Skiing and snowboarding are hard enough, but learning their lingo is a challenge on its own. Our guide will make it easier by familiarizing you with this jargon. Whether you’re trying to figure out the “vert,” win a debate over what "dust on crust is" or determine the camber of your ski, this guide is here for you. We have it all covered — the mountains, equipment, terrain, conditions and more.
Ski Tips > Guide to Common Ski & Snowboard Terms
Guide to Common Ski & Snowboard Terms
Alpine Skiing. Another term to describe downhill skiing, specifically, sliding down slopes covered in snow while wearing skis with fixed heel bindings. Competitive alpine skiing is made up of four separate types of events in two distinct categories — speed and technical. Speed events include downhill skiing and the supergiant slalom or super-G. These events take place on long, steep courses with speeds averaged by Olympians in the in the 75 - 95 mph range. Technical events include the slalom and giant slalom. These events involve courses with tightly spaced gates that require skiers to maneuver around them.
Altitude Sickness. A catch-all term for the spectrum of negative physical effects people may experience in the lower oxygen environments found at higher altitudes. Symptoms can begin to occur at 8,000 feet, which is the altitude for the base area of many ski resorts, particularly in the Colorado Rockies. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and in more severe cases, confusion, coughing, and loss of coordination. The medical community recognizes three levels of increasing severity: 1) Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), 2) High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and 3) High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Both HAPE and HACE are life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical attention. To prevent altitude sickness, stay well hydrated, especially when coming from lower elevation and traveling by airplane and avoid alcohol while acclimatizing, generally in the first 24 - 48 hours. Fortunately, even if you can't fully prevent it, altitude sickness is generally normal to experience and will go away on its own.
Après Ski. Happy hour/bar scene after a day on the slopes that typically includes live music from a local/lifty, outdoor fire pits, and swapping of embarrassing stories from the day’s conquests. Gaudy outfits are encouraged and appreciated. All of our resort guides have a section with our top picks for après by category such as where to grab a beer with the locals, find craft cocktails, entertain the family or enjoy fine dining. Check out our après guides to AspenSnowmass, Jackson Hole and Stowe or head to our resorts tab for the destination of your choice.
Avalanche/Avy/White Dragon. Extremely dangerous mass of snow, ice, and rocks. Caused by a disturbance of an unstable natural layer, an avalanche can move down a slope at 80 MPH and can be inadvertently triggered by careless backcountry skiers and snowboarders, or intentionally with explosives dropped or launched by the ski patrol. Check out this avalanche awareness video created by The North Face and the Crested Butte Avalanche Center to view an avalanche and learn how to stay safe.
Backcountry. Any area outside of the patrolled boundaries of an established ski resort. Also referred to as “out of bounds.” The defining features are a lack of ski patrol and avalanche mitigation. Conditions in the backcountry are uncontrolled, and generally include tightly spaced trees, tree wells, ungroomed snow in variable condition, and hidden obstacles such as boulders and fallen logs.
Backcountry terrain is often accessed by “uphilling,” either by hiking on foot, or skiing uphill (“skinning”) using special equipment. Backcountry terrain can sometimes be accessed from the patrolled, in-bounds sections of a chairlift-served resort through well-marked “gates.” Safety is paramount when headed into the backcountry, and should always include a shovel, probe, beacon, and the training to use them. For more detail on navigating the backcountry see our Backcountry Guide.
Backseat. Leaning too far back while skiing down the mountain. Being in the backseat makes it more difficult to control your skis and may result in injury. Make sure you are taking an aggressive stance by putting pressure on the front of your boots. Think of this as trying to bend your knee over your toes which will result in being able to see your boot bend at the ankle hinge. If you find yourself stuck in the backseat, try to find a less steep slope and practice taking a more aggressive stance. For more experienced skiers, the backseat can be helpful in working your way through deep powder as it allows the ski tips to float up.
Base. The bottom of the mountain. Generally where you will find restaurants, bars, lift ticket offices, rentals and in some cases accommodations. Larger resorts may have anywhere from two to five different base areas, and they are generally not located within walking distance of one another. Although resorts will try to make each unique base area accessible from multiple sections of the mountain, the mountain’s terrain will eventually funnel skiers into separate base areas. This makes is important for skiers to plan their days thoughtfully to coordinate ski school, lunch, and hotel locations. While the base areas are almost always linked by free buses, it's highly preferable to end your day at your intended base. *All of our full day itineraries ensure you begin at the most convenient base area for your day. For example, see our Brighton Intermediate Itinerary here or our Park City Expert Itinerary here.
