Ski Terminology




Ski Terminology

Ski Terminology

Skiing has its own set of terms that help enthusiasts communicate. Here are some common terms:

Alpine Skiing: The most common form of skiing, where the toe of the boot is fixed to the ski, but the heel is free to lift during movement.

Backcountry Skiing: Skiing in unmarked or unpatrolled areas outside of a ski resort, often involving hiking or skinning uphill to reach the skiing location.

Gondola: an aerial lift that transports skiers up the mountain.

Carving: Making controlled turns by tilting the skis on their edges, creating an arc in the snow.

Groomer: A trail or slope that has been smoothed and packed by a snow groomer (snowcat), providing a smoother surface for skiing.

Pow (Powder): Fresh, unpacked snow that has not been skied on, offering a soft and fluffy surface.

Moguls: Bumps on a ski slope formed by skiers repeatedly turning in the same area, creating a series of rounded bumps on busy ski runs.

Slalom: A type of ski race where skiers navigate a downhill course marked by a series of gates.

Giant Slalom (GS): Similar to slalom but with a longer course and wider turns.

Freestyle Skiing: A style of skiing that includes tricks, jumps, and aerial maneuvers in addition to traditional downhill skiing.

Halfpipe: A U-shaped snow park feature used in freestyle skiing, where athletes perform tricks on the walls of the pipe.

Terrain Park: A designated area within a ski resort with features like jumps, rails, and boxes for freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

Black Diamond: a ski run that’s rated ‘difficult’, indicated by a black diamond shaped symbol.

Blue Square: an ‘intermediate’ ski run, with a square blue symbol at the start of the run.

Green Circle: an ‘easy’ slope, good for beginners and marked by a green circle symbol.

Cross-Country Skiing: A form of skiing where the heel is not fixed to the ski, and skiers use poles to push themselves forward on flat or gently rolling terrain.

Telemark Skiing: A style of skiing that combines elements of Alpine and cross-country skiing, with a binding that only attaches to the toe of the boot.

Snowplow: a basic skiing technique where you put the tips of the skis together and the back ends apart to form a ‘slice of pie’, in order to slow down or stop.

Shred or Rip: to ski aggressively, with skill.

Schralp: to excel in challenging ski conditions, like deep powder. 

Sending it: take on a challenging ski run or stunt with confidence & determination.

Piste: a groomed trail or slope within a ski resort, with snow packed down by a snowcat.

Off-Piste: skiing outside of marked trails or slopes, often in ungroomed and unpatrolled areas.

Corn Snow: snow that’s been melted and refrozen, creating a granular texture good for skiing.

Ski Patrol: trained individuals responsible for safety on the slopes, providing assistance and rescue services.

Avalanche: a mass of snow, ice, and debris that descends rapidly down a mountain slope.

Cornice: an overhanging edge of snow on a mountain ridge line, very unstable territory.

Ski Wax: a substance applied to the base of skis to reduce friction and enhance glide.

Boot Pack: hiking uphill on foot while carrying skis, often used in backcountry skiing to access terrain.

Après-Ski: social activities and entertainment that take place after a day of skiing, often involving food, drinks, and relaxation.

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