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Skiing Glossary


Alpine Skiing

Commonly known as downhill skiing. Uses stiff-cambered skis, hard-shell boots and fixed-heel, releasable bindings.

Alpine Slide

An alpine slide or alpine coaster is a summer ski resort ride.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can occur at high elevation, typically over 8000 feet.


Après-Ski refers to the end of the day when the mountain has closed and the restaurants and bars are open for socializing.

Avalanche Beacon

Avalanche beacons are battery operated radio devices that when activated home in, or point to another similar radio device operating on the same frequency. When used in activities in snow covered terrain they can locate victims buried in an avalanche.

Average Annual Snowfall

Average Annual Snowfall is the amount of snow a mountain gets during a year.



Bindings attach your boots to your skis. They are set to skier classification, height, and weight and should only be set by a certified technician.

Black Diamond

An expert-level ski slope designated by a sign with a black diamond on a white background.

Blackout Day

A blackout day is a day when, while using a season pass, your season pass is not valid and you must purchase a normal lift ticket if you wish to ski that day.

Blue Bird Day

A blue bird day is a beautiful sunny day after an overnight snowfall. It's a perfect skiing day with a clear blue sky, bright sun, and fresh snow.

Blue Square

Blue squares are the color and symbol used to mark intermediate ski trails.

Bunny Slope

The bunny slope is a ski area with a gentle slope where beginner skiers are taught to ski.


Cabriolet Ski Lift

A cabriolet is an open gondola type of ski lift which typically takes skiers and resort visitors from a parking area or a lower part of a resort village to an higher level.


Camber is the upward curve in skis, which can be seen when they are placed on a flat surface. The performance levels of the skis are determined by the amount of camber they have.


A clean turn made on the edge of the ski, without skidding. .

Catching Air

Catching air is going fast enough to have both lift skis off the snow after skiing over a bump.

Catching an Edge

Catching an edge is a fall or near-fall where the edge of your ski digs into the snow, usually catching a groove made by the ski of another skier.


A gentle, narrow trail that joins one ski slope to another or that winds down the entire mountain

Chair Lift

A chair lift is a mechanized, cable-suspended, aerial chair device used to carry skiers up a mountain slope.

Champagne Powder

Champagne powder is very light, dry, and smooth snow, which is great for skiing.

Combined Ski Racing

Combined ski racing events include one downhill run followed by two slalom runs.


Corduroy is the finely ridged surface of the snow after a snowcat has groomed a ski trail.

Corn Snow

Corn snow is a wet snow usually found in springtime consisting of small, rounded "kernels" or balls.


A couloir, French for corridor, is a narrow passageway with a steep gradient between two vertical mountain crevasses, resembling a gorge.

Crevasse Definition

A crevasse is a crack in a body of ice like a glacier. These deep fissures are usually caused by differential movements of the sections of ice that make up the body as a whole.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is skiing over level ground or small hills.


Crud is snow that is a combination of powder snow and patches of ice or snow that is slippery or crusty on the surface and soft underneath.


Crust is soft snow that has a layer of harden, frozen crust on the top. Freezing rain, direct sunlight, or the melting and refreezing of the top layer of powder can result in crust.


Double Black Diamond

An extreme, expert-only ski slope, designated by a sign with 2 black diamonds on a white background.

Downhill Ski Racing

High-speed ski racing with tight turns and jumps. Speeds can be in excess of 60 mph. Also, the common term used for alpine skiing.

Downhill Traversing

Downhill traversing is skiing down a ski slope in a zig-zag pattern.

Dry Slab Avalanche

A dry slab avalanche occurs when snow slabs on the mountains loose their cohesion due to factors like melting snow or additional snowfall.



Usually made of carbon steel, it is the sharpened part on either side of a ski's base that bites into the snow. To edge a ski is to tip it up onto the side, pressing the steel edges into the snow.

Express Lift

Common name for a high-speed chairlift.


Face Shot

A face shot is when a skier ends up with a face full of snow while skiing in deep powder.

