Ski Terms



PDR (powder):  Cold, new, loose, fluffy, dry snow that has not been compacted. 


PP (packed powder):  Powder snow, either natural or machine-made, that has been packed down by skier traffic or grooming machines. 


HP (hard pack):  When natural or machine made snow becomes very firmly packed.  The snow has never melted and re-crystalized, but it’s been tightly compressed through grooming and continous wind exposure. 


LSGR (loose granular):  This surface results after powder or packed powder thaws, then refreezes and recrystalizes, or from an accumulation of sleet.  


FRGR (frozen granular):  This is undoubtedly the most misunderstood surface condition in ski reporting.  Frozen granular is a hard surface of old snow formed by granules freezing together after a rain or warm temperatures.  


WETPS (wet packed snow):  Natural or machine made snow that has been previosly packed and becomes wet usually because of rainfall.


WETGS (wet granular):  Loose or frozen granular snow which has become wet after rainfall or high temperatures. 


WETSN (wet snow):  Powder snow which has become moist due to a thaw or rainfall, or snow which was moist, as it fell.


SC (spring conditions):  (only allowed to be used from March 1st on)  This is the spring version of Variable Conditions. 


WBLN (windblown snow):  A windy day can blow the surface snow, either powder or granular, into drifts in some places, leaving a firmly packed base snow.


CORN:  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.


ICY:  Not to be confused with frozen granular, ice is a hard, glazed surface created either by freezing, or by the rapid freezing of snow saturated with water from rain or melting. 


VC (variable conditions):  When no primary surface (70% or more) can be determined, variable conditions describes a range of surfaces that can be encountered. 


MGS (machine groomed snow):  Snow that has been repeatedly groomed by power tillers so that the texture is halfway between loose granular & packed powder.