Blue Conditions

Energy – Blue snow is typically newer snow which can absorb energy through the initial breakdown of a delicate crystal structure. This snowpack can absorb energy without releasing significant amounts of moisture.

Temperature – Blue conditions occur in moderate cold. They can run down deep into the negative teens Celsius when the snow is new, and was formed at moderate temperatures aloft.

Snow Crystals – The energy state of blue snow is caused by the capacity of the crystals to absorb energy as they break down and transform. Snow crystals that at a range of temperatures from about -3C down to about -12C are often stellar (star shaped) dendrites (branching structure). Stellar dendrites have intricate shapes and a lot of surface area, and are subject to quite a lot of transformation. These crystals are a good bet to provide blue conditions.

Moisture – Blue snow is typically dry, and can absorb moisture into its crystal structure. At the warm end of the range it may be possible to pack a light snowball with a little work. Any glaze in the classic track will break easily.

Feeling – Blue snow feels silky, and is considerably faster than green snow.

Skis – Blue conditions are tolerant of more focused pressure distribution than green conditions, but demand smooth transitions in the shape of the ski.

Grinds – Generally fine grinds built around managing a balance of static and kinetic friction, with shallow, low-angle release points provide good performance.

Waxing Considerations – “Blue” conditions – “Blue” wax. Easy.

Geography – Anyplace that boasts of its frequent “extra blue” skiing is trying to sell you blue conditions. In truth, this is a really nice range of conditions that is relatively common most places on a good snow year. Blue skis and grinds can be considered “universal cold” fleet elements for most of the country.