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Author Topic: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07  (Read 17247 times)
jd
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Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« on: 05/18/07, 08:58 AM »

The pollen accumulation on our ski bases made for a very slow run last night. Started gumming up on Larrison Ridge (far above the trees). Sticky black tar covered our bases forcing us to walk on anything but steep slopes for the last half of the descent. Worst I've ever seen - result of global warming?? Be prepared for extensive cleaning when you get home, paint thinner and many paper towels did the trick for me.



There is a parallel thread about pollen problems in Random Tracks board.
-Charles
« Last Edit: 06/01/07, 11:05 AM by Charles » Logged
altafreeheel
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #1 on: 05/18/07, 09:21 AM »

Try rubbing alcohol; it doesn't strip the wax.
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jd
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #2 on: 05/18/07, 09:35 AM »

Good point. I figured the wax was impregnated with the crap, so I rewaxed.
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Snow Bell
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #3 on: 05/18/07, 10:03 AM »

Do you guys suppose that carring a rag or paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol (in a zip lock) would be worthwhile?
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wood_Ster
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #4 on: 05/18/07, 10:17 AM »

So the slopes are garbage now?

Angry

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jd
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #5 on: 05/18/07, 10:19 AM »

Wipes etc. on the mountain wouldn't be worth it right now. It accumulates too fast and thick, you'd be stopping every few hundred feet to maintain glide. Yes, Wood, this has turned the skiing to crap for the second half of the run. Hopefully some of it will wash out with the rain this weekend.
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wickstad
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #6 on: 05/18/07, 07:37 PM »

Thanks for the heads up.  We're going up tomorrow anyway.  There is already pollen on our skis from our last trip East of the mountains.  I'll bring the rubbing alchohol.  I've found a brush sometimes can help as well.
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chrism
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #7 on: 05/18/07, 07:39 PM »

We also skied last night, but none in our party of 3 ran into the pollen slow-down problem.  I wonder if our lack of waxing for most of the season helped out??  I thought the skiing was fine.
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wickstad
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #8 on: 05/18/07, 07:52 PM »

We also skied last night, but none in our party of 3 ran into the pollen slow-down problem.  I wonder if our lack of waxing for most of the season helped out??  I thought the skiing was fine.
.

I would not be surprised if you don't have something there.  I felt like the end of our last trip skiing wise was better than the beginning (skis were freshly waxed but yet ran better after some wax wore off along with the pollen).  I waxed with a pretty warm wax and felt pretty cocky when the weather turned out to be warmer than was predicted.  Also Randy posted about a trip from the same day as our trip and was only a few miles away and didn't say a word about pollen.  Did you wax Randy?
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jd
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #9 on: 05/19/07, 08:06 AM »

Chrism,

Where were you skiing? Another report from last week at Baker said it was bad up there too.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #10 on: 05/19/07, 09:24 AM »

The comment about wax and pollen is interesting. I waxed my skis before my recent trip to Mt Baker and it's possible (a little hard to tell looking at the skis) that the pollen did stick more readily to the waxed base. I'm making this judgment by looking at the tip and tail, where my hasty wax job didn't cover well. It would be interesting to test this directly, say by waxing one ski and not waxing the other.

It would also be interesting to get a better handle on when these pollen blooms happen. I think the first time I hit this was on a mid-May trip many years ago. I've seen it in early June as well. My impression is that the problem occurs in narrow windows of time. In other words, it can appear or disappear almost in the course of 24 hours. If that's true, it might have something to do with how the pollen reacts to the sun and other elements after it is blown onto the snow. It would be interesting to record more precisely when these blooms occur and try to correlate them with weather and date and so on.

