Can you Ski in the Rain?

Published by Harry Sowers on

There’s just something magical about the ring. Perhaps it is the wonderful smell in the air right before a shower is about to occur. The rain washes away much of the built-up oils and the stink around a major city. So when the rain is over, the air feels pressure and the atmosphere is not quite smoggy. It could also be about comfort. One of the simplest and cheapest pleasures in life is curling up with a good book and a hot drink while you lie next to a window so you can watch the rain fall onto the ground. But what about skiing in the rain? Is it just as magical? Does the rain add to the skiing experience, or should every skier on the slopes rush for cover when they hear thunder crack? Let’s talk about skiing in the rain.

Now despite my skiing experience, I do have a lot of experience skiing in the rain. So I took to the internet and found what other people were saying about it. And after conducting my research, I will tell you that I am pleasantly surprised by the positive aspects of skiing in the rain. Many skiers and snowboarders enjoy the rain and how the terrain changes as the water mix with the ground and the snow. 

The Great Parts of Skiing In The Rain

The first positive aspect of skiing in the rain is that any skiers immediately rush back to their cars or their hotel rooms when the first drop hits the ground. Many of these people are beginning skiers who don’t have much experience skiing in the rain or skiing in general. They find that the snow is now much slippery than before the rain started, and they are still building up their confidence in regular snow, so they leave. The slopes and the trails are not as crowded, and you have more room all to yourself. If you are skiing in an already deserted area, this might not be as much of a benefit. But for those people who only have access to extremely crowded areas, they will rejoice.

The second positive aspect of skiing in the rain is how snow changes when it comes into contact with rain. If there is a ton of powdery snow on the trail, it will turn slushy and wet. If you don’t mind not reaching top speeds and having to use your muscles more to make the same turns, then you’ll enjoy slushy snow. The fresh rainwater that mixes with the snow actually slows down your skis by adding more friction between the slushy snow and the skis, which is good, even if it doesn’t sound like it is. Slushy snow is difficult to maneuver on, but you won’t have to worry about going too fast, especially if you don’t have the muscle strength to propel yourself at high speeds.

Plus, you can take your time and practice skiing in slushy wet snow because you’ll definitely come across it again as you continue to ski. Although if you are a beginner, you may want to wait until the rain stops to practice on the slushy snow. 

What To Be Aware of While Skiing In The Rain

skiing in the rain

But, you need to be aware of rain on hard snow. This type of snow is not slushy at all. Many skiers describe this type of wet snow as wax porcelain, which means it is extremely slippery and not something you want to mess around with. It is very difficult to control yourself on wet snow even when you are an experienced skier. And it is even more difficult to control your skis when you start to make mistakes and lose your control. 

If the area where you are skiing has too much hard snow and you find yourself slipping and sliding everywhere you go, then you may want to sit this skiing session out. This is especially critical if you have weak legs or bad ankles. 

Also, rain usually occurs when the temperatures are warmer than usual. So you may not be wearing clothes made for Sub-Zero temperatures. When the rain starts to fall, the temperature will drop a little lower, which means your clothes may not be able to provide good protection against the cold. If you feel your lips start to turn blue and you feel a draft through your ski jacket, you have to trade in your warmer clothing for better clothes.

How To Ski In The Rain 

When you are skiing in the rain, try not to reach your normal speeds. As I said before, the rain on the snow will turn the surface of the ground very slippery if it is hard snow and extremely slushy if it is soft snow. Hard snow is much harder to balance yourself on, and you could end up sliding down the trail faster than you are used to and losing control.

As you rain skiing, just be cautious at all times. There’s nothing very different about skiing in the rain. It is just a bit more dangerous, depending on how much experience you have skiing in the rain and how strong you are. Speak up and say no if your friends suggest going through tougher trails and terrain if you don’t feel confident doing them well it is raining.


It is imperative that you encounter and practice every different type of snow you come across. The only way to improve as a skier is to seek out things you have not done before and master them head-on. Plus, you’ll never know when it will come in handy. If your friend is stuck out stranded in an area that is far away from help and the ground between you two is coated with hard and wet snow, you’ll be able to get through to them because you have practice on hard wet snow before. Just be sure to take your time and go slowly when you first practice skiing in the rain. And don’t forget to take plenty of Rich because you could tell yourself out quickly. If you still need help, find one of the more advanced skiers skiing in the rain and ask them for advice. Hopefully, they’ll be able to give you tips to help improve your technique. 

Categories: Ski


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.