The other kind of radiation

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This time of year the sun starts to have a real effect on the snowpack. “Radiaton” in ski patrol speak, while not as much cause for concern as the situation in Japan, still raises red flags in my world. But it can be confusing.  What with all this talk about radiation in the news, I suppose I can understand.

So the other day, when patrol dispatch told the Northway Chair lift operator that he needed to get to the bottom of the chair and start digging it out due to radiaton, he was confused. “Are we really worried about that?” He wondered aloud. And if so, “will I be any more protected and the bottom of the chair than the top?”

We told him we aren’t worried about the nuclear radiaton from Japan. Not yet anyway. It’s radiaton from the sun we are concerned about.

Just an hour in full sun can turn a few inches if fresh into a wet-loose avalanche. Also known as a spring slough, growler, wet slide, these heavy avalanches can quickly ruin the skiing and your day.

So watch out for radiaton out the on the slopes.

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