Words to describe snow conditions

We’re always looking for descriptive words to help us understand the snow conditions. Please leave a comment with your contribution.

  • Abrasive
  • Bullet-proof(sort of like concrete)
  • Boiler plate(frozen, crusty, hard-packed snow, often with icy patches)
  • Buttery
  • Icy
  • Sandpaper-like(on very cold snow)
  • Silky
  • Tracks are well-used but holding
  • Snow as dry as talcum powder
  • soul-mending rhythm of cross-country skiing
  • Loud and not relaxing(the noise generated by skis on crushed ice)
  • Needlemania
  • Needlemania over ice
  • Steppenwolf(magic carpet ride)
  • Margarita(crushed ice)
  • Edge creep(from the trees)
  • Dusting of icing sugar
  • Mulch
  • Avocado(slippery)
  • A bobsled run
  • Velcro(snow that instantly freezes as a ball of ice on the bottom of your ski, stopping you dead in your tracks)
  • Defensive skiing


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cheeky November 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Creme Brule – one of Bob’s favorite deserts, but one of our least favored snow conditions.


2 Jiskoskee February 23, 2015 at 8:16 am

Licked by the Snow Eater (or Kissed-)

The short window in time when a new chinook wind vastly improves the glide while just underneath the cold snow still provides excellent kick. Most noticeable on waxless.
eg. “Bragg Creek is a soggy mess now – but yesterday morning it was heroic, easily striding up steeps on the Snow Eater’s Drool!”


3 Henry February 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Artist Dan Hudson uses the beautiful term ‘Cold Smoke Snow’ in the Sculpted in Time segment that features him, in describing the powder at Sunshine Village.



4 Hugh Burton February 19, 2015 at 11:27 am

sucky, skis just don’t run and seem to drag


5 Doug Connery February 19, 2015 at 9:18 am

Slick Concrete
Days of above freezing temps including days of rain followed by no snow and below freezing temps, like early February 2015.


6 skisurfer February 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Plowed and Sanded (after the third meltdown)


7 chuper February 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm



8 SkiSurfer January 28, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Nerd Balls (retilled snow on top of a firm track or surface)


9 SkiSurfer January 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Dust on Crust


10 SkiSurfer January 28, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Elephant Snot (spring time ,grippy slow piled up snow)


11 Keith Bagnall January 17, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Cheeky but one we are all familiar with “Don’t eat yellow snow”


12 chip scialfa January 8, 2015 at 9:29 am



13 Zosia January 6, 2015 at 1:05 pm

We were cruising in a whipped cream (friend Nic came up with this yummy simile) while going down from Elizabeth Parker hut right before Christmas Eve.


14 David Bynoe December 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Area Rug (packed snow over an ice base)


15 Helen Read December 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm

skiing on avocados


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