How do Ski Resorts Make Moguls?

Most moguls are made through the natural process of skiers going down the same line on a run. This carves out the moguls until they are shaped into the bumps. For competition mogul events, a snowcat sometimes starts the process.

My name is Christine, and I’ve been an avid skier for most of my life. I love the winter and get out in the snow as much as possible when it’s ski season. Through first-hand experience and talking with a few other skiers, I know how moguls are made. 

This post will examine how ski resorts make moguls. I’ll walk you through how moguls get their shape and provide you with some other related information. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Most moguls at ski resorts are naturally made. The process of skiers going down the same line carves out the bumps on a slope that we call moguls. 
  • A snowcat can help start a mogul course for competitive events at the resort, but the snowcat doesn’t create all of the bumps you see at the resort. 
  • If resorts did not groom runs, there would be more mogul runs. This is because moguls just form naturally as it snows and skiers ski down the slopes. 

How do Ski Resorts Make Moguls? 

If you have ever skied down a line of moguls at the ski resort or watched another skier do this from the chairlift, you’ve probably wondered how they were made. The truth is, resorts don’t make moguls at all – they just occur naturally. 

As skiers make their way down the mountain, they carve through the snow. As more skiers go along the same line, this repeated carving eventually turns a slope into a mogul run. The resort doesn’t do anything to make this happen, and it’s just a natural part of skiing.

In a sense, it’s more about what a ski resort doesn’t do to make moguls. Moguls will only appear on runs that aren’t groomed because grooming smooths out the slopes and gets rid of any moguls that were there or being formed. 

If the resort didn’t do any grooming, there would be many more mogul runs. But since not everyone likes to ski moguls, and groomers are good for beginners, nearly every resort grooms their runs to keep conditions good and moguls down. 

How are Moguls Made Artificially? 

Moguls really aren’t made artificially. Sometimes a snowcat can be used to help there be enough snow to make moguls on a specific run – like for competitions. But moguls are made through the natural skiing process. 

Even though moguls might look like a terrain park feature or something that would require a machine to make, they actually just happen on the slopes when grooming isn’t done. The more skiers go over the same line, the more moguls are made. 

How are Moguls Made for Competition?

There is a slight exception to this, which relates to how the competition mogul course is made. These are sometimes started by a snowcat and then shaped by hand rather than naturally occurring.  

This helps the course be at a certain location and makes the moguls of similar size and shape. Since it’s a competition, there is a little more need to keep everything in order, and the snowcat and hand shaping of the bumps help here. 

When I say “hand shaping” moguls, it’s not what you might expect. Rather than forming the bumps by hand, skiers take their time going down the run and shape the bumps with their skis. They really aren’t skiing down the run when they shape it. 

How to Make Ski Moguls

If you want to do your part in helping make moguls, all you need to do is ski moguls! The more skiers go down a mogul run, the more pronounced the moguls will be. If you do this after a fresh snow, you can help make moguls at the ski resort.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to how ski resorts make moguls. 

Are moguls man made or natural? 

This question is a little deceiving because moguls are technically man-made by skiers, but they naturally form on the slopes as skiers ski. There isn’t a specific machine or method for making moguls, and they occur as skiers go down the same line repeatedly.

Is there a machine for moguls? 

There is no machine for moguls. Skiers make Moguls, so there isn’t a particular machine that does the job. Sometimes a snowcat can be used to help push enough snow into a specific area to make moguls, but the machine doesn’t make the moguls.  

How do groomers make moguls? 

Groomers don’t make moguls; they get rid of them. If a groomer doesn’t go over a run, then moguls have the chance to form. But if a groomer goes over a mogul run, it will smooth out the bumps, and it will no longer have moguls. 

Final Thoughts

Ski resorts don’t actually make moguls. They are a feature on the mountain that occurs when skiers repeatedly go over the same line. Snowcats and groomers can get rid of moguls by driving over them, but they don’t create them. 

Did you know that moguls occurred naturally before reading this post? Let me know in the comments below. 

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