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Old 02-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default reading different types of snow

How do you read different types of snow?

Basically, what composition is good for what type of riding?

As a general rule I don't think you want your snow to be iced over hence you lose control.

In addition I don't think you want your powder too deep hence you get stuck.

So I'm guessing that most ski resorts maintain their ski trails targeting middle ground that will suit 90%+ of riders, riding styles, skill sets and preferences. *Does this sound about right?

I have no idea I'm just guessing.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It starts with the snowflakes, you want those typical looking flakes, you know with the six or whatever arms, so that the snow can bind to itself. Sometimes you get those flakes that look like a (-) just a straight line, those flakes can cause a bad layer and cause instability.
It also has to do with the heating and cooling of the weather, again causing instability and avalanches.
But there is no such thing as too much powder, just terrain that's not steep enough for it.
I think it's worse in the spring when it's too hot, sometimes you get that snow that sticks like your riding mud.

It would do some good to hang out with the Inuit and learn their 200 words for snow and what it means.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Local hill does minimal grooming...really for the tourist and gapers...or if its icy. If snow is good, locals really only use the groomed as a last resort to get to the next pow stash or to do some relaxing speed laps.

yesterday, we were having grapple snow.

reading snow can involve your ears, how it hangs, how it flies, temp and rh...blah blah blah....just get out there and roll around in it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ski areas don't have a whole lot of control over the type of snow they get (other than with snowmaking). They just groom what they get and try to limit avalanche danger. Mother nature is ultimately in charge of snow type.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=wrathfuldeity;375326]reading snow can involve your ears, how it hangs, how it flies, temp...QUOTE]

I dig it. Snowboarding tunes you in to nature.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've got some informal nomenclature for the stuff I run into on the wet coast:

- Pow: That's pretty standard. New, dry snow. Lousy for making snowballs but great for boarding in. Saw it once at Manning.
- Poo: The closest we get to pow on the wet coast. New but wet. Makes great snowballs.
- Snowcrete: The really really hard stuff you get when the run has been re-groomed one too many times.
- Snowpoxy: The wet stuff that grabs your board and makes you slow down.
- Spongecake: As much water as snow. New snow that's been rained on.
- Snowcones: Re-ground ice. Looks like it just came out of the ice dispenser.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donutz View Post
I've got some informal nomenclature for the stuff I run into on the wet coast:

- Pow: That's pretty standard. New, dry snow. Lousy for making snowballs but great for boarding in. Saw it once at Manning.
- Poo: The closest we get to pow on the wet coast. New but wet. Makes great snowballs.
- Snowcrete: The really really hard stuff you get when the run has been re-groomed one too many times.
- Snowpoxy: The wet stuff that grabs your board and makes you slow down.
- Spongecake: As much water as snow. New snow that's been rained on.
- Snowcones: Re-ground ice. Looks like it just came out of the ice dispenser.
- Cream cheese: wet snowman-snow that is thick but shmears easily
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman123456 View Post

In addition I don't think you want your powder too deep hence you get stuck.
Uh, what?!
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshy View Post
It would do some good to hang out with the Inuit and learn their 200 words for snow and what it means.

apparently that's an urban legend

Eskimo words for snow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Inuit Words for Snow
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sandpaper snow- when its -30 and no amount of cold weather wax lets your board slide down the hill right. Even deep fresh snow is so abrasive that its hard to turn or even go straight

Boilerplate- snow that has had wind going over the top of it so long that it looks like steel that has been pitted with rust but is so hard and smooth that it is almost impossible to maintain an edge on. This stuff can be just as sketchy as ice.
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