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Crust Skiing Tips & Tricks!

Spring skiing at its very best

Crust skiing, or crust cruising, is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the last days of the ski season, particularly once our local ski areas stop grooming for the year. While the concept is simple, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your ski day.
  • What is crust skiing? Simply put: Heaven. During spring, as the snowpack thaws out during the day and then freezes at night, a hard crust forms--often times a hard enough crust to support a skier. Skiing on this crust (before it thaws) is extremely fun, especially on skate skis. It is then possible to ski anywhere the crust is, no need to stick to groomed trails anymore! Is it a little bit like flying? We think so.
  • How do I know when the crust will be good? Weather forecasts can be great predictors of when the crust will be just right. You want to see warm, sunny days with nights well below freezing. Generally, it's best to have at least a few of these days in succession and no precipitation before you head out onto the crust. Early morning is always the best time to be out there. Be sure to pay attention to the changing conditions so that you are not stranded when the crust becomes so soft that it will no longer support your weight.
  • What skis should I use & how should I prepare them? We recommend using skis that you wouldn't mind damaging a little bit. The snow that forms the crust is aggressive and icy and can create a bit of base burn, especially at the edges. Use a hard wax (typically blue or green) to harden up your bases, this will help to reduce damage from the crust
  • Anything else I should know? Bring sunscreen, lots of water and be mindful of changing conditions!
Have fun out there and be sure to call your local BNS store if you have any questions...we're always happy to help!