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Yellow Conditions

yellowcoarse.jpgEnergy – Yellow snow starts fully saturated, and energy input or mechanical work will generally cause it to break down and soften.
Temperature –
Warm, above freezing conditions.
Snow Crystals –
Yellow conditions can occur with any type of crystals. Typically new snow will melt and transform quickly at these temperatures, and starts out very wet. New snow yellow conditions may be some of the most difficult and frustrating, not to mention slow, of the entire range of skiable snow conditions.
Moisture –
Wet – copious amounts of free moisture.
Feeling –
The dominant feeling of yellow snow is “sucky”, in greater or lesser degrees.
Skis –
The specifics of bridge action and pocket shape are brand-specific, but pressure distribution and glide surface shape must be focused on limiting surface area contact with the snow.
Grinds –
Sharp, aggressive, and hopefully dirt resistant.
Waxing Considerations –
Soft waxes, sticky kick waxes and hairies.
Geography –
The colder parts of the country may not see yellow snow until the Spring. In the Northwest and the Northeast it’s a good bet that there will be some yellow days during the mid-season. Anybody who plans to race into March ought to have some yellow skis and grinds in the bag.