Ski Flexure in Uncompacted Snow

  • David A. Lind
  • Scott P. Sanders


Let us consider the load distribution for a ski as it rides through uncompacted snow and compacts the snow bed [1]. The relation for the compaction pressure on a plunger pushing into the snow surface is p = ky n , where p is the pressure needed to compact the snow to a depth y and k and n are functions of the initial density of the snow. The ski, however, does not act simply as a plunger; it slides forward at the same time. As a result, a plowing force acts upon the ski opposite to the ski’s direction of motion. The snow-compaction loading over the base of the ski causes a reversed camber in the ski, and the ski assumes a configuration like the one shown in Fig. T12.1. The several forces and the geometry labeled in the figure will be referred to throughout the discussion that follows.


Compaction Pressure Snow Surface Center Deflection Triangular Point Forward Portion 
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  1. 1.
    For more information on how skis compact unpacked snow, see M. Mellor, “Properties of Snow,” Monograph III-Al (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH, 1964), pp. 37–40. Where specific observations are noted in the discussion that follows, in most cases the data presented come from Mellor’s work.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Lind
    • 1
  • Scott P. Sanders
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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