded edges. Usually see this in larger bodies of water and on a larger scale. They are awfully cute!”
Those are pretty cool. I did a google search and found out this is also known as “pancake ice.”
Here’s the wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancake_ice
Here’s a you tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPgF-GxqoQA
Eric G. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Professor – Meteorology
Chair, Dept. of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry, MSC 48
Plymouth State University