Snow Science: Finding Perfect Powder

11th August 2016 | Tim Shisler

Resorts in this article: Steamboat

Yes, the skiing really is that close to the city. - ©Steve Lloyd

When it comes to powder, the amount of snow isn't always the determining factor, but rather, how light it is.

Copyright: Steve Lloyd

Ask any powder-loving skier what their favorite type of powder to ski is and their answer usually includes ‘deep and light.’ The feeling of floating through a bed of snow while almost choking to death is indescribable. But is there a way to know if the powder you’re getting ready to ski is going to be the epic powder you're hoping for? Last season I spent two weeks with Meteorologist Joel Gratz riding snowmobiles to remote weather stations, sitting in freezing temperatures to capture time lapses of clouds and speaking to experts in search of the answer. The answer we found was complicated. But there was a constant.

It's what Utah boasts as "the greatest snow on earth" and what [R425R, Steamboat] calls "champagne powder." We found that the amount of snow wasn't the determining factor, but rather, how light it was. And then we realized the perfect powder day could actually be measured. Here’s how...


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