Cold lingo: Do you speak ski?

By From page B3 | December 12, 2012

As we all eagerly await a big storm or two to blanket the Sierras, why not brush up on some slope speak? Here is a skiing glossary.Mou

Alpine skiing: Downhill skiