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spring conditions

Ski area conditions in which many different surface types can be found on the mountain. This usually happens towards the end of the ski season during which increasing temperatures melt the snow to create bare spots and/or areas of thin snow cover. Sometimes an extended midwinter thaw can also create such spring conditions.

With spring conditions, the snow is usually firm in early morning even reaching frozen granular status if left ungroomed, breaking a softer corn or wet granular surface mid-day, and is often very soft and mushy in afternoon, often called mashed potatoes by some skiers due to its heaviness. In some instances when the snow is untracked, sun baked, slightly dirty, with the consistency of a snow cone, it is called tecate powder. The speed with which conditions change on a given spring day is directly related to the exposure of the slope relative to the sun. In the northern hemisphere, east- and south-facing slopes tend to soften first; west-facing slopes generally soften by mid-day. North-facing slopes may hold on to their overnight snow conditions throughout the day.

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  • Category: Alpine skiing
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