It's almost here...my first night back on my Mountain. I slept like a baby last night, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited. Big Picture-wise, I can't wait to get out there to see how much snow has fallen, and what new ManMade challenges management has added to my bailiwick...It looks like there's a new Sign/Map board at the bottom of the Big Mountain's Chairlift. Hopefully, it's not in the way of plowing around the terminal.
ManMade challenges aside, there's plenty on tap to keep things interesting. The Geminid Meteor Showers peak Sunday night. 140 meteors per hour are possible with the waning moon almost new. These falling stars may or may not be observed between clouds from another weather system heading towards the High Sierra.
Forecasters are unsure of the strength of the next two weather events, as their models are split on the question: When and where will these systems split. Most of the models have the splits, but the timing and ultimate track of the remaining parts are all over the place. Reno's 04:04 AFD said stay tuned for the Day Shift's AFD, maybe the runs will come together enough for them to make the call!
Friday night I climb into my All-Time Favorite Snowcat. This is the tractor's third season on the Mountain. It's a Prinoth BR350 and it's served me well these past two seasons. Always ready to rumble, it's been surprisingly breakdown free, and never suffered a multi-day down period. She's always been ready to work, and work hard. I often smile and marvel at just how much work this tractor does without complaint or hiccups of any kind. Even the electronics in this cat have been free of confused electrons. She's a gamer for sure. I've spent more than a thousand hours running her, and it's bittersweet knowing she'll be just another trade-in next summer. Hopefully, Prinoth will provide another strong, trouble free machine with a big heart, and no new wrinkles. It's gotta be tough when you've developed your product to a place just a hair shy of perfection. Resisting the desire to "fix something that's not broke" must be irresistible.
I've got my "Groomer's Kit" ready...Bike Messenger's Bag, Tool Bag, Thermos, Two Dozen CDs, Lunch Pail, iPod & FM Transmitter, Flashlight and Headlamp, and assorted Carabiners and Webbing to keep everything within reach. One thing the manufacturer omitted when they designed the BR350, was the Rear Window Grab Bar...omitting it lets them knock a few bucks off the selling price, but that bar was very handy. In the cats that had the bar, you could clip your backpack to the bar, it would hang there all night, and the bag wouldn't fall onto the floor when you headed down a really steep trail. I've been requesting a Retro-Fit Grab Bar since the BR350 came out...so far no joy from Prinoth, or the Vehicle Maintenance Gurus...sigh.
I'm keeping this short today, I've got a ton of things to wrap up before I head up the hill in the morning. This is gonna be good!