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What exactly is “compact powder”??

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to expand on what the term “compact powder” means for a skier. It has been used to describe the snow in the resort we are going to in half term - Pila. It seems that Pila has not had the best snow sonfar with the website saying 20cm at the bottom /100cm top - “compact snow” !!! With no snow forecast between now and half term I wonder what the slopes will be like ??? Thank you
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Did it say 'Compact snow' or 'Compact powder'?

Depth of compact snow is the depth of the base, i.e the snow that has fallen so far this season and then been compacted by piste bashers, skiers etc.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Compact snow/powder or often packed powder is a euphemism used by resorts for hardpack when it hasn't snowed in a while. Off piste will be pretty firm.
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Just re looked and it says packed powder. But I am sure I read on the many websites I have been tracking that it said “compact” - sure in haven’t just made that up !! But yes it may well be the same as the old fashioned terminology for “hard packed. Bother.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Compact snow/powder or often packed powder is a euphemism used by resorts for hardpack when it hasn't snowed in a while. Off piste will be pretty firm.


This is my interpretation DOTM, I'd add that it probably hasn't been through the freeze thaw cycle yet
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Not convinced packed powder means hard park. It would be useful to see the context though, and also whether (as @Tom Doc asked) it says "compact powder" or "compact snow".

I suspect your source is the "Today's snow conditions" which comes up at the top of Google search when you type in "Pila". If so, I would take "Type of snow: packed powder" to mean powder which hasn't just fallen, but rather has been pisted and hasn't yet succumbed to freeze / thaw cycles (which starts to turn it into hard pack). I doubt the 20cm/100cm figures are entirely accurate... not sure what Google's source is!

On the other hand, if the context is just as part of a snow depth figure, then "compact snow" might just mean the depth of snow after it's been compacted by piste bashers, as opposed to the depth of snow off the pistes (which may be much more, or less).

The slopes in Pila should be fine at half term; there isn't any prolonged mild, humid weather forecast at present, and it snowed recently. Off piste... I've no idea.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Compact snow/powder or often packed powder is a euphemism used by resorts for hardpack when it hasn't snowed in a while. Off piste will be pretty firm.

+1

Also, in the US/Canada 'Powder' means any new snow, not powder skiing conditions. As in "The resort had 10cm of fresh powder over night".
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I used the Pila website which said “compact” snow. I think ski club or similar said “hard packed” and “on the snow” said “packed powder “.

We are going anyway - so what will be will be but it’s always good to prepare oneself that it might not be “perfect powder conditions”. ( which it was last year !!). Thanks .
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Somewhere between nice fluffy powder and boilerplate ice!
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Put it this way no one in the history of the world jumped out of bed pre-dawn saying "Yay! Packed powder day!"
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

.. no one in the history of the world jumped out of bed pre-dawn saying "Yay! Packed powder day!"

Oh, I don't know. If they were in the 'Northern Powderhouse'... Laughing We'll get excited at just about anything.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Here they call it packed powder even if when it was fresh it was nothing like powder. A few cm's of heavy slop is miraculously packed powder by the next day. Just bad marketing BS
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I've long been irritated by the tendency in some quarters to call ALL newly fallen snow "powder". "Clag" would often be a better name for it. "Leg breaking clag", sometimes.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Although with modern fat rockered skis heavy snow is much less of a problem than it used to be.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
My husband just said it puts him in mind of "wind crust" which he defines as "some turns you stay on the top and on some turns one ski breaks through and the other doesnt"!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not a term I have ever seen with respect to snow conditions, seems like the OP did not even see it anywhere. My wife does have one of these tough.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've seen the phrase 'compacted powder' in ski reports quite regularly.

I've always assumed it was powder that's been posted not subjected to any freeze thaw, you know the nice grippy chalky stuff.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We often refer to "packed powder" when there has been little recent snow, and the near/off-piste has been well skiid packing down the "powder" but not compacting to icy/hard-pack due to the lesser volume of skiers.

It is often far easier and more enjoyable to ski on the packed-powder adjacent to the piste rather than the hard-pack/icy pistes themselves (though luckily not too many people realise this, leaving the better snow for the connoisseurs snowHead )
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Wind packed powder is a common form of snow in Scotland. It falls at below zero but its shape is changed on contact with the ground and it sticks together. Its heavier to ski than true powder but is a great substitute. In ideal conditions the snow gets continually recharged by blowing onto the slope and every run is a powder run !

Another expression commonly used in Scotland is 'skier packed powder'. snowHead
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