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They say that the Inuit language has some 40 different words for snow - which must be absolute crap. But we have a good few expressions ourselves.


Here are the ones I know;

Powder - soft, light, dry snow

Crusty powder - same as above but with a hard bit on top

Ice - hardened snow with an evil glint

Hardpack - hardened snow without an evil glint

Groomies - freshly groomed snow

Corduroy - as above

Sugar - icy flecks of snow

Slush - melted snow

Moguls - snow formed into perverse, unnatural, unappealing bumps

Crud - not sure about this one, but probably covers a multitude of sins


Does anybody have a name for the following type of snow? When boarders and skiers have been all over a slope, the snow gets broken up. It's not sugar, and it's not slush, but it behaves a bit like either. It's quite forgiving to ride on, and it gives off satisfying sprays behind you. Could this be 'crud'?

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naaah crud is like the daughter of what you

are describing Ocean.


I would call the broken up stuff chowder,

like not quite powder, but still nice and

soupy. If you don't like that. you can

call it mush or muck or you can just

make something up, coin a phrase.


After it gets baked in the sun for a day

and chopped up even more, that's crud. the

stuff that you eat through if you are riding

hard an fast and straight on ex-powder.


Other words for snow:


pow - short for powder

freshies - untracked powder, which leads to

tracked - [Obvious]

untracked - [Also Obvious]

cold smoke - weird Western (US) word for powder

corn - like sugar

soft - [Obvious]

hard - [Obvious]

windblown - snow that looks like powder, but

due to the sun and wind, rides like ice.


i know there is more, just gotta sober up.

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The snow at Sugi was crusty powder, powder, and mush. Fair bit of 'windblown' too. For someone who tends to use gelende-side pow for speed control, windblown can come as a nasty surprise.


Riding the quad with some people who had come from afar, I was amused to hear them persuading themselves that 'yahhari' the snow quality here was excellent. For a snow country dweller, it was borderline crap. A pretty good day though, and the mushy 4 km run at the end was a blast.

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I believe Ben (from Niseko) refers to the chopped up galssy looking stuff as `sherbert`.....I even have a student who swears a previous teacher from Canada claims that noone calls it Powder, but instead calls it sherbert (but I think she probably got mixed up).



But as for the different words, surely they are talking about different words for when its falling! As Ive noticed, snow is NOT snow - you have ice pick snow, tiny snowball snow (arare), fat flake snow, etc!



Alright stay cool, Joules

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On the hill:


Death cookies: evil hunks of ice kicked of the sides of grooming cats.

Slice:Hard and fast ice--skiable only with super sharp edges and technique



Snrain:Mix of snow and rain that instantly freezes onto your goggles. A early season specialty of Whistler/Blackcomb

Diamond snow:Sparkling,magical snowfall

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