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Snow Conditions Terminology

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, before I get any more skiing experience (after which this will likely be considered a foolish question), can someone tell me if there is a special term for the snow conditions that result when 500 skiers have tracked a slope and pushed the snow into tall mounds and berms, exposing the hardpack beneath? (A half dozen novice snowboarders sliding down the slope on their back edge can accomplish the same feat in a fraction of the time).

Are those just called bumps? Moguls (nah)? Crud (it's not refrozen?)? Tracked out? I've read the definitions of most of those terms on various websites, and they don't always seem to fit the conditions described above. It sure takes a different style of skiing for me to get down the hill in those situations.

I know -- if you have to ski those conditions, then you woke up too late...

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Highly recommend you read the thread Names for different types of snow. by Physicsman. Crud is any tracked powder before it consolidates and does not require re-freezing. What you described, I would just call it skier packed powder.
post #3 of 16
If you have to ski around the piles or blow through them, I would call that crud, but it's a lot of fun to ski. Grooms into nice packed powder the next day.
post #4 of 16
I have always called that (all snow pushed into piles with exposed hardpark in between ... often oddly spaced) "east coast powder bumps".

post #5 of 16
"5 pm shadow"

Not quite rough yet, groomed tomorrow.
post #6 of 16
I call that..."Oh sh.t, My KNEES!!!"
post #7 of 16
I would call it push piles on hard pack. Not sexy but clues me into the tactics I will use.
post #8 of 16
I think ski reports refer to this as "Excellent late season conditions on variable snow."

I always like the term polished.

Big issue is when you get into a melt-freeze cycle and those clumps don't loosen up or get groomed over night. Zoiks. Just about ripped a leg off on conditions like that on Sunday going too fast.
post #9 of 16
It's called "skiied off".

RW
post #10 of 16
yesterday we had a deep pot of mashed potatoes with too much liquid on top . what i see from first posts what you call crud we call tracked powder.what we call crud is what many call death cookies.what gorider alluded to, frozen ,ain't snowed in a bit worthwhile,but gotta go because that is what we do
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Highly recommend you read the thread Names for different types of snow. by Physicsman. Crud is any tracked powder before it consolidates and does not require re-freezing. What you described, I would just call it skier packed powder.
Although that old thread provides lots of "terms" for snow conditions it doesn't deliver any definitions for those terms. Specifically I disagree with your definition of crud in this thread. What you're describing sounds like "cut up" to me. Crud is the next stage after "cut up" (as long as the new snow wasn't totally tracked out and packed down) where the snow has consolidated either due to sun, wind, or high temps.

Anyhow, I just searched and couldn't find any threads where the snow condition terms were ever defined.
post #12 of 16
We just call it "piles".
post #13 of 16
What ever you want to call it, I got to ski it this past weekend. High elevation rain early evening Friday flash froze and had 6-inches of powder deposited on it. On groomed slopes this resulted in powder that bottomed out on rain crust at the apex of each turn. After a few hours, it became mixed fields of edgable crust / ice and soft mounds of snow. Off-piste it was powder on breakable rain crust over crud. ummm good!

This year I have encountered more varieties of powder, crud, wind buff, wind slab, cream cheese, sierra cement, rain crust, wind effected sastrugi, breakable crust, corel reef, and upside-down snow (powder under crust) than in past years. Its probably because we have simply had more storm days and rapidly changing temperatures at different elevations. With fresh snow condiitons, it seems like, if you don't like the current conditions, wait an hour, and it will morph into something else. Wider skis have brought lots more skiers off piste. Powder is getting tracked up faster, and crud is now skiable.

In spite of skiing on it, the nomenclature often eludes me.
post #14 of 16
Every ski area I have ever been to calls it "packed powder" on their reports.
post #15 of 16
what is wind affected sastrugi?
I always thought sastrugi WAS wind affected by nature...
post #16 of 16
zastrugi ;wind affected in a pattern like the sand on the beach. horizontal to wind, small furrows
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