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Confused about fat skis for wet/icy snow?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Last Saturday I was up in NH at Attitash and it was "snowing" clumps of tiny balls of hail (at least that's what it looked like to this novice). I can't remember exactly, but there must have been at least 6-8 inches of the stuff on the ground. Attitash didn't groom until the following day, so until then there was this extremely dense slush/powder that got progressively chopped up as the day wore on. I've been focused on learning to carve on hard snow all season and this unexpected precipitation wore me out!

 

Putting aside for the moment the skill required to ski such conditions, I have two questions:

 

1. What do you call that sort of snow conditions anyway? Slush? Crud? Something else entirely?

 

2. I was on a demo pair of 172cm Line Prophet Flites for the day. I had wanted to demo the P90 instead but unfortunately the shop did not have them. Furthermore, I am 5'11" 185 lbs full-loaded, so the Flites in that length were probably not enough to truly float me in deep powder, but I did definitely get some very lovely floating sensations when I found a bit of un-skiied "powder" at the edges. My question is: would I have been better served with even fatter skis for such difficult snow conditions, or was I supposed to get a carving ski and just ski below the surface to the harder snow underneath?

 

The next day the same slopes were groomed, soft, and lovely, and a pair of Nordica Fire Arrow Ti (the green ones) served me very well there. Unfortunately, while the soft Flites made the previous day's numerous bumps a cinch, my poor technique on the same moguls was rather well-illuminated the next day by the stiffer Fire Arrows. I wonder if that means I should stick with a Prophet 90 or 98, or whether I should man up and learn how to ski bumps with stiffer front-side carvers ....

 

Thanks,

KJ

post #2 of 6

1.

 

as fallen -  graupel

 

formed on ground -  granular, if it freezes afterwards its 'frozen' granular

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albireo View Post

 

 

1. What do you call that sort of snow conditions anyway? Slush? Crud? Something else entirely?

 


We had similar conditions over at Waterville.  According to the 7-9 year olds that I was coaching it was "mashed potato snow".

 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

1.

 

as fallen -  graupel

 

 

formed on ground -  granular, if it freezes afterwards its 'frozen' granular

 

Thanks!

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by Skibum220 View Post


We had similar conditions over at Waterville.  According to the 7-9 year olds that I was coaching it was "mashed potato snow".


That's actually a perfect description of the snow's texture! It really slowed things down, and I really couldn't get in the carving practice I wanted until the next day when they groomed it down.

 

So, for granular snow do I want fat skis or does it matter not a whit?

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albireo View Post


 

So, for granular snow do I want fat skis or does it matter not a whit?



At your size I think more than 95 mm is overkill for that sort of snow - and sub-85-mm can be vague and significantly slower to edge than on normal days.   

 

Both of those generalizations have a thousand or more exceptions, depending on flex and camber/rocker.

 

Go with whatever is fun for you.   I would have zero qualms about staying with the P90s, for example.

post #6 of 6

Graupel looks like little ball bearings. It's great fun to ski. Super fast, so I'm guessing it congealed into something else. 

Really soft snow/muck/crud/cement, sure, wider and to a degree, softer helps, but anything over 100 - 105'ish isn't at all necessary.  

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