Snow What?

Person in red parka on snowy mountain
Person in red parka on snowy mountain
Winter’s almost here, that’s what.

Snow squall, snowburst, sleet, slush, snirt… there’s no shortage of slang and terminology when it comes to winter weather. And I just came across one I’d never heard of before: Sastrugi.


Sastrugi (from a Russian word meaning “small ridges”) are snow formations that look a little like frozen waves. You see?

Sastrugi in the south pole, looking pretty sparkly.

These snowy shapes are formed by the wind on top of sea ice, frozen lakes, or mountain ridges, mostly in the polar regions of our planet. And while they may look sort of fun to try snowboarding on—they are anything but. Sastrugi are frozen solid and not-so-easy to travel across, according to anyone who has tried.

Well, at least it’s still a fun word to say!

Sastrugi, sastrugi, sastrugi…

(And sounds a tiny bit like a tasty dessert, no?)


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