Test your winter smarts with this quiz

  • By Sharon Wootton
  • Friday, January 3, 2014 1:44pm
  • Life

Let’s see how many answers you can nail with today’s winter-smarts questions:

1: In winter, melting and boiling snow takes about …

A. 5 minutes

B. 10 to 15 minutes

C. 20 minutes

D. 25 to 35 minutes

2: What material, if used for winter sports, has been called the “death cloth”?

A. Wool

B. Polyester

C. Cotton

D. Fleece

3: How much water may 10 inches of Cascades “cement” contain?

A. 2 inches

B. 3 inches

C. 4 inches

D. 5 inches

4: Avalanches …

A. Occur on slopes of 25 to 55 degrees

B. Are most common on open, treeless slopes

C. Are most common during or within 24 hours of a heavy snowstorm

D. Can be created when winds of 15 mph-plus push snow to lee side of ridges

5: In the snow, what small animal usually leaves an unbroken drag line between its footprints?

A. Yellow-pine chipmunk

B. Northern pocket gopher

C. Dusky shrew

D. Bushy-tailed woodrat

6: The first U.S.-manufactured children’s sleds were sold in …

A. 1861

B. 1871

C. 1881

D. 1891

7: Snowball warfare rules were written in 1880 by a Boy Scout organizer to …

A. Create a new badge

B. Improve competition

C. Win a bet

D. Prevent injuries

8: The first ski rope tows were built in North America in the …

A. 1910s

B. 1920s

C. 1930s

D. 1940s

9: Surface hoar is also known as …

A. Frost

B. Feathers

C. Hoar frost

D. Faceted snow

10: Of those buried in an avalanche, what percentage survived longer than 30 minutes?

A. 10 percent

B. 20 percent

C. 30 percent

D. 40 percent

11: When ice crystals form under the skin, you have …

A. Hypothermia

B. Frostnip

C. Chilblains

D. Frostbite

12. Which is not a basic snowshoe design?

A. Beavertail

B. Eastern

C. Yukon

D. Bearpaw

13: How big was the largest recorded snowflake?

A. 15 inches across

B. 10 inches across

C. 7 inches across

D. 4 inches across

14: Why are mittens warmer than gloves when made of the same material?

A. Separate fingers expose more area to heat loss

B. Fingers close together keep each other warm

C. Our mothers told us that they were warmer

D. It’s all psychological

15: What is hypothermia?

A. An unproved theory

B. A core body temperature below 95 degrees

C. When your fingers and toes are numb

D. A core body temperature below 90 degrees

16: What are natural avalanche paths?

A. Steep gullies

B. Ridges

C. Terraces

D. Open slopes

17: Snowflakes have how many basic shapes?

A. 7

B. 12

C. 20

D. 25

18: What’s a clinometer?

A. A speed gun invented by Joe Cline

B. Invention measuring the frequency of a trait in a species

C. A meter that measures the thickness of ski wax

D. Device to help measure avalanche danger

19: What are the best choices for cold-weather underwear?

A. Acrylics, silk, nylon

B. Hollofil, Quallofil, Thermoloft

C. Polyester, polypropylene, chlorofiber

D. Cotton, rayon

20: If it’s 35 degrees outside in a 20mph wind, what’s the wind-chill temperature?

A. 25 degrees

B. 15 degrees

C. 12 degrees

D. 0 degrees

21: What should you do for frostbitten fingers?

A. Rub them together to create warmth.

B. Hold a hot rock.

C. Hold them over the fire.

D. Soak them in warm water and try to wiggle.

22: How can you treat hypothermia?

A. Get in a tent and/or sleeping bag.

B. Put on dry clothes.

C. Use body-to-body contact for warmth.

D. Drink warm liquids.

23. As a rule of thumb, at what angle should your elbow be bent when you plant a trekking pole?

A. 60 degrees

B. 75 degrees

C. 90 degrees

D. Doesn’t matter


1: D. 15 to 20 to melt snow and 10 to 15 to boil water, so don’t wait until you’re starving to start.

2. C. Cotton retains moisture, keeping wearer wet and chilled, which can lead to hypothermia.

3. C. By contrast, champagne powder at Steamboat Springs may yield less than a half-inch of water.

4. A, B, C, D. The more you know, the more trouble you avoid.

5. C. It drags its tail more than other creatures.

6. A. But children were “sledding” down hills long before that.

7. D. Daniel Beard also wrote about how to build snowmen, although it’s hard to believe the kids hadn’t figured it out.

8. C. In the 1870s, Sierra Nevada skiers used the ore-bucket system to reach the top.

9. A, B, C. It grows on the surface of snow in calm, clear but humid conditions.

10. B. Only about 40 percent of people buried in an avalanche survived.

11. B. When the skin freezes, you have D; when bare skin is exposed to cold water, or wet skin cools, and the skin itches and swells, it’s C.

12. B. The fourth basic design is western.

13. A. In Montana in 1887, by a Fort Keough rancher.

14. A. But there’s something to be said for C.

15. B. Don’t expect to think clearly at 3.6 degrees below your normal body temperature.

16. A, D. Keep that in mind in the backcountry.

17 A. Shapes depend on moisture content and air temperature.

18. D. Protractor with a plumb bob that measures the angle of a slope (avalanches most often occur on 30- to 45-degree slopes).

19. C. They absorb almost no water so their insulation value is higher.

20. C. A good thing to know when making a decision to play outside.

21. D. It took awhile to get that way so thaw them slowly.

22. A, B, D. Getting naked and chummy is outdated and unwise.

23. C. Which is why many trekking poles are adjustable for steep terrain.

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