Boilerplate ice? Enquiring minds want to know!

boilerjeep.jpgThat would be Webmomster’s enquiring mind and since I am sitting here in my newly discovered daze of “it’s the weekend” and I actually have all my chores done, or at least the important ones, I will ruminate about this for a while. Because when I read Webmomster’s comment, I was thinking that I had been bandying the term “boilerplate ice” around a lot lately and I started wondering, “what *is* boilerplate ice and where *did* I get that term?” Actually, I was thinking that I got it from Uber Kayak Woman, who emailed me earlier in the week with a Main Maine ski report. But then, I thought, “no, I’m sure I used that term earlier in the winter too.” I’m not sure if I did or not but I *did* find UKW’s email and she did indeed mention boilerplate ice as a feature of her skiing expotition last weekend. She also provided the description “due to the tendency here for snowfall to be followed immediately by rain.”

Yes. Boilerplate is all too often what skiing is all about in the eastern half of the country. It brought back a lot of memories of the days when I actually navigated real slopes on skis. Mission Hill, overlooking Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior. Boyne or Nubs if we could manage to nag somebody into driving us there. Or all the times in junior high when we would walk up to the absolute end of our alley, climb up the escarpment and pay 50 cents to ride the rope tow at Minneapolis Woods all night. Homework? Homework be damned. Yes, boilerplate was *often* the name of the game. I avoid it like poison nowadays. I’m not the worst on skis but x-c skis do not have the control that downhill skis do and I do not need any broken bones. But we were kids then. We were made of rubber. When you fell down, you lay there spread-eagled until your hysterical laughter subsided enough that you could pick yourself up and ski the rest of the way down. If somebody had a particularly spectacular fall, like the time my friend’s sister missed the dogleg turn on number 1 at Mission Hill, it might even get immortalized in song: “Off she goes, into the wild blue yonder! Sailing up, into the trees.” Yes, that’s sung to the tune of the air force song. The one those of us whose dads were in the WWII Army Air Corps grew up with. Yeah, I know, real creative, roight? The point here is, we loved to ski. Snow? Ice? Boilerplate? Crappy old rope tow? Clankity old chair lift? We didn’t care.

Boilerplate ice. It snows and it rains and it freezes and it snows and it rains and it freezes and it’s been doing that all winter around here and folks, we have boilerplate ice. It’s the same stuff as what’s out there on the ski slopes and trails. Navigating it in boots is even worse than on skis. You can’t shovel it. You’d have to break it up with a chisel first. You can melt it with salt but it’d take a couple dumptrucks full just to get rid of what was in my driveway all week. Today it is still out there but we’re having a sunny sorta warm day for once and it is starting to melt. Finally. I took some pics of what’s left. You can see some of it in the pic. It’s that shiny stuff reflecting the sun. Click here or on The Indefatigable for a few more. They’re not very good. Sorry. Weird lighting, etc.

2 Responses to “Boilerplate ice? Enquiring minds want to know!”

  1. mouse Says:

    you know…all i have to see is a sound clip with that frog green color, and i start getting nervous.

    i also confess that i haven’t dared to listen to any of them in six months. you’ll have to fill me in later.

  2. Webmomster Says:

    The Indefatigablah is looking very fatigued these days…. poor thing.