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Spring snow: How it affects the knees

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm curious to the real risks of slushy, grabby snow on the knees. Whenever the snow starts to grab and turn to mashed-taters I usually head for the deck. Anyone have any end-of-the-season injuries from skiing the soup? It seems like spring snow could be some of the most dangerous snow out there and I've usually just stayed clear. This year, however, I'm looking to get in a few more days through April.  

Edited by Born2Schuss - 3/16/16 at 10:49am
post #2 of 11
I agree, it places a ton of stress on your knees and instead of the sharp whack that takes off a binding, there's a slower dragging which to me means your knee is going to be stressed before that binding releases. I leave to ski another day.
post #3 of 11

I'm not sure that sticky spring snow is more dangerous to me. While the snow is sticky and can add load to the knees, it is also soft and malleable. My legs are strong enough to add power against the slowly developing loads. There seem to be less of the sharp shock loads that have injured me. Things happen much slower in sticky snow so I have a chance to ski out of the problem. Contrast the physical impact of unforgiving ice and an unyielding tweak from a mistake in an icy fall - it can create a spot twisting load that can cause damage (or at least some bruising from hitting the ice). My body would rather ski the slush.


Obviously soft dry snow should be safest but I tend to push a bit harder in hero snow so really, the risk is the same. Stay within your limits in the slush and you can enjoy some more of what spring has to offer.



post #4 of 11

I'm with eleeski. I don't understand why there's so much hatred for spring snow.  In my opinion it's almost as good as dry powder… And in some ways it is because it's not destroyed within 20 minutes.


You do need the right tool though. Something a little wide, soft to get over the snow and with rocker. My Soul Riders kick the crap out of corn. I don't have knee problem skiing this, so I can't be of help.

post #5 of 11
I like slalom skis in spring stuff.
Love that snow.
post #6 of 11

Slush is one the most fun conditions there is.  As long as it doesn't become sticky, it's pretty easy to ski.


That said, it you have sloppy technique it'll bite you and you'll go down hard, maybe even rip out a knee.  Make sure you know how to carve and to use both skis as a unit.  If you're stemming you'll catch an inside edge and go down.


Disagree with the need for wide, soft skis. I prefer something stiff to blast through the piles and even a 70-ish waist gives enough float in slush - it's not like it's powder.

post #7 of 11

Yeah, I've seen that too, that some people like a thin ski for corn. Carving/cutting through it is a good strategy. My Soul Riders still carve surprisingly well even if they're wide.


Jumping off the bumps that also form in these conditions is so much fun.

post #8 of 11
 I don't understand why there's so much hatred for spring snow.

People who know only to twist their feet around and skid the skis sideways can't handle slush.  Those who know to put the skis on edge and slice through the slush have fun.  Wide skis are OK, but they aren't needed and, with more surface area they slow down more.

post #9 of 11

There is slush with the consistency similar to a snow cone which I think is incredibly fun to ski.:yahoo:  Then there is that heavy, wet, sometimes almost gooey stuff  that can sometimes result in deceleration, hyper extension or torque type knee injuries or sometimes back strain type injuries.  :eek


Having good carving technique can help in heavy, wet snow conditions as well as most other skiing situations but I'm not sure that it is a magic bullet for all spring  snow conditions. Often very helpful is rubbing in a high flouro wet snow wax like Dominator Race/Wet Snow Butter or similar waxes produced by other wax brands. The right wax can often make those conditions much more manageable.  If you expect to encounter  heavy, wet snow, you might also want to take your skis to your local shop to have them grind in a coarser structure appropriate to spring skiing  which will help reduce suction or you can do it yourself with the right tools and know-how. The high flouro and stonegrind options are kind of pricey but can produce significant improvements.


As far as equipment, I leave  that to personal preference.  I find that a stiffer SL or GS type ski works best for me. I've never had a knee injury in spring snow but know people who have. Properly prepared you can have a lot of fun spring skiing. Just don't forget your sunscreen.






Edit: typos and punctuation.

Edited by Lostboy - 3/17/16 at 2:32pm
post #10 of 11
Corn is my favorite! Use the right wax and be patient. Let the skis do their thing because you can't cheat or just a D them around. That would be dangerous!
post #11 of 11
Corn capital of the Cascades, bachelor has 2-3 months of harvest. I like rolling through cut up piles when the snow starts spraying up in your face like powder. Betty patrol and beers.
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