Creating a Snow Patch

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Creating a Snow patch

Initially it may not have been necessary to harden the racecourse, however after several days use the race line may require some repair. Around the gate where the athletes pressure their skis the most, holes may develop. These holes must be repaired and this may require small of amounts of water or a snow patch.

1. Remove all loose snow and unattached chunks of snow from the hole. Leave chunks that still connected to the surrounding snow. These connected chunks help strengthen the patch. This must be carefully done by hand.

2. Collect several buckets of soft dry snow and several filled water jugs.

3. In a bucket mix dry snow together with water until saturated.

4. Pack saturated snow in bottom of hole with hands. Force into all cracks and hollows.

5. Fill no more than 1/3 depth of hole.

6. Add fresh dry snow and pack by hand. As you do this the water from the saturated snow in the bottom of the hole will wick into the dry snow. Continue until only very small patches (1/2 inch diameter) of wet snow are visible. At this point the hole should be at most 1/2 full.

7. Mix a dryer batch of wet snow and shovel into hole. Pack down. Fill the hole no more than 2/3 full.

8. Again, add dry snow to fill hole out and wick water up.

9. Side step with skis, to smooth the patch surface and blend into surrounding area.

Care should be taken not to add too little or too much water. If the patch is saturated over the whole area it will be too slick when it freezes. If there is insufficient water the patch will be too dry and will chunk out again. The patched surface should be mostly dry, no more than 40% of the surface area should be saturated snow. As the patch freezes more moisture will wick into the dry snow.

Rope or mark off the patched area until it freezes. It is susceptible to damage if skied over.

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