Binding. Mechanical device fixed to the midpoint of the ski that connects to the ski boot. It holds the toe and heel of the boot and can be set to release automatically in a fall. To take your boot out, press down on the “tail” or heel pop to release the binding.
Bluebird. Days that are dream worthy. The peak of weather conditions...snow overnight, blue sky mornings, and sun.
Bowl Skiing. Terrain that resembles a giant bowl such that you can ski or ride around the inside of it. Bowl skiing is typically accessed via snow cat or hiking and will funnel into trees. Many resorts also have lift accessible bowls. For example, Vail has 8 back bowls, the majority of which are accessed by lift and offer a good introduction to bowl skiing. See our Vail Expert Itinerary here for a full tour of the back bowls.
Bumps/Moguls. Bumps (with valleys between them) are created on a slope by skiers/snowboarders cutting grooves in the snow as they turn. When trails are not groomed, they tend to appear. More advanced blues/blacks are typically covered in them and they require additional effort and conditioning to make it through. If bumps are not your thing, check the grooming report before heading out.
Bunny Hill (aka Bunny Slope). A mild, gentle ski slope for beginners, ski school classes, and warmups.
Camber. When a ski is placed on a flat surface, it will rest on its tip and tail, while the middle arcs upwards. Camber creates the spring or “pop” of a ski due to the shape. For more detail on camber see our Skier's Buying Guide.
A bowl full of bumps.
Carve. To cut a turn into the snow by rotating your lower body to engage the edge of your ski or board. When you make a carved turn, you will be on the edges of your skis or board for the entire turn.
Cats (Aka snowcats). Snow bulldozers used by resorts to groom the snow overnight. Also used as a transport for those willing to pay into the backcountry. Watch for them late in the day as the night shift heads out to recondition the snow.
Cat Skiing. A form of backcountry skiing that is accessed by taking a snowcat up the mountain, generally with a guide. The cat meets the skiers at the bottom of each run to go to the next. Cat skiing operators usually have access to very big areas, almost guaranteeing fresh tracks. Some of our favorite places for cat skiing in North America include Crested Butte, Keystone, Park City with Park City Powder Cats, Steamboat with Steamboat Powdercats and if you are lucky enough to get in, Selkirk, British Columbia.
Cat Track. Flat, sometimes uphill, trails used by Cats to move around the mountain. Used by skiers/snowboarders to move around the mountain and dreaded by experienced shredders/rippers.
Corn Snow. Named for its consistency reminiscent of corn kernels, this epic and elusive snow texture is caused by an alternating cycle of a daytime thaw, followed by an overnight freeze. Temperatures must be “just right” to create corn, with little margin for error; too cold at night, and you get a skating rink, but too warm during the day and you get slush.
Corduroy. Freshly groomed snow, transformed by the snowcats into small ridges and grooves that look like corduroy pants across the entire slope. Perfect for carving wide, fast turns.
Cork. A trick that is both a spin and a flip at the same time. For instance, if someone does a 360 degree turn while simultaneously back flipping, they have just performed a cork 360. Technically, this should result in an off-axis flip in which the skier/rider’s feet do not go above his/her head.
Crud. Not groomed, not powder, not moguls. There is snow, but there are also rocks, ice chunks, and other obstacles that require skill to navigate around.
Freshly groomed corduroy
Downloading. Riding the chairlift in reverse, typically seen as an amateur move unless you are accompanied by the ski patrol.
Dust on Crust. New snow/powder sitting atop frozen snow. One of the least desirable snow conditions. Typically occurs in the late spring when warmer temperatures thaw snow before it freezes overnight, followed by a fresh dusting of new snow. It is highly disappointing when it appears to be a powder day but Mother Nature pulls the bait and switch! This can also be dangerous if you think there’s fluffy powder under your feet but it ends up being a sheet of ice the size of a football field.
Earn Your Turns. Refers to backcountry skiers who hike up the mountain to ski rather than take the lifts. Typically a good natured teasing directed at resort skiers who are stuck using the lifts.
Edges. The bottom inside and outside part of the skis, used to cut and carve turns.
