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From: John Bishop <jbishop@alexus.zko.dec.com>
Subject: (urth) Re: walking on snow crust [Digest urth.v008.n015]
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 08:51:12 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

I get to see a lot of snow; maybe I can speak to this
based on my upstate New York/New Hampshire background.

The crust is a result of settling and freeze-thaw cycles.
It can vary from supporting nothing more than a leaf to
holding a large adult.  New snow holds nothing.  Of course
other climates could either produce more crust or none.
Where does Wolfe live?  The snow crust there might be 

The "usual" case here is freeze-thaw cycles in the early or late
winter make a crust strong enough to hold a small child (under
50 lbs), but all others will fall through.  Fairly often it'll
hold a large child.  It's rarely strong enough to hold me--once
this winter, not at all last winter.

Snowshoes are surprisingly small these days--big boots on
Cutthroat would make a difference; lighter gravity would as

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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