Silky Smooth at Brighton- What is Graupel?

by Powderhound Matt November 15 2010 4 Comments

If I had to describe Brighton with one word today, it would be creamy.  Last night a healthy dose of graupel fell on the Wasatch Mountains.  You’re probably asking yourself, what is he talking about right now, it snowed last night.  Yes, you are 100% correct it did snow. Graupel is actually a form of snow, instead of the normal snowflakes, the snow takes a form of mini snow balls or ball bearings.

Graupel (img_6314)

 

In my experience, it only falls a few times during the winter here in the Wasatch and even though it may have been snowing hard all night, it doesn’t seem to accumulate nearly as fast as The Greatest Snow on Earth® normally does. That's right, there is the weather nerd coming out of me. It creates almost this creamy blanket of snow, not your typical blower powder, but great snow to resurface almost all your groomed runs. This sort of snow is also great for covering up all the rocks and stumps that are still out there during the early season. I couldn’t find a scratchy spot out there today, just really fun, smooth skiing and riding for the very few lucky souls that were fortunate enough to make it out today.

Leaving the slopes today, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous amount of out of state license plates parked in the lot.  I thought Brighton was always considered a “locals” mountain?  Honestly, in the first row I noticed California, New York, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Delaware, Virginia, Washington, Texas, Minnesota and of course Utah.  Maybe someone from Brighton can enlighten me and let me know what was going on today, but I have a feeling I already know the answer.  Brighton is awesome and just about everyone wants to be here!

 

Tomorrow, I plan on skiing Brighton again with some friends, hopefully we will be able to take some good photos.  The forecast is looking great, another 4-12 inches through late Tuesday night, then more snow for the weekend!

 

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About the Author

Powderhound Matt

Matt Baydala

Matt Baydala, originally from Rockville Centre, New York, sniffed his way to Park City, Utah in 2006. Since then, he has built a career as a Park City restaurant manager to accommodate his skiing lifestyle. His passion and appreciation for the diversity of Utah’s wintersports product make him the perfect Powderhound. "For me skiing The Greatest Snow on Earth® is not just a hobby; it’s an obsession," exclaimed Baydala. "Now I have the opportunity to share this awesome life we live out here with the entire skiing community."

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