Edgie Wedgie. A ski tip connector generally used to assist the smallest skiers in keeping their skis together when learning to make a wedge. This is a simple device, typically made up of a piece of rubber with clips on both ends.
Elevation (Mountain Elevation). The measure of a mountain's height, generally measured from sea level to the top of the mountain, known as the summit. Resort elevations can vary widely from region to region, and don’t let a “tall” mountain scare you. However, higher elevations generally produce colder climates.
Resorts in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are all around 10,000 to 11,000 ft, while Whistler’s peak elevation is only 7,500 ft, despite its “big” reputation. In comparison, those in New England generally top out at about 4,000 ft. Jackson Hole, often regarded as one of the toughest resorts in the US, weighs in at a very modest 10,450 ft, and Vail Resort is a mere 11,500 ft. The honor of tallest ski resort in North America goes to Breckenridge at 12,998 ft, and if you’re looking to stand on top of the world, the Imperial Express chair will take you almost all the way to the top.
The highest elevation in North America
Face Shots. When you spray your own face with powder, especially on powder days when the snow is deep and light enough to be blown up by the individual’s speed and pure awesomeness.
First Chair. The first chair is the first group up the mountain that day. Often, resorts have first tracks programs through which you can reserve a spot, generally by paying more, to be the first group up.
Flat Light. Technical term for poor visibility. This occurs when there is little to no contrast between overcast skies and the snow, generally when the weather is overcast or snowing. It becomes difficult to see the texture of the snow. In the worst cases, it can even feel like vertigo. While there's no magic bullet, our best advice is to slow down, try to make your way into the trees which make it easier to see by creating contrast, and head lower on the mountain.
Classic face shot
Freeski/Freeride. One of two main style categories for skiing and snowboarding. “Freestyle” is the other main category, though it's really more of a continuum than two distinct styles. Freeride is generally characterized by big mountains, steep terrain, high speeds, carved turns, and unregulated and inconsistent environments such as powder, trees, cliffs, and the backcountry. "Freeride" terrain is generally not accessible by chair lift. Notable freeski athletes include the late Shane McConkey, Ingrid Backstrom, and Candide Thovex, along with snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Travis Rice and the de Le Rue brothers (Xavier, Victor, and Paul-Henri). The most prominent competition is the Xtreme Verbier Freeride World Tour.
Freestyle. This is the other main category or “style” in skiing and snowboarding, although it is important to remember that almost all athletes blend elements of “freeride” and “freestyle.” Freestyle generally involves tricks and acrobatic maneuvers like jumps, spins, flips, butters/presses, and rail slides that are well suited to competitions and spectators. Tricks are usually performed in either a halfpipe, or in a “terrain park” consisting of a series of “features” such as jumps (kickers and booters), obstacles, pipes, boxes, and handrails. In both the “pipe” and “park” riders score points from judges by stringing together multiple tricks in sequence as they transition from one feature to the next. Famous riders include Shaun White, Mark McMorris, Jamie Anderson, and Chloe Kim. The most well-known competitions are the X-Games, the Mountain Dew Games, and the Winter Olympics (Slopestyle; Halfpipe).
Glades/Glade Skiing (aka Tree Skiing). Skiing or riding on terrain with trees. Glades can be on marked trails, open areas of the mountain and in the backcountry. Some gladed trails have had the trees professionally thinned, making it easier to navigate through them. Expert trails and backcountry terrain may have very tight trees and are for more experienced skiers. Glades are generally not groomed and tend to hold snow longer because of the shade and protection that the trees provide. Some of our favorite gladed terrain in North America is at Steamboat, Telluride and Sunday River.
Ripping through snow covered trees
Gnarly. Perhaps the most versatile word in a skier’s vocabulary, this term can mean many things – awesome, sweet, sick, rad, sketchy, scary, and nasty all come to mind. Regardless of the context, if one has just skied something gnarly one might refer to oneself as “the best skier on the mountain.”
Groomers. Short-hand term for trails in which the surface snow has been “groomed” or broken up and then packed down with a mechanical tiller affixed to a snowcat. Grooming the snow breaks apart chunks of ice and creates a consistent, ridged surface. Groomed snow is often referred to as “corduroy.” Get out early to take advantage of corduroy before high volume traffic turns it into crud. Pro tip — most grooming tends to happen overnight, so check the grooming report first thing in the morning for the most accurate information on finding groomed trails. Most Beginner trails are groomed regularly, and as a result, the term “groomer” also denotes blue and green trails. Intermediates will enjoy cruising steeper groomers and experienced skiers/snowboarders will race down them. Resorts typically don't groom their steepest, most difficult trails.
