Silky Smooth at Brighton- What is Graupel?

By Powderhound Matt Nov 16, 2010
More early season snow, makes for another day of great skiing and riding in Utah!
Silky Smooth at Brighton- What is Graupel?

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!