Fat Skis

Very wide skis designed to perform in deep powder snow.


Federation Internationale de Ski, the international governing body of alpine and Cross-Country skiing.


Term given to skis built to handle everything from powdery, groomed slopes to bumps, crud and other challenging terrain.



Goggles are tight–fitting glasses that are used to protect the eyes from snow, wind, and glare.

Glacier Skiing

Glacier skiing is downhill skiing or crosscountry skiing in glaciers. Most glacier skiing is done in the summer, when mountains in the northern hemisphere are closed.

Glade Skiing

Glade skiing is skiing back and forth through trees.

Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre

It is home to the UK's only permanent Big AirBag and is home to the longest slope in England and Wales. The centre is ideal for learning to ski / snowboard alongside getting in a bit of practice or brushing up on your skills before your trip away to the snow -


A gondola is an enclosed structure suspended from a cable that transports skiers up the mountain.

Granular Snow

Granular snow is snow with the consistency of small pellets. types of granular snow includes loose, wet, and frozen granular snow.

Green Circle

Green circles are the color and symbol used to mark beginner trails.

Groomed Run

A ski run that has been smoothed over by machine for more consistent skiing.


Halfpipe Skiing

Halfpipe skiing competition includes a series of tricks and jumps in the halfpipe.


Heli-Skiing is off-trail, downhill skiing that is reached by a helicopter.


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Humps of snow created by skiers repeatedly making turns in the same places on the slope. Also known as bumps.

My Race

The UK's largest online discount race ski equipment. Purchase all our beautiful kit online 24/7, or visit us at our shop in Gloucester.


NASTAR (National Standard Racing)

A racing organization for recreational skiers.

New Nordic Norm (NNN)

New Nordic Norm (NNN) is a boot and binding system that is known for its comfortable flex and ski control.

Nordic Skiing

Nordic Skiing is a term that refers to any form of cross-country skiing, which includes classic or backcountry touring, skating, and telemark skiing.


Off Piste

The area beyond the groomed runs of a ski area or backcountry away from developed ski areas.


Packed Powder

Packed powder snow is now that is compressed and flattened either by skier and snowboarder traffic or by grooming equipment.

Pow Pow

Pow Pow is a slang term for fresh powder snow, which is new, loose and fluffy snow.


Powder snow is freshly fallen, loose and fluffy snow.


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Sorry, there appears to be no recognised terms.


Season Pass

A season pass provides discounted ski resort lift tickets throughout ski season.


To sidestep is to use small steps to move laterally while on cross country skis.


Sit-skis are mono-skis with a metal seat molded onto the board, making it more accessible for skiers with disabilities.

Ski Binding

The ski binding attaches the ski boot to the ski.

Ski Lift

A ski lift is the transportation that gets skiers up the mountain.

Slalom Ski Racing

Slalom ski races are traditionally the shortest race. They are comprised of close together turns or gates. Each competitor makes one run, then the course is reset on the same slope, but, with position of the gates changed.


Slush is snow that is starting to melt, and it's very heavy and very wet.

Snow Plow

The snow plow is one of the first techniques a beginner skier learns. A means of slowing or stopping on skis in which ski tips are pointed inward, tails outward, and pressure is put on the inside edges.

Speed Skiing

Speed skiing is the art of going downhill through a straight measured course with the object of attaining the highest speed possible.


Track Skiing

Track skiing is a type of cross country skiing done on machine-prepared snow using the classic or skating technique.

Tree Skiing

Tree skiing most commonly refers to skiing off the groomed slopes, in and among trees of various sizes, shapes and types.

Tree Well

A tree well is the area of loose snow around the trunk of a tree in deep snow.


Urban Skiing

Urban skiing usually involves riding rails and ledges, clearing gaps, and riding walls.


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The narrowest part of a ski in between the tip and the tail.

Yard Sale

A yard sale is when a skier falls and loses his skis and poles, which end up scattered across the mountainside.


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Sorry, there appears to be no recognised terms.


Sorry, there appears to be no recognised terms.