Heelside. The edge of the snowboard underneath your heels. Although a snowboarder will often spin midair and ride “switch,” the feet never change position in relation to the edge of the board.
Heli-Skiing. A form of backcountry skiing where the terrain is accessed by helicopter. Helicopters enable powder seekers to access untracked terrain without hiking. They are also faster and able to access more terrain than snowcats. Heli-skiing is typically guided and the guide is responsible for safety instruction, snowpack stability testing and finding the route. Heli-skiing tours can be one day or multi-day. Heli-skiing was pioneered in British Columbia and this continues to be a top destination for this sport with more than 34 different tour operators and a wide range of terrain. Heli-skiing is less available in the United States as there are a lot of regulatory hurdles. The largest concentration of U.S. heli-skiing operations is in Alaska.
Inversions. When the temperature feels warmer at the Summit of the mountain than at the Base. This phenomena is a real treat. It occurs because cold air is denser than hot air, making it want to naturally migrate downhill, allowing less-dense warm air to remain on top. We've experienced inversions at Steamboat, Telluride and Jackson Hole — probably not a coincidence that all three have gondolas to whisk riders to higher/warmer ground on frigid, but blue sky days.
"Jerry." Someone who is an embarrassment or clueless to the sport or life in general. Activities include wearing equipment incorrectly, having no idea what they are doing, or being generally annoying on the mountain. Made famous by Instagram.
Lifty. Lift operator. Typically work in teams and can help pull little ones up onto the chair from behind, will grab your dropped ski pole and hand it to someone on the next chair, and will tell you how great the conditions were the week before.
"Jerry" of the day (courtesy of "Jerry of the Day")
Magic Carpet. A moving sidewalk to transport skiers and riders up the hill. Generally used by ski schools to transport those just learning up the bunny hill to get comfortable. Magic carpets are easier to get on and off of than chairlifts, but access much smaller slopes.
Nordic/Cross Country/Telemark Skiing. Cross-country, or “Nordic” skiing is done on relatively flat, open terrain using narrow, straight skis. The equipment for this type of skiing differs from alpine skiing in that the heel of the boot is not attached to the back of the binding. Telemark skiing is a combination of both Nordic and alpine, in which the skier uses the detached heel bindings from Nordic skiing to descend the steep mountains of alpine skiing, or any other terrain including moguls. Requiring incredible balance, timing, and “flow,” Telemark is generally reserved only for the most advanced skiers and is often seen as a sign of true skiing mastery.
Taking a tow on the T-Bar
Loading up the magic carpet
Nose. The “front” end of a snowboard, which is generally pointed in the direction of travel. Although snowboarders ride in “reverse” with the tail in front for a variety of reasons (riding “switch”) most snowboards are constructed with a natural nose that is designed to be in front of the rider. Freeride, racing, and powder boards can often be recognized by shapes that incorporate a heavily accentuated nose.
Off-Piste. A true literal interpretation for any terrain outside of the marked trails runs. This covers everything from a foot or two off of the trail to further afield including the backcountry. Off-piste terrain is generally unsupervised, unmarked and ungroomed.
Packed Powder. Powder that has been compressed by skiers/boarders, recognized by its telltale crunch.
Parallel Skiing (aka French Fries). The position when skis are next to each other, rather than in a wedge or snowplow, as the skier moves down the mountain.
Pipe/Halfpipe. A build-up of snow shaped into a U-shape pipe to do aerial tricks.
Aerial view of a a halfpipe
Freestyle jump from a pipe
Pizza Pie. Also known as a snowplow or wedge. A technique for beginners to slowdown or brake by pointing the front part of the skis together into a "V" or wedge shape.
Powder. Fresh snow that tends to be dry and lightweight. Places like Utah (“The Greatest Snow on Earth”) and Steamboat Springs (“Champagne Powder”) have garnered reputations for plenty of fluffy powder or “pow.” In Utah, storm systems traveling from the Pacific Ocean lose moisture and “dry out” as they pass over the deserts of the Great Salt Lake Basin. When these storms finally slam into Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range, home to places like Alta, Snowbird, and Park City, they deliver snow that is much drier than usual. In Colorado and the northern Rockies the cold air retains less moistures, resulting in dry powder from ultra cold storms. In contrast, snowfall in California and Lake Tahoe can still be “powder,” but has earned the nickname “Sierra Cement” because it is wet and heavy.
