The upwind side of terrain, where wind scouring occurs.

Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

Windward aspects and windward terrain features are those that are oriented upwind, facing into the blowing wind. Windward terrain typically has more bare ground exposed or holds shallower snow depths because it is subject to more wind erosion. Staying on the windward side of a terrain feature is a reliable way to avoid fresh wind slabs, although windward terrain can be prone to weak layer formation due to a seasonally shallower snowpack.

Windward terrain faces into the wind and holds a shallower snowpack or may be scoured to bare ground.  Credit: Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Cornices form from winds eroding snow off of windward slopes and transporting it onto leeward slopes. Credit: Flathead Avalanche Center

Rippled erosional textures, called sastrugi, are characteristic of windward terrain. Credit: Sawtooth Avalanche Center