It seems to me that the timing of these pollen events is quite variable.
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David_Coleman
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #11 on: 05/19/07, 02:14 PM »

Amar & I just encountered the worst-case I've ever experienced.  It was on the S. side of Baker.  Interestingly, our ski Thurs. evening out of camp presented no problems.  However, on the descent yesterday, it began on the lower Easton Gl.  Whatever you do, don't apply wax over the pollen.  We tried that and back at the car, it had created almost a black tar type of coating on my skis.
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climbinghighest
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #12 on: 05/20/07, 02:51 PM »

I have a question about the pollen. I havn't came across this problem myself but it sounds like its no fun at all. Anyway my question is... Does the pollen problem effect the skins? Im assuming it doesnt or it would have been mention but thought I'd ask.
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gorp
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #13 on: 05/20/07, 03:12 PM »

Does the pollen problem effect the skins?

my bases had a good coat on them but nothing on my skins.  however, i booted the first half (the half in the trees).  maybe that is why it didn't get on the skins??
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #14 on: 05/20/07, 04:51 PM »

Does the pollen problem effect the skins?

I've never noticed a problem with pollen messing up the plush side of the skins. It seems like it could leave some residue and reduce your glide, but I've never noticed it.

On the other hand, after you have skied for a while with your skins off, the pollen can gum up your bases to the point where your skins won't stick anymore. I don't know if it would foul the skin glue, but it seems like a bad risk. I use strap-on skins when I expect dirty pollen covered snow.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #15 on: 05/20/07, 06:22 PM »

I picked up some pollen on Saturday at Stevens - rubbing alcohol took it right off as advertised. I'd never have dreamed that pollen would convert to such tarry stuff.
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altafreeheel
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #16 on: 05/20/07, 10:57 PM »

Here in Zion the late-season snow surface crap is mostly desert dust, and molybdenum wax works surprisingly good for that.  I've never tried it on pollen, but from the reports on here I might have that opportunity when I sample some Cascade corn next month.

Also this time of year I noticed that the skin glue can get warm & gooey and sticks to the ski base.  I think it can start a chain reaction and even a little residue can collect more and more pollen slime the more it is in contact with the pollen.
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B.G.S.
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #17 on: 05/21/07, 08:13 AM »

All the hikers up there this year is the problem !
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curmudgeon
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #18 on: 05/21/07, 12:42 PM »

After Saturday's pollen fest on Goat Mountain I wiped the ski bases with alcohol, scrubbed the plush with dishwashing soap and a vegetable brush, ironed the glue-side of the skins through paper bag strips to lift off the top layer of contaminated glue, and then reglued with Gold Seal.

I'm ready for tomorrow!
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juan
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #19 on: 05/21/07, 02:44 PM »

Good News, the pollen problem at Pilchuck washed away with the snow during all the rain yesterday!
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Robie
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #20 on: 05/27/07, 08:17 AM »

Circumnavigation of table mountain Mt Baker  We were beset with pollen destroying any stick of skins to bases.We abandoned our intent to go out to Coleman pinnacle. I had it the worse and I had just waxed.
We were able to climb a lot low angle stuff with just pollen stick. Comically slow skiing down from Herman saddle. Ive been doing this sport 15 years and never seen it that bad.
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philfort
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #21 on: 05/27/07, 09:57 AM »

I think I just had my first pollen experience yesteday... after a mile-long glide that supposed to be effortless, but turned into a workout to keep moving, my skis bases were covered with a dark brown tar.  Blech.  My skis are very un-waxed.
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Telemon
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #22 on: 05/27/07, 10:36 AM »

  As reported by others on this page, the pollen conditions that I experienced yesterday on Goat Mt. was the worst ever. Three members of our party of six skied a few hundred yards through a deciduous covered valley floor. All had problems with their skins not attaching, while the three who had carried their skis didn't.After losing his skins 3 or 4 times, my son finally gave up and post holed up the gully and stayed behind while we climbed to the ridge line. We all had the gummy gunk on our bases at the end of the day, which not only made the skiing hard, but messed up my pack on the hike out. I'll try the rubbing alcohol trick today. Thanks for the advice.
Bob
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Charles
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #23 on: 05/27/07, 11:23 AM »

