How To Talk Like A Pro Skier

It might be your first time on the slopes, but if you're wearing our gear, no one will be able to tell (one of our customers actually had a lift attendant compliment her on the quality of the jacket and pant combo she rented from us!). Now you just need to talk like a Pro and the disguise is complete!

3 words that describe types of skiing

  1. Alpine skiing - this is what most people talk about when they say skiing. Technically it means skiing on boots with heels fixed to the skis. Usually you're going downhill
  2. Nordic skiing - often used synonymously with cross-country skiing, technically this is where the heels of the boots are not fixed to the skis. Usually you're going on flatter terrain (i.e., skiing as a means of transit, not riding up a lift to get to the top so you can speed down!)
  3. Telemark skiing - combines elements of both Alpine & Nordic skiing. Heels are not fixed to skis, but there are downhill race components

9 words that describe types of runs (a ski trail)

  1. Glade - runs through the trees (let's hit the glades, man')
  2. Slalom - runs with manmade poles or gates, you're supposed to weave through them (I'm going to go slalom skiing tomorrow)
  3. Mogul - runs where you need to ski around the big bumps in the snow (most advanced runs are covered in moguls)
  4. Groomer - runs that have been groomed by snocats (to either pack, redistribute, or flatten the snow). Also called 'corduroy' since they look like the pants! (let's go find some groomers)
  5. Chute - runs that are narrow and bounded on both sides by obstacles (I need an adrenaline boost, let's find a chute!)
  6. Deer run - long, meandering runs that leisurely bring you down the mountain (just take that deer run all the way down)
  7. Green run symbol
  8. Green - the easiest type of run, symbolized by a green circle (I need to warm up on some greens)
  9. Blue run symbol
  10. Blue - intermediate runs, symbolized by blue squares (let's hit some blues in the afternoon)
  11. Black run symbol
  12. Black - also called Black Diamond, or just diamond, these are advanced runs, symbolized by, you guessed it, a black diamond! There are also double and triple black diamonds, which are even more difficult! (the double black was sick man! and the diamonds out back are pretty great too)

3 words that describe parts of the mountain

  1. Bowl - a big mountain basin, exactly like it sounds. The sides are often very steep and covered in black diamond runs (let's get up to the bowl early in the day!)
  2. Backcountry - depending on context, can either mean territory that is completely out of boundaries of a resort and therefore you go at your own risk (if even permitted), or within the bounds of a resort, but not mail_tontained in any way (usually backside, in this instance). In both cases, expect tons of natural obstacles! (too crowded here, let's hit up the backcountry)
  3. Bunny slope - also called bunny hill, describes the really easy area that just has green runs (stick with the bunny slopes my friend)

5 words that describe types of snow

  1. Powder - the holy grail: new snow that's light and fresh, and not yet covered in tracks! Powder skis are skis that are wider than usual to provide greater surface area, allowing riders to glide over non-packed snow (3 feet of fresh powder last night, wahoo!)
  2. Crud - after powder packs down from riders, it packs into lumps of snow littering the ground (ride around the crud!)
  3. Slush - melted snow on the ground (let's get out of here, this is all slush)
  4. Crust - when top snow has melted down and become a layer of ice so it sounds very 'crunchy' (oh man, you hear that? this is all crust here!)
  5. Ice - the worst thing ever, period (back inside folks, it's all ice today)

3 words that describe types of lifts

  1. Poma lift - also called platter or button lift, the button is a 'seat' of sorts that you stick between your legs and let it drag you up
  2. Rope tow - hold the rope and it drags you forward, often in beginner areas covering short distances
  3. Magic carpet - a conveyor belt that you fully stand on with your skis or board; in beginner areas covering short distances

4 words that describe techniques beginners hear too much

  1. Pizza - cross your skis in the shape of a pizza to slow down and stop, the point of the pizza points downhill (pizza out, pizza out!)
  2. French fries - make your skis parallel like two French fries; this is how they should be when you want to move (let me see those French fries!)
  3. Herringbone - the technique skiers use to walk uphill, like reverse pizza (come on man, show me that herringbone and get up here)
  4. Carving - the perfect turn that you're waiting for, the edge of the skis or board dig(s) into the snow and magically you turn without losing speed, leaving a thin trail behind you (dude look at that guy carving)

And 1 bonus word for fun...

  1. Après-ski - literally 'after ski'; all the socials that happen after a long day on the mountain (what are you guys doing après-ski? how about hot tub and drinks?)

Now that you sound like an expert, get out there! And if you hear other funny words or slang, shoot us an email. We're happy to be your outdoors dictionary =)

Thoughts, ideas, questions? Let us know in the comments below! We're Last Minute Gear, the only outdoor gear shop where you can buy, rent, or borrow gear!