|Originally posted by MarkP:
Anyone care to elaborate on this sticky snow you speak of?
The snow at the snozone comes in some weird and wonderful varieties.
Corrnflour: fresh, white, squeaks and sticks to your boots and skis. Not easy to make a snowball of but does freeze a little more into light chunks the kids can throw if left on the floor.
Turns into courdroy after piste bashing overnight. Generally a sticky/slow snow when warm. Quite nice when cold but still very spring snowlike.
Sugar: Hangs around in deep or shallow piles. Resembles sugar and acts the same way. Will not compress just squidges out of the way. Most often seen at the bottom of the main and beginners slope and imitating moguls on the main slope after some traffic.
Hard to walk or sidestep in. Very slow and very interesting for beginners when brushed off the base hardpack ('icy' to a beginner) into piles.
Courdroy: Lasts for a couple of runs and resembles the first perfect runs on a mountain. Most often seen in the morning after an overnight groom. Very popular and faster than most conditions. Degrades quickly or slowly dependent on traffic or temperature.
Regular stuff: looks like snow, acts like snow, can be wet or slick. Maybe fast or slow dependent on temperature or traffic.
Jump ramps are often watered and I don't have much knowledge of these.
Recently a lot of 'playing' with the parameters of snow maintenance has been done. Some worked some didn't. If you think of a mountain with spring snow and high traffic in late afternoon you can imagine the worst conditions. Think of first tracks on freshly groomed powder and you can imagine our best conditions.
Some people want flat smooth snow, others fast and lumpy, others.... You can't please all of the people all of the time with only two small slopes. Grooming gets rid of the lumps but warms the snow and makes it more likely to turn to sugar. Renetly they are trying to reduce the amount of groomin during the day as the effect only lasts a couple of runs and degrades the snow quality overall.
Mostly the snow is wet which enhances the attraction between the base and the snow via surface tension.