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Snow condition terms

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Everybody knows what powder is, I have been to Whiteface, so I know about boilerplate, and I feel stupid for asking, but what exactly is crud, chop, and my personal favorite, death cookies? :
post #2 of 12

Ski Conditions

Death cookies are small chunks of ice or snow that get frozen onto the surface. They lurk there, waiting to knock you flat on your ass!

BTW - one of my favorites is "wet powder".
post #3 of 12
Death cookies are also known as chicken heads (nice visual image).

Crud and chop are essentially the same: cut-up powder than can be difficult to ski in - especially if it's a bit heavy (requires power, a bit of speed, great balance and solid skies).
post #4 of 12
Death Cookies are unmistakable......
post #5 of 12
I've always been curious about "corn snow"? Any skiing websters out there to give me a definition?
post #6 of 12
I could be wrong, but, to me, corn is like skiing in Farina. Tiny pellets of soft snow. Really smooth. It usually occurs during the spring afternoon hrs. when the sun has had a chance to melt the existing hardpack.
post #7 of 12
A perfect description of corn, Canyons. Great fun to ski in. Sadly, usually only last for an hour or two each day, if the temp. is just right.
post #8 of 12
Powder is an often abused term for new snow, true powder is light fluffy and is like white smoke when you ski it. Having skied a lot in the Sierras they always claim to have powder but what they really have is soft new snow but due to the high moisture content it is not real powder.

Chop is new snow that has been skied (chopped up) but is still reasonably soft and light, usually still good to ski especially with fatter skis.

Crud is older skied out snow that has begun to change it's structure and hence is heavier and may consist of variable density snow that makes skiing it harder work, modern fat skis have made it relatively easy to ski compared to the old says of 2m toothpicks.

Corn is produced by repeated freeze/thaw cycles that change the layers of snow to an amorphous granular form of snow. Usually occurs in spring.

You may want to take a look at one of the many books on avalanche awareness such as "Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain" which explain in some detail the different types of snow and how snow changes with time and temperature.
post #9 of 12
post #10 of 12
Has anyone mentioned....Breakable Crust.......most places will close or delay opening with this lovely covering. :
post #11 of 12
WEll, my favorite term is "mashed potatoes" which one often sees on warm days. Its not slush ...not yet anyway...too dry for that...any it's not corn...too soft for that...I saw some last weekend...I saw it in January too. Last weekend was a warm day, probably 45 degrees and sunshine, but interestingly enough I saw some in January when it was cooler...say high twenties. Mashed potatoes are up there and I know you have experienced it.
post #12 of 12

Like buttah

Originally Posted by wilbur
WEll, my favorite term is "mashed potatoes" which ... interestingly enough I saw some in January when it was cooler...say high twenties. Mashed potatoes are up there and I know you have experienced it.
I call this stuff typically found in man-made-high-humidity weather butter.

About 10° colder at the same humidity and you get what I call velvet. Velvet is awesome for "carving".

Powder = Smoke
Anything else is freshies.
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