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Graupel, a “supercooled” type of precipitation

What is graupel? Look! Up in the sky! Is it snow? Hail? Sleet? No, you meteorological ignoramus, it's graupel! Of all the types of frozen precipitation that fall from the heavens, graupel is probably the most obscure. The Washington Post calls it "the wintry precipitation you've never heard of." Graupel from a 2013 storm in [...]

By | November 3rd, 2016|Snow, Weather|0 Comments

Face shot: powder nirvana and a staple of ski porn

What is a face shot? A face shot occurs when snow sprays a skier or snowboarder's face on a powder day. The snow must be deep and light enough (e.g., blower, Champagne Powder®) and the rider must have sufficient speed to elevate the snow to face level. SnowSlang's staff hard at work at Copper Mountain. Photo by/of [...]

By | September 15th, 2016|Saying, Skiing, Snow, Snowboarding|0 Comments

Ski trail ratings: green circles, blue squares, and black diamonds

Ski trail ratings: history and overview Signs and maps bearing green circles, blue squares, and black diamonds are the main way that U.S. resorts communicate their ski trail ratings. In an ideal, harmonious world, all ski resorts would use the same classification scheme and trail difficulties would be comparable. In reality, other countries use their own systems [...]

By | July 26th, 2016|Skiing, Snow, Terrain|0 Comments

What is sastrugi (aka zastrugi)?

What is sastrugi (aka zastrugi)? It's not easy to ski or snowboard, but sastrugi is a beautiful feature of the winter landscape. Also spelled zastrugi, this type of wind-blasted snow resembles frozen waves. It's often found on ridges and mountaintops. As the wind erodes snow from the windward side of a ridge or other obstacle, [...]

By | July 14th, 2016|Avalanche, Snow, Terrain|0 Comments

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