Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Snowcats: It's What's On TV

I stayed up way too late Saturday late that I almost stayed awake to watch the Belgian Grand Prix live at 0430! I did make it through the Pre-Race, but finally closed my eyes just before the green flag. I captured the race on my DVR, but watched the delayed replay at 0930 in HDTV. A great race from the historic Spa/Francorchamps circuit in Belgium's Ardennes Forest. It's Formula One's fastest track and the longest at over four miles. Oh, it was raining on and off at different parts of the track...pretty darn exciting on slick tires!

Once recorded, I edit the race video on the DVR, removing the commercials, and burn the race to DVD to send to a friend. I also capture a library of interesting TV Shows to watch later. These are mostly History Channel Shows, with a dose of PBS "GeeWhiz Shows" on history, science, travel and cuisine, thrown in for good measure.

While editing away Sunday night, I noticed that the SPEED channel was showing a program featuring a Snowcat!

The show is called Intersections. Sunday's episode told the story of two Search and Rescue Teams. A Coast Guard team on Long Island, NY with their big helicopter and rescue swimmers, and the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team with their LMC 1500 snowcat.

SPEED TV's Intersections episode "Extreme Rescues" gave the thumbnail story of each outfit and their operations. In a half an hour, they didn't get into the real minutia of the respective machinery, but I always get a charge when I see snowcats on the tube! It looked like most of the Tahoe Nordic footage was made in springtime...they were running around on some pretty springlike snow, though they did catch some snowfall at night footage too.

SPEED airs their original shows several times, and "Extreme Rescues" airs Wednesday 9/1 at 7:30PM PDT and 10:30PM PDT

I'll never forget the first time I saw groomers on TV. I'd just woke up to get ready to go to work at my mountain. The television was tuned into KCRA3's 11 O'clock News coverage of the 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche. The footage showed LMC 3700s pushing avalanche debris away from structures behind an interview with an Alpine Spokesman...someone I knew. The slide happened that morning, but these images were the first time I'd heard about it. I went from sleepily awakening, to sitting bolt-upright, to intensely engaged in a nanosecond.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

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