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Skiing jargon guide
Around the Academy:


A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Alpine Skiing
Downhill skiing typically using chairlifts to get up to higher ground for decents. Often mistakenly referred to as a catch-all for the term 'skiing'.

An avalanche in the Swiss resort of Evolene
Avalanche!

Après-Ski
The period after a long day on the slopes to relax around a fire with a drink, party, go to dinner, or take a hot soak in the outdoor jacuzzi!

Avalanche
A mass of loosened snow or ice that suddenly and swiftly slides down a mountain, forming one of the few real dangers a skier can face.

B

Base
The average depth of snow on a mountain.

Bindings
The connector between the ski boot and the ski. In the event of a fall, the skier is able to twist out of the binding to release the ski.

Bomber
A person who skis too fast or out of control.

C

Stefania Belmondo competes in the 2002 Winter Olympics
Cross-country skiing

Carving
A tight turn made with the edge of the ski.

Cross-country skiing
Skiing on a flat, snowy surface using the body for momentum and resistance. The best aerobic exercise possible!

D

Downhill skiing
Gravity-induced skiing down a mountain!

E

Edging
Controlling turns with the edge of your skis.

Extreme skiing
Pushing your ski expertise to its limit by conquering a steep run, uncharted mountain, or severe ledge!

F

Fall line
The most direct route down the mountain, often involuntarily taken by falling skiers!

Frostbite
A serious condition that takes place in extremely cold conditions, when part of your body freezes. This usually happens to the face or other unprotected areas.

G

Glade skiing
The tricky art of skiing between trees.

Goggles
Essential protective eye wear used to guard against ultraviolet rays, wind, and snow.

H

High season
Usually from February to early March. During this time, lift tickets and hotels are more expensive.

Hot dog
A person who takes jumps off small cliffs and performs tricks on skis.

I

J

K

Kick turn
An easier option for beginners turning on steep slopes.

L

Lateral bullet
A skier who is skiing out of control across the slopes.

M

Mashed potatoes
Mushy, wet snow.

Milk run
The first run of the day.

Moguls
Mounds and lumps of snow, some natural and others created by skiers.

N

Nordic skiing
Cross-country skiing.

O

Off-piste
Designated off-trail areas that are ungroomed, unpatrolled, and usually unsafe.

P

Parallel turn
A turn in which the skis are kept parallel to each other.

Piste
French word for trail.

Pole
A round, lightweight shaft with a basket and spike on the lower end, a handle and strap at the upper end.

Powder
Light, ungroomed snow.

Poma
A surface lift straddled by skiers, with a plastic disc to sit on.

Parabolic skis
Also called hourglass skis or shaped skis. They are designed to give speed and control, responding to the slightest pressure.

Q

R

Rope tow
A moving rope that skiers grab to be towed up the mountain.

Ruts
Tracks created by over-skiing that can make for treacherous skiing conditions.

S

Schuss
To ski straight down the hill.

Janica Kostellic
Slalom racing

Slalom
A race that combines downhill speed with technical ability. The course is marked with gates that are not in a straight line, so the skier has to make a whole series of quick turns while racing down the slope.

Snowplow
A popular beginner technique for stopping and turning. The front tips of the skies almost touch, while the back tips are bowed outwards.

T

T-Bar
A T-shaped rope tow on which two skiers balance in sitting positions and are pulled to the top.

Telemark
Type of downhill turn and style of turning typically involving one ski slid forward and a distinctive forward bent knee position.

Traverse
To ski across the mountain rather than down.

U

V

W

Wax
A soft substance applied to the base of a ski for protection and to improve its snow-going properties.

White out
Poor visibility due to a combination of fog and snow. Usually occurs at high altitudes.

Wind-chill factor
Taking wind spped into account when determining apparent temperature.

X

Y

Yard sale
A fall that leaves skis and poles in various places on the mountainside!

Z


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