More on Powder

February 3, 2012

January produced a whole variety of snow conditions and different types of powder snows: ‘Proper’ powder snow falls at below -4c and is dry to touch, (often referred to a Champagne powers because it is so light. As a test try making a snow ball with it, it is pretty much impossible to make a snowballs with, the crystals don’t bind, which is why it flies up as you ski through it. The other ‘powder’ snow falls at above -4c and can feel wet to the touch and is easy to make snowballs from, even though this ‘wetter’ snow looks inviting it is extremely hard to ski and is sometimes compared to skiing porridge/wet concrete it is also known as ‘leg breaker’ snow because it won’t let you turn, if you find yourself in this heavy snow the best thing is to lean back a bit keep the ski tips out of the snow and make your way back to the piste.

Light powder!

 

Powder snow which is below -4c and difficult to ski is often the snow that comes with high winds, although this snow is cold and dry to the touch the actual snow crystal has been broken up by the wind so it is more of an ice crystal than a snow flake which means the snow is packed in very tight, with very little air in it, this snow feels ‘grippy’ you will sometimes notice a similar type of snow when you ski over a mound of snow cannon snow, these crystals are also small and tightly bound so they won’t let your skis turn as easily as the natural stuff, however their big big advantage is that they retain their coldness making the snow last longer, anything up to six weeks longer in some areas.

Heavy Powder!

 

Go out and enjoy the powder the next time you have a chance but make sure it’s a safe slope.

 

Next blog – mogul skiing

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