Was reading Alpinist 33 this morning and found this great quote by Mark Newcomb retelling his first ski decent of Polarity on the Hossack-MacGowan route on Grand Teton’s North Face:
Success in ski mountaineering rests on the polarity of a molecule of water. If the difference in charge were any stronger, we wouldn’t have vapor and clouds; any weaker and we wouldn’t have ice crystals and snow. As it is, H2O morphs with a freedom that few other common molecules have, and its ephemeral nature creates a staggering array of ever-changing crystalline shapes. These varied forms in turn lead to a continuum of snow conditions from blower powder to glit (half glue, half shit). Within that immense spectrum, there’s a window of firm yet forgiving snow that engages a ski edge and enables a secure turn.