How to make snow cement?

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hikingmaineac

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Weather forecast for Bartlett, NH

Any predictions as to what effect a period of true rain (Monday, 1/6/14) followed by "flash freezing" temperatures (Monday night into Tuesday) will have on trails - packed trails vs un-packed?

I'm not sure about the un-traveled, un-packed trails... but I'm guessing things could get a bit icy for the already traveled, packed ones where water has a chance to pool up and collect in places on the surface of them.
 
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Any predictions as to what effect a period of true rain (Monday, 1/6/14) followed by "flash freezing" temperatures (Monday night into Tuesday) will have on trails - packed trails vs un-packed?
Snow is a sponge. Rain on snow followed by below freezing temps generally results in an ice crust on unpacked snow and a hardened icy surface on packed snow.

I'm not sure about the un-traveled, un-packed trails... but I'm guessing things could get a bit icy for the already traveled, packed ones where water has a chance to pool up and collect in places on the surface of them.
Generally the water simply soaks into the top surface of the snow unless there is a lot of it. Heavier rain often soaks down into the snow until it hits an impervious layer (ice or the ground) and then travels downhill on the layer until it pools or enters a stream.

Water movement in snow packs is often affects the avalanche stability of steep snow.


Another method of creating snow cement is simply to compress it (eg step on it with bare boots, snowshoes, or skis) and wait an hour or so. This is a standard method for creating a tent platform from soft snow.

Doug
 
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