It has been said the Inuit people have 91 words for snow, but we snowboarders have our fair share as well. Whether you are a bro, marketing folk, to your average shredder, you like use more words to describe the conditions then you realize. We made a list and came up with 39, but with the constant and chronic bastardization of the English language by snowboarders, we’ll hit 91 soon enough.
Blower: (1.) The conditions after the snow has been blown off the trail. (2.) Perfect airy, smoke-like powder.
Boiler Plate: Snow that is literally frozen water. True boiler plate has been groomed before it freezes, making impenetaible ridges.
Champagne Powder: Super light, fluffy powder. Common in Utah and Colorado.
Concrete: Deep snow that is so heavy it basically makes a wall when you try to ride through it.
Corduroy: Perfectly groomed snow, with ridges in tact from being groomed. See also groomers.
Cream Cheese: When you get 8 inches of snow that falls dry but then things warm up and it gets firm, but soft. Rides sort of like powder, expect you float on top of it making it much, much easier to ride. See also Wind Pack
Crust/ Crusty: Usually created when it warms up and then get cold. Basically just an icy layer on top of the snow.
Dust on Crust: When there’s new snow, but not enough to cover the layer of miserable frozen snow below it.
East Coast Ice: True ice that is not remotely edgable. It will often be blue, and occasionally you can see your reflection.
East Coast Powder: Any amount of new snow, no matter how crappy or ineffective it is in covering rocks and dirt. Sometimes it can even be manmade.
Freshies: Bro speak for powder.
Frozen Granular: Boiler plate that has been groomed, and chopped into small, useless ice pellets. Adored by marketing guys who don’t like to say ice.
Hero Snow: Powder that is so deep you feel like you can try any trick, go as fast as you want, and will never get injured.
Hot Pow: Back country snow that was once powder but the sun has baked it into the consistency of poo after a delicious Chinese dinner.
Ice: Literally frozen water. However, this is often misused to refer to firm or crusty snow. See also: Boiler plate.
Man Made: The snow that comes from guns. See also East Coast Powder
Mashed Potatoes: Any day at Mt. Hood hood in the summer. The deeper it gets the slower you go.
Mixed Precipitation: When it’s coming down, and it’s mostly rain, this is a nice way of saying that there might be a little bit on snow, so you should head to the mountain anyway.
Mush: Usually found in the spring but can also happen on a sunny powder day. Basically just snow that is mushy when you ride on it. Areas of high traffic such as take off and landings will usually get mushy first. See also mashed potatoes, spring snow.
Packed Powder: A ski resort term for the day after a powder day when there in no fresh stuff left. More commonly known as hard pack, but soft hardpack.
Plywood on Ball Bearings: Hoar layer that has been snowed over.
Powder: Freshly fallen snow. There are no friends when this stuff is in the question, but depending on your geographic location, how much snow has fallen decides how early you get up to get it.
Sierra Cement: What you call heavy, deep snow if you live in Tahoe
Sludge: Sticky snow that no matter how sweet your wax job makes you go really, really slow.
Spring Snow: Slushy mush that happens when it gets warm. The term can be used any time of year.
Surface Hoar: Deep crystals of snow created after several very dry days of no new snowfall when the air sucks the moisture out of the snow.Â Fun to ride, almost feels like fresh powder, but usually means the snow pack is not stable.
Untouched: The Holy Grail. Powder that all yours and no one else’s.
Yellow Snow: Don’t eat it. Also a former gossip column in Transworld Snowboarding.
Did we forget anything? Feel free to add it below.