How do you like your snow – powdery, icy or ‘corduroy’?

Posted on 19 November 2014

Are you looking for a ski home in the Alps that offers great powder snow? Or would you prefer your property in the French Alps to have access to perfectly groomed slopes that offer ‘corduroy’ skiing?

Skiers can be particular about the type of skiing conditions they like and if you’re in the market for a ski home, you want to make sure the resort’s skiing matches your preferences.

But how much do you know about the different skiing conditions and the different terms for each? Here’s a brief guide:
–  Powder. Most of us know what this type of snow is, and even non-skiers can hazard a guess. As the name suggests, it’s the deep, fine fluffy stuff left by a heavy snowfall or storm, and which sprays up behind you. For most people it’s a real treat to ski, although it’s not always easy given you sink into it a little. You find it off-piste more than on, but if you’re first on the slopes after a storm you’ll you find it.
–  Crud. This is what powder becomes after being it’s been churned up by crowds of adventurous skiers and boarders. It’s lumpy, messy and unpredictable to ski on.
–  Corduroy. What most skiers feel most comfortable, this is the pristine condition of a slope after the piste-bashers have been over it, leaving those mini ridges, similar to its clothing namesake.
–  Ice. You know how hard it is to drive, walk or run on ice… well it’s no easier on skis. If you know a slope is icier, avoid unless you are confident you can handle it.
–  Death cookies. Random lumps of snow formed when the slopes are soft during the day, but then freeze overnight – worth a swerve.
–  Breakable crust. Typically only found off-piste, this is when a smooth-looking area of frozen snow gives way under your skis.