50 SHADES OF WHITE. GUIDE TO SNOW CONDITIONS

The definitive list of different shades and types of snow

Black Ice  Oops, there it is.. .Don't you hate the way you never see it coming? 

 

Blizzard White out with wind. Wish you'd bought new goggles, now?

Bulletproof An AK-47 couldn't break the surface

Cannoned It's white but not snow crystals; made by snow cannons. Also 'Artificial'

Champagne Light and sparkly; makes you want to smile insanely

Chopped Powder that's been skied; makes you want to cry insanely

Compact Snow that's freeze/thawed and/or windblown so compressed down

Concrete Heavy, turgid snow. Stay still and your legs get encased, as in a mafia-style burial

Corn Warmed up snow with sounds like corn during descent usually from spring tour

ski touring

Crappy Not 'Wrong' just crappy. Should have stayed in bed

Crud Hard, chopped up and icy. See 'Crappy'

Crust Icy often windblown top layer . Also 'Croute' in French. See 'Crappy'

Drift Where the snow blows to; also good place to headplant in resort at 3am

Dusting Light snow but not enough to get the fat skis out

Facets Icy snow crystals you don't want destabilising the snow pack off-piste

Flake Varied shape/symmetry. Largest measured 15"w, 8"h in 1887. A 'heavy' snowstorm?

Fluffy Slightly Disney-esque term for powder

Flurry Quick burst of  snow as in a 'light flurry'. Or, in Japan, a 'right frully' 

Fresh Enough to get the fat skis out

Groomed Perfect furrows made by slightly OCD snow ploughers. Also known as 'Corduroy'

Hard pack Compressed and icy. Good for Alpine racing; not so good for boards and fat skis

Hoar Frosted surface on snow. Try not to shout out first thing from your bedroom window

Icy See below

Neige-ing Tongue in, er, chic term for snowing used by Brits in France

New So pristine it should have a price tag on it

Orgasmic We'll take the pow in the White Room over the Red Room in 50 Shades of Grey

Pillow Plumped up snow on boulders; and where you'd like your head to be on a 'Crappy' day

Pisted Said with disappointed face if you like 'Fresh' on piste after overnight snowfall in resort

Pockets Dips where snow has accumulated sniffed out by powder hounds

Pow As in JaPow up-to-armpits powder. See endless Go-Pro vids if extremely bored

Powder Deep fresh snow that goes 'pouffff' when your board lands in it

Puking Heavy snowfall; or you at 3am this morning

Rotten No cohesion, just a massive layer of facets. Like mashing 'Bad' and 'Crappy' together.

Sastrugi Wavelike ridges caused by wind. Also Zastrugi. Also try with carbonara sauce

Stella Dendrite Not actually a Swedish Alpine babe but fern-like structure of typical snowflake

Sheet Ice Also Shit !! Ice !!!! As in when you hit it at speed

Shitty Not enough snow so there's dirt and rocks

Slab Avalanche that slides in slabs like igloo bricks. Usually created by windblown snow.

Sluff Loose powder set in motion on steeps. Check out Jeremy Jones on Sluff Management

 

Slush Melting snow; mostly 'Crappy' for piste skis, almost 'Orgasmic' for snowboards

Snirt More technical term for snow and dirt. See 'Shitty'

Spring Snow that warms up and turns to 'Corn'

Soft Not as light as 'Powder' or 'Champagne' but perfectly rideable

Untracked No one's been there; but, of course, you're going to change that

powder

Watermelon Pink tinge to snow due to algae; or Raspberry Vodka,  See 'Puking'

White Room  Where all Powder Hounds want to live

White Out Stay in or, at least, stay in the trees

Windblown 'Crust 'surface;  not as good as it looks. 'Soufflée' in French, not as good as it sounds

Wrong  There's no 'Wrong' snow except on British Rail train lines. Only 'Wrong' riding 

Yellow Never eat this. NB. Making bright 'Yellow' indicates hangover and OD-ing on Berocca