Refills/Free Refills. When it snows so hard that your tracks are covered by the time you get back to the top. Free refills are also sometimes available in the glades, when dry powder falls from the trees and recovers your tracks.
Rip/Ripping/Ripper. An experienced skier who can keep it parallel, ski backwards, and barely moves in the moguls. Ripping includes
looking cool doing any of the above.
Rocker. A rockered ski has tips that slope up, almost like the base of a rocking chair. Modern, shaped skis use rocker to help stay afloat in deep powder. It also facilitates turn initiation, but can suffer from a “loose” feel, especially on harder snow. This is the reverse of camber. For more detail on ski features see our Guide to Buying Skis here.
Send It. "Let's go for it!" Typically screamed before attempting something without thinking or regard for your own or others' safety, whether it be jumping off a cliff or going down a double black as a beginner.
Sidecountry. Terrain accessible by a resort’s chair lifts, but requires leaving the in-bounds ski area, typically through approved gates, to access untouched terrain similarly to that found in the backcountry. Sidecountry often carries the same risks as the “true” backcountry, including trees, debris, exposed rocks, avalanches, and difficulty obtaining first aid or rescue. Resorts with significant side country to explore include Steamboat, Jackson Hole, Alta, Snowbird and Sunday River.
Sierra Cement. A term used to describe the heavier, wet snow that falls during warmer storms in the Sierra Mountains (Lake Tahoe region & Southern California). Sierra Cement can be a lot of fun (for some people, mainly snowboarders), but also a lot of work to carve through.
Shred/Shredding/Shredder. An experienced snowboarder who can take on any slope, jump, or bump. Shredding includes carving turns and looking cool doing it.
Skinning up the mountain
Skinning (aka uphilling or uphill touring). Climbing up a mountain slope on skis fitted with specialized bindings and adhesive skins that line the bottoms of the skis to grip the snow. At the top of the mountain, skiers can peel off the skins, lock in their heels, and swish downhill using the same equipment they used to climb up. Skinning has been popular in Europe for many years, though has only started becoming popular in the U.S. in the last few years and has been particularly prevalent following the COVID-19 outbreak and closure of resorts and chairlifts across North America. Some of the most popular resorts for skinning include AspenSnowmass, Snowbird, Crested Butte, Killington and Bolton Valley. Always check the resorts' uphill policy before going.
Slush. Melted snow, typically at the base. This occurs on warm days and is pretty common in the late spring. Slush is notably heavier than snow and can slow your skis so try to avoid it, but if it's unavoidable, make sure to build up some speed to get through it.
Splitboard. A snowboard that has been specially modified to separate into “skis” for the purpose of accessing the backcountry, mountaineering, and alpine touring (AT). The snowboard is sawn in half and special brackets are installed. On the ascent, a snowboarder will separate the two halves of the snowboard into “skis” fitted with special skins for going uphill. At the top, the snowboard will be reassembled using the brackets, allowing the athlete to ride down.
Summit. The “top” of the mountain. This generally refers to either the highest point in the resort that is accessible by chairlift, or the actual mountain peak. Most summits include a lodge/restaurant, ski lift patrol office, restrooms, and amazing views. At some resorts, like Snowbird, the tram does go to the top of the mountain. At other resorts, such as Park City, the lifts will drop you several hundred feet below the actual peak. Fortunately, most resorts will let you walk up for a true “top to bottom” run!
Stance (Regular or Goofy). Snowboards are ridden with a sideways stance in which either the right or left side of the body is pointing in the direction of travel. As a result, every rider will have to decide whether they are more comfortable riding with their right foot in the lead, known as “goofy,” or left foot in the lead, known as “regular.” There is no right or wrong answer. The snowboard will function equally well in either case and it is simply a matter of personal comfort.
Straps make it easy to carry skis (Store Your Board)
Straps can also secure skis while hiking (The Telegraph)
Straps. Nylon carrier that holds skis together and makes them easier to carry. Straps are useful for transporting skis around the base. They can also be useful for expert skiers while hiking. Straps should be simple to use and small, light enough to tuck away while not in use.
Stomp. Landing a jump or trick perfectly and riding it out smoothly.
