#1 Edited by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

So I've only gone skiing a handful of times but have been having more and more fun each time. We're going again tomorrow, however it's been sort of warm lately and some of the snow on the mountain has melted. Last Friday when I went there was 36" of snow, and now it's sitting at 33". They don't make snow on this mountain because of difficulty getting water up there (it's in a desert area). Other mountains further away are sitting at 80+ inches.

I've heard some seasoned snowboarders say the snow sucked today, but do you think we should bother driving up there?

I just really want to go, especially if it keeps getting warmer, but I just wondered why its considered 'bad snow'. 36" last week seemed fine. Would a loss of 3" make that much difference?

#2 Edited by RollingZeppelin (2112 posts) -

It's more about the consistency of the snow. Wet, heavy show makes for a miserable experience because it slows you down, makes maneuvering more difficult, is more painful to wipe out in, and leaves you wet and cold. The best snow is light, fluffy powder snow because its like snowing on a pillow, you can go fast and not worry much about crashing and you stay relatively dry. If it's currently melting I could definitely see how it would be a bad time.

#3 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6400 posts) -

Thick, powdery snow. Anything wet or icy is miserable and difficult. I haven't skied since I was a kid, though.

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#4 Posted by MonetaryDread (2178 posts) -

Light and fluffy is the best. I actually don't mind snowboarding in the spring, it feels more like surfing. You really have to have some specialty wax on your board for a good experience thought, otherwise there is a lot of resistance to every movement you take. 33" of snow sounds to me like you can still ride the mountain, but you might see dirt patches or twigs starting to stick up from the ground. As someone who used to live on a mountain I would bring up what we call a "rock board," so that is basically an old board - or if you are rich enough one you just don't care for. When you have a rock board, and subsequently don't give a fuck about destroying it, you can have a lot of fun on the mountain.

#5 Posted by aurahack (2289 posts) -

Pretty much what the rest have said. Wet, sticky snow is the absolute worst. Carving is significantly more difficult and you will be a lot slower. I don't know where you live but it's possible that the season might be over. If you can make the trip to somewhere that still has good snowfall, do it. ... assuming you're into that much or whatever. That said, it's still possible to have fun in kinda crummy snow. If you stick to the intermediate slopes, the run will be easy enough that you don't really need to maneuver all that much and you can just kinda glide down the hill. It's infinitely better if the snow is light, powdery, and fresh though.

Also, if you find yourself on a mountain that has fresh snow, look for areas where the resort didn't touch the hill. They will run machines over the slopes to create paths and pat it down a bit for everyone but if you can find a run that has untouched, fresh snow... pure heaven.