Friday, February 27, 2009

Monsters of Snow Removal

Monsters of Snow Removal

BĂȘte de l’hiver

Sing HO! for CalTrans!

Big push
Last week I played hookey for a day to take advantage of the 6+ FEET of fresh snow that had fallen in Lake Tahoe after a series of big storms. (I *heart* to ski.)

That's obviously a huge amount of fluffy stuff, but per ususal, as I drove east into the alpine heights of the Sierra Nevada mountains along Interstate 80, the roads were plowed to hard-pack perfection — even though the snow was still falling.

High alpine motoring
Big Huge storms are a routine fact of winter life in Tahoe, and I'm always impressed by how skillfully the employees of Caltrans, California's highway administration agency, keep the roads clear — no matter how much snow Mother Nature throws at us. The folks at Caltrans work hard, of course, but they also get a big assist from an impressive arsenal of snow removal machinery that includes everything from dump trucks and plow-equipped graders to giant robotic rotary plows.
Chain control at Kingvale
My powder day at Squaw Valley USA was sublime, thankyouverymuch, but it wouldn't have happened if the roads had been closed because of all the snow. So I send my gratitude (once again) to the intrepid "Sierra Snowfighters" from the Caltrans Kingvale Station for enabling my euphoria.