||Cold, new, loose, fluffy, dry snow that has not been compacted. This is usually the product of fresh, natural snowfall.
||Powder snow, either natural or machine-made, that has been packed down by skier traffic or grooming machines. The snow is no longer fluffy, but it is not so extremely compacted that it is hard.
||When natural or machine made snow becomes very firmly packed. The snow has never melted and re-crystallized, but it's been tightly compressed through grooming and continuous wind exposure. You can plant a pole in hard packed snow, but it takes more effort than packed powder. Unlike frozen granular snow, hard packed snow is generally white in color.
||This surface results after powder or packed powder thaws, then refreezes and re-crystallizes, or from an accumulation of sleet. This is also created by machine grooming of frozen or icy snow.
||This is often a misunderstood surface condition. Frozen granular is a hard surface of old snow formed by granules freezing together after a rain or warm temperatures. There are a wide range of frozen granular surfaces which offer different textures. Some surfaces may be easy to turn on and others may be more difficult and require sharp edges. Frozen granular will support a ski pole stuck into the surface. In contrast, ice will form chips and will not support the pole. It can and often does return to loose granular after proper machine grooming.
|Wet Packed Snow
||Natural or machine made snow that has been previously packed and becomes wet from warm temperatures, rain or humidity.
||Loose or frozen granular snow which has become wet from warm temperatures, rain or humidity. This is typically an easy to ski surface.
||May only be used from March 1st on). This is the spring version of Variable Conditions. Like variable conditions, this term is used when no one surface can describe 70% of the terrain open for skiing. It is not uncommon for other evidence of spring to be present such as bare spots, a discolored surface from melting and traffic. Also firm frozen snow in cool shady spots can be found while heavy wet snow is found in open sunny areas.
||A windy day can blow the surface snow, either powder or granular, into drifts in some places, leaving a firmly packed base snow.
||Corn snow, usually found in the spring, is characterized by large, loose granules during the day which freeze together at night, and then loosen again during the day.
||Not to be confused with frozen granular, ice is a hard, glazed surface created either by freezing rain, ground water seeping up into the snow and freezing or by the rapid freezing of snow saturated with water from rain or melting. It is important to note that, generally, frozen granular is opaque whereas ice is translucent.
||When no primary surface (70% or more) can be determined, variable conditions describes a range of surfaces that can be encountered. It could mean that part of the trails are loose granular, part are packed powder, part are frozen granular and some are wet granular.
||Powder snow which has become moist and heavy due to a thaw or rainfall, or snow which was moist, as it fell.