How to Find Perfect Corn Snow This Spring

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Todrillos corn skiing is prime come June. Todrillo Mountain Lodge photo.

Great corn conditions give you the best springtime backcountry experiences, with a baby bottom-smooth surface of soft, just-slushing-up snow making for the smoothest turns you're bound to make all season. The freeze-thaw cycle, though, has to been in full effect for you to score big.

Todrillo Mountain Lodge owner Mike Overcast loves late-season conditions so much that he offers a combination of guided corn skiing and fishing for 20 days in June. In between heli drops, we caught up with him to ask how you can find the softest, smooth corn snow this spring. Here's what he had to share.

No hat, no problem – it's June! Todrillo Mountain Lodge photo.

"Good corn snow is the product of cool clear nights and daily temps above 40 degrees. This swing, along with long wave radiation cooling, make for the best corn formation. Large kernels bond together to make ice on the surface,” explains Overcast.

“Timing of skiing it is paramount,” he says. “Start with southern and eastern aspects in the northern hemisphere in the morning, and move around the compass as the sun warms things to the west and north. Make sure the surface structure (crust) supports your board or you risk a wet slide avalanche. The steeper the slope the faster it warms, due to the sun incidence angle. Good corn is as good as it gets!"

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