Snow Types: Which Ones are Great for Skiing?

A skier on a mountain of snowSnow may look all the same at first, but they can be very different depending on the weather. Different types of snow affect the way you ski – not all types are ideal for skiing and some may even increase the risk of injury.

Skiing on bad snow can be extremely frustrating, so knowing which ones are conducive to the sport can save you a lot of headaches. Ski Line Limited, a booking service for St. Anton ski chalets and other holiday spots, can give you an idea of what kind of snow is suitable for skiing.

Here are some of basic types of snow that you will likely encounter at a ski resort:

Powder Snow

Powder snow is very fine, fluffy white snow that typically accompanies flurries or blizzards. Powder snow is very soft and light, which makes it a favourite of many skiers. It is slippery, gentle on the knees, and catches you when you fall. It can, however, be difficult to ski in if you hit a deep area.

Crud

Crud is trampled powder snow after someone skis over it. It is packed in some places and loose in others. Crud can be tricky to ride, as it can be bumpy and difficult to work with. It is also not as soft as powder snow, which is why you have to be extra careful to avoid injury.

Many ski resorts use snow cats and other grooming equipment to level out the crud. The resulting fluffed up snow is known as corduroy.

Crust

Crust is soft snow with a layer of frozen ice on top, forming a crust. Partial melting of the surface of fresh snowfall can create a crust. Depending on the thickness of the crust, riding it can be a fun, if challenging experience. If you break through the crust, you get lovely powder snow underneath. If the crust is too thick, it is like riding on a block of ice, which can be dangerous.

Slush

Slush is very wet, melted snow. It is heavy and mushy, which can make for a very slippery ride. Some advanced skiers enjoy slush if there is enough of it, but you have to take care that there is still enough snow available, lest you end up skiing on mud.

Know your types of snow and learn how to change your skiing style to adapt to each one. After all, not everyone gets to enjoy powder snow all the time.