Welcome to Ski Hacks – a series of bite-sized videos with expert advice from pro ski instructor Darren Turner. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned pro, they’re designed to give you tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your time on the mountain.

Good snow means good skiing. Check out our tricks for finding the best snow conditions in your resort.

Transcription

[00:00:01] Something that experienced skiers are doing all the time is thinking about where they’re going to find the best conditions. Now you’ve really got to get your detective hat on. The things you’ve got to think about are altitude, aspect, temperature, and the very recent history. 

Look for shady slopes

Now here’s a good example – slushy snow that’s been melted by the sun. After a cold night, it will often freeze, and that’s going to make the snow pretty hard. And a lot of people think, in those situations, they’re going to look for the sunny slopes because that’s where the softer snow will be. And it’s not often the case. In that scenario, it’s often better to find a shady slope up higher. There’s a good chance the sun wouldn’t have melted that the day before, so it’s still going to be cold, fresh snow. It’s very much trial and error and experience. And if you find a good slope, that feels good on altitude and  aspect, you can probably bet that slopes on the same aspect and similar altitude will be as good. 

Check out the terrain around you

[00:01:20] Now something I’m also doing all the time, when I’m on a chairlift, is scanning the terrain and trying to see where the snow looks the best. And it is irrelevant whether it’s on-piste or off.

[00:01:30] When I’m skiing down a piste or off-piste, I’m constantly scanning the terrain in front of me, looking for the best snow. And I see it quite often – somebody can be skiing down a piste and the snow could be a bit cruddy. Meanwhile, 10 metres to the right, the snow’s perfect. So keep checking that snow and search for the best conditions.

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