I skied in through Grand Park to Burroughs Mountain on Friday. No problem on the way in, when the snow was nicely frozen from overnight clear skies, but on the way out pollen accumulated and made what should have been easy gliding into real work. Seems like pollen hazards are harder to predict than avalanche hazards.
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pdr88s
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #24 on: 05/27/07, 11:29 AM »

HUH? Global Warming??!!?? Since when is springtime a result of global warming?
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #25 on: 05/27/07, 11:37 AM »

Check out my post on random tracks with pictures. Did it get that thick on any of your skis?

[Edit: added link to referenced post. --Charles]
« Last Edit: 06/01/07, 11:17 AM by Charles » Logged
Jim Oker
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #26 on: 05/27/07, 07:32 PM »

Ours got pretty much as bad 2 weeks ago up at the Baker ski area, but they were more or less fine until we skied the last very short bit of woods below the base of chair 5 (we parked by the gate at the white salmon lodge road, walked to lodge to skin up, but skied through woods below chair 6 directly to car). Same deal as you describe in random tracks - I was basically walking downhill on skis as we approached the road.
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Nick-BC
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #27 on: 05/28/07, 09:46 PM »

I'm finding this pollen event incredibly frustrating  Angry.  Here we have this bountiful snowpack for the time of year, but every ski trip ends on a slow downhill note and then at least two hours after you get home is spent cleaning all the gunk off your skis.  By the way I didn't find the rubbing alcohol working so well.  I ended up doing a preliminary scrape with a waxing scraper to get the worst of it off, then hot wax and immediate scrape, followed by rubbing alcohol and paper towel, then brushing vigorously with my waxing brush.  Even so there are still residual bits which resist removal.  As I said on Ttips I'll only go out again until this ends with my rock skis - unless you can hot wax Saran Wrap - hmmm!
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Jim Oker
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #28 on: 05/29/07, 09:13 AM »

Nick - some of the ski-intended citrus cleaner rips that stuff right off, but then you need to follow up with a new wax job. Still, it takes far less than 2 hours to get the skis back in shape this way.

We found some enjoyable skiing up on Silver Peak yesterday, so perhaps we're nearing the end of the event? Though we did manage to get a slight pollen coating on the lower slopes of the tour when we made the strategic error of heading into some deep forest when we coulda stayed in the open (not sure if we would have gotten it in the open anyhow down low).
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ashcan
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #29 on: 05/29/07, 12:10 PM »

Do we know for sure if this is a pollen problem?  I've never encountered anything this bad in the past.  Did I just miss the event or could it be that this is some type of air pollution that cold distilled on the snow pack?
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philfort
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #30 on: 05/29/07, 12:30 PM »

I'm not entirely convinced it was pollen either... I was a mile from any tree, and was skiing a lot of slopes that were brown most likely from dirt & rock... although the sticky substance on my skis looked just like the pictures posted on this board, and I've never had that from skiing through fine dirt/rock.
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Mr.Doober
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #31 on: 05/30/07, 10:00 PM »

I think the glue BD is using is not what it used to be...I have found some great solutions to both cleaning the goo off and keeping it off...white gas and a rag makes short work of cleaning, and today I tried Rain-ex on the dry clean bases. It worked great! Kept the skins cool before taking them off so the glue didn't soften too much, then pulled them off like a bandaid...no sticky goo to collect the pollen, and perfectly clean bases after quite a bit of very dirty skiing. The Rain-ex seemed like a pretty fast wax in the wet corn.
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ovrthhills
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Re: Pilchuck - pollen problem 5/17/07
« Reply #32 on: 05/31/07, 08:18 AM »

Wow rainex, the miracle cure.  Saved my life many times when the wipers broke.  Now this.  Maybe its not pollen but squished ice worms or some other form of biomass or algae.
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