Monday, December 5, 2011

Avalanche the Game

My web base game is called Avalanche the Game.
The objective is to help Gnomie cross three winter mountain passes in three days; returning safely home to his wife.  On each day the player is given choices to make while traveling in avalanche terrain.  Several factors may affect the likelihood of an avalanche: weather, temperature, slope steepness, whether the slope is facing north or south, wind direction, terrain, vegetation, and general snowpack conditions. 

It is very important to be educated in the skills of backcountry winter travel.  Avalanche the Game will educate those who do not have any experience with avalanche terrain and provide a test of knowledge for those who are well experienced in winter mountain travel. 
Check it out:
Avalanche the Game

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ski Season Kicks Off!

Thanksgiving weekend is the goal for most of the Utah ski resorts to open for skiing. This year is no exception; ten out of the fourteen ski areas in our state have opened for the season.  This is a good start, and with the early November snowstorms coming approximately every weekend, Northern Utah is up and running.

With the record snow amounts last season, there are high expectations for a similar year.  Alta has received 76 inches of natural snow so far, and thanks to the resorts ability to make snow they are able to have most of the main runs off of four lifts open.  As of today the settled snow depth is 28 inches. Alta is the Utah resort that receives the most snow in the state, making it the “high water mark”.

So far I have skied 5 days over the last two weeks.  The skiing conditions have gone from soft, powder skiing to hard sheets of ice.   The state hasn’t received any precipitation for the last 8 days; high pressure has made for sunny conditions with periods of wind.  Any powder that was left by the last storm has become a wind blown crust. 

This moment allows me to take a deep breath, relax and make those last minute adjustments.  Considering that the season is still very early, this is a good time to continue tuning skies and evaluating the conditions of my equipment.  Now that I have been out skiing I can prioritize the cost and time needed to make the necessary improvements to damaged or tired equipment.  When the snow begins to pile up I find that the blinders come up, and it is hard for me to make the time for anything other than getting out on skis.