Types of Snow

Types of Snow

We get it, resorts can use lots of different terms to describe the snow and conditions. Ranging from hard pack to spring conditions and everything in between, it can get confusing. We want to help make it understandable for everyone, not just the diehards. You will find a complete list of different terms along with the descriptions.


The stuff we all know and love. Obviously, powder is the fresh, fluffy snow that normally fell the night before. Normally, you can still find good powder stashes throughout the woods even a few days after a storm; always be on the lookout for those!

Packed Powder:

While this is still powder, it normally is a few days old. If you’ve ever walked on it, you know it makes the typical crunch sound and compacts. Ski resorts could use this after a storm, you still can find fresh powder, but most of the trail will be packed down.

Hard Pack:

This name can go for a range of different meanings. It could be their way of saying icy at spots, windblown, or frozen. Frozen could be they groomed it early in the evening, and the temps plummeted, resulting in the snow getting firmed up.

Loose Granular:

Loose Granular is like little ice pellets. Think of in the springtime if you touch the snow, it crumbles away, this could be the resort’s go-to for the spring conditions name.

Frozen Granular:

Just like Loose Granular, Frozen Granular is little ice pellets but this time, they are frozen and stuck together. This could be after a big freeze in the springtime, frozen granular would be the one.

Machine Groomed:

Everyone is familiar with a Machine Groomed surface. This is the classic skiing surface we all know and love. Typically, the most popular trails on the mountain along with most green and blue trails are machine groomed.

Variable Conditions:

Variable Conditions can mean a couple different things. For starters, it could be the one they pick after a weird weather event which makes the mountain have lots of different conditions scattered throughout the mountain. It also could be for the spring conditions.

Wet Snow:

Possibly the worst one on this list, Wet Snow is the case during the rain or if a mountain got rain that night and morning and the snow still hasn’t dried out, they would put Wet Snow as the description.

Spring Conditions:

This is possibly the best name on this list. Spring Conditions mark the spring skiing season, arguably the best skiing in Maine. All the fridged days we fought through, early starts, and anything else, this is the award! Nothing like sunshine out on the deck!

Corn Snow:

Corn Snow can also fall under Spring Conditions as you find the corn during the late spring. Nothing like skiing on corn!