Energy – Red snow responds to energy input or mechanical work by releasing moisture.
Temperature – Moderate, plus/minus zero Celsius temperatures are a good bet to produce red conditions.
Snow Crystals – Red conditions can develop with a wide range of crystal types, but typically involve some finer snow in at least a mixed conglomerate. Snow that is fully transformed and coarse will often go straight from violet conditions to yellow conditions with rising temperatures. Red snow is really good snowball snow.
Moisture – Red snow does not need to start wet, but it is high in moisture and will produce a surface glaze quickly.
Feeling – A high level of available moisture provides constant and ready lubrication at the surface. Red snow is slippery.
Skis – Skis for red conditions want a more focused, “hotter” pressure distribution than blue or green skis, but smoother transitions than yellow skis.
Grinds – Interrupted crossing structures with decent depth and a high density of release points are a good bet. The wide range of crystal types involved with red conditions means that a wide range of specific structures may be applicable.
Waxing Considerations – Like grinds, a wide range of crystal structures means a wide range of waxes. Kick wax can be either warmer hardwax or thin klister. Red conditions are the “cold” end of the hairies or zero ski range.
Geography – Every part of the continent experiences red conditions. Often they come in transition from blue or violet as the day warms and the solar effect comes into play. Red conditions are more prevalent in February and March than in December and January because of the increased solar effect as the season progresses. Red conditions may be really central for an area like the Pacific Northwest. For the rest of the country red skis and grinds can be considered “universal warm”.