Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Predicting Visibility
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  • #779195
    136 Posts

    So like most of you, I think flat light/poor visibility sucks to ride in. I probably shouldn’t complain since Utah doesn’t have the visibility problems that other places might have but its still annoying. So the question I’m asking is with all the detailed weather data available out there, is there a way to predict visibility? Visibility is a somewhat subjective quality so I guess I’m asking if anyone has a way to interpret quantitative data into a qualitative answer.

    Generally, the more sun, the better the visibility. And with 100 percent cloud cover plus snow and wind, its is going to be hard to see in open terrain. Its the in between conditions that usually get me. Sometimes you can see just fine when its cloudy and snowing and sometime you can’t see shit when its only somewhat cloudy with now precipitation. I have a feeling dew point and relative humidity have something to do with it but I don’t know what.

    So weather-nerds, what are you thoughts?

    382 Posts

    Head for the trees when the viz is bad. I’m not sure there is a weather nerd answer that has a practical real time application for a person moving through the mountains. Mountain weather is too dynamic. Peak X could be in fog due to it’s location, while peak Y next to it is in the clear. And that could change an hour later. And then change back. Aviation deals with this. A person might be get useful info from satellite loops, radar loops and webcams.

    Seems like looking up at the sky and using your senses is better than what tech can do at this point. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a cloud waiting for a break to drop in.

    620 Posts

    That has been a problem in the past for me, but mostly because I didn’t have multiple goggles to suit lighting conditions and was too lazy to switch out lenses. I got a pair of Zeal Photochromatic goggles which took all the guesswork out of light conditions. As far as predicting what kind of light to expect, cloud cover and elevation are the key components. Fog and mist conditions are hard to predict so really just getting out there and hope for the best when the forecast is questionable. Know your routes and terrain in case you do get socked in. And lastly, Riding in shitty lighting conditions may put a damper on an anticipated charging day, but is better than sitting on your ass at home doing nothing.

    668 Posts

    This is why the goggles I use in the backcountry are Smith Cascades with the RC36 lenses. Works well enough in all conditions, doesn’t fog, and you can find them for $20-$30. Orange lenses work well, too. The steezy mirrored stuff won’t work well in flat light.

    446 Posts

    Thanks for the name dropping rughty!
    Zeal Photochromatic

    Do you have the one with the video?
    I think I might just have to drop the coin to get these:

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