Ever wonder what ski resorts mean when they say they're delaying a lift's opening because of "icing"?
Look no further than this X post from Sugar Bowl Resort, California, shared earlier this week on January 25th.
More icing overnight. Mt. Lincoln will be on a delayed opening as the team removes rime ice by hand. pic.twitter.com/QrUTXnaD2J
— Sugar Bowl Resort (@sugarbowlresort) January 25, 2024
On January 25th, Sugar Bowl delayed the opening of the Mt. Lincoln Express thanks to all that "rime ice."
According to the National Weather Service, rime ice is "a deposit of interlocking ice crystals formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air." And, as you can tell by this update from Sugar Bowl, it's not great news for machinery. A handbook for the Federal Aviation Administration states that "icing is one of the major weather hazards to aviation."
Chairlifts, then—while less complicated than their airborne counterparts—are best operated when ice-free.
Matt Lorelli, my editor, was at another Lake Tahoe area ski resort—Palisades Tahoe—on the 25th, where rime ice was also present. He shared some photos documenting the widespread icing situation and explained that conditions were less than desirable.
View the 2 images of this gallery on the original article
Thankfully, looking ahead, the Sierra Nevada could be treated to a snowy reset later this month and during the start of February. While it's tough to say exactly how these predicted weather shifts will pan out, ideally, they'll bring less ice and more snow.
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