Snow Texture and Quality

(numbers refer to page references for Ryd and Rassa's book)

patch of snow surrounding by open ground

Terms for snow texture and quality:

habllek (70) very light, fresh, dry powder snow, particularly when falling, but also when newly on the ground

habllek on ground

Image by Ruffled Ptarmigan

hallek on red berries

Image by dv1bx

habllek on pine needles

Image by GLES4Lyf

habllek snow on metal railing

Image by Snowflake 13

slievar (71) light, loose, dry snow on ground; one sinks deeply into it making walking or skiing slow

light loose snow on the base of a rose plant

Image by Tom

säŋásj (73) coarse, granular snow in the middle of a snow bank that has sat for a while ("corn snow")

granular snow on stairs

Image by Fnugg

close up view of granular snow

Image by Food Science Girl

image of granular snow by rock

Image by Zan Angoli

tsievve (78) solid surface of snow that can bear weight without breaking; hardpack. Forms when snow has sat on the ground and been exposed to wind and sunlight for an extended period. Can be slippery. (For crust, see also tjarvva and ruhtta under Skiing Conditions)

cat walking on surface of snow

Image by Motel Nepal

skártta (59) hard, icy snow adhering to the ground underneath a layer of deeper snow. Forms when snow has partly melted and then refrozen, making it difficult for animals like reindeer to reach edible plants.

layer of ice beneath snow

Image by Järven Naiset

jäekŋa (63) ice of any sort, as differentiated from snow.

ice pushing up on lake

Image by Cantankerous Cantaloupe


suddi (North Sámi term, see Jernsletten 106) hole in ice

hole in ice

Image by Snow is Chill

släbtsát (56) wet, slushy snow on ground.

slushy snow on pavement

Image by Snow Is Chill

slushy snow closeup

Image by Samis Sweethearts

sievlla (North Sámi term; see Jernsletten 105) softened snow in a spring thaw

field with soft melting snow

Image by Minnesnowta

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birch tree with snow adhering