Switch. On a snowboard, this is riding in the stance that is opposite from your usual. A normally “goofy” rider (right foot in front) that is snowboarding with their left foot in front is said to be riding switch. On skis, this means to ski backwards.
T-bar/(J-bar/Platter Lift/Rope Tow). Smaller lift where skiers/boarders sit on a pole between their legs or lean against a horizontal bar.
Tail. The “back” of the snowboard. Although it is normally behind the rider, a variety of situations and freestyle tricks call for riding with the tail pointed forward in the direction of travel. This different way of riding is known as “switch.” The design features of most snowboards will create a natural tail. However, some snowboards, called “true twins” are designed to be perfectly symmetrical, with a nose and tail that are indistinguishable.
Telemark Skiing. A combination of Nordic and alpine skiing, in which the skier uses the detached heel bindings from Nordic skiing to descend the steep mountains of alpine skiing, or any other terrain including moguls. Requiring incredible balance, timing, and “flow,” Telemarking is generally reserved only for the most advanced skiers and is often seen as a sign of true skiing mastery.
Terrain Park. A designated area of the mountain filled with jumps (kickers and booters) and other obstacles like handrails and boxes for freestyle skiers and snowboarders to show off. Imagine a skateboard park built into the side of the mountain. Creating a terrain park is a far more technical matter than simply dropping junk in the snow, and bigger is not always better, with the Rosa Khutor terrain park as the best example of a cautionary tale. Built for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the course was described as “overbuilt,” with one athlete saying it “felt like I was dropping out of the sky.” Some athletes basically revolted against running the course and changes were made after snowboarder Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone. The best terrain parks are carefully designed and meticulously engineered for both thrills and safety, and some of the most renowned can be found at WhistlerBlackcomb, Breckenridge, Park City and Mammoth.
Toeside. The edge of the snowboard underneath your toes.
Trail Ratings (Green Circle/Blue Square /Black Diamond/Double Black Diamond). The ranking system for difficulty with green circles being for beginners, blue squares for intermediates, and black/double black diamonds for advanced to expert skiers. Be aware that ratings are relative amongst trails within a particular resort, rather than an absolute system across the industry. For example, a black diamond at Snowbird is very different than a black diamond at Stratton and the blues at Jackson Hole feel a lot more like blacks at other resorts. For more detail on the comparability of ratings across resorts, see the New York Times' 5 Things Skiers May Not Know About the Trail Map here.
Tracked Out. A slope that previously contained fresh snow but has been absolutely destroyed by others throughout the day.
Traverse. To cross a slope horizontally in a zig-zag pattern rather than straight down. A wise choice if you find yourself on something steeper than you are ready for, but always make sure to look uphill and yield to uphill shredders before crossing.
Tree Well. Hollow space around the base of a tree formed as due to the shielding provided by the tree’s branches. Found in the backcountry as a result of build-up of snow. These are extremely dangerous as it can be very hard to get out if you fall in.
Vert. Short for vertical, the distance measured from the base to the summit of a mountain. Vertical ranges from a few hundred feet to several thousand at larger resorts. The largest verticals in North America are at Revelstoke and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia at 5,997 feet and 5,222 feet, respectively. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the largest in the United States at 4,105 feet. Many resorts in the Colorado Rockies have vertical in the 3,000 ft range, while the larger resorts in the Northeast are in the 2,000 feet range.
This term is also used to describe how much vertical you skied/rode in a day. This can be tracked on several apps and devices, some of our preferred tracking mechanisms include the slopes app and garmin watch.
Wedge/Snowplow. Also known as a pizza pie. A technique for beginners to slowdown or brake by pointing the front part of the skis together into a "V" or wedge shape.
White Out. Full on blizzard creating limited to no visibility. The contrast becomes zero because of snow, clouds, fog or wind. Make sure you review the weather forecast ahead of time and pack low light/visibility lenses or goggles.
Wipe Out/Yard Sale. Complete and utter failure while falling, typically involves losing pieces of equipment and calls of “Are you ok?” followed by laughter from the chairlift. A “yard sale” is distinguished by losing your poles and popping out of your bindings.
Wind chill. The real feel of the temperature outside. Strong winds make it feel much colder than the air temperature.
Have a term that we are missing? Still a mystery? Drop us a note to hello@theavantski and we'll get you an answer and add it to our list.