If you read ski weather reports, you have heard many different types of snow mentioned. From packed powder to granular, it can be difficult to know what kind of snow is actually being mentioned. However, knowing the types of snow is important if you want to know what you’ll actually be skiing on. Below, the different snow types are explained.
CorduroyCorduroy is the finely ridged surface of the snow after a snowcat has groomed a ski trail.
Corn SnowTypically seen during spring conditions, corn snow results from cycles of nightly freezing and daily thawing. This snow is wet and granular, and as it melts more in the day it may become sloppy and heavy.
CrudBasically, crud is powder that has been skied on. Think of crud as powder that’s been trampled. It’s snow that is uneven, packed down in some places, and piled up in others.
CrustCrust is soft snow that has a layer of harden, frozen crust (hence the name) on the top. Crust can be from a number of things. Freezing rain, direct sunlight, or the melting and refreezing of the top layer of powder can result in crust.
PowderPowder is freshly fallen snow that is very light. Formed by tiny snow flakes, it is extremely soft. Many skiers love powder.
Packed PowderPacked powder is snow that is compressed and flattened either by skier and snowboarder traffic or by grooming equipment.
SlushSlush is snow that is starting to melt, and it’s very heavy and very wet. Some would say that slush doesn’t even look like snow, and those who’ve seen slush during spring conditions know how difficult skiing in slush can be.
Loose Granular SnowLoose Granular is small, loose pellets of snow that is created by the grooming of wet or icy snow.
Wet Granular SnowWet Granular is very wet snow, often found in spring conditions. This snow will form a snowball.
Frozen Granular SnowFrozen granular is frozen snow with a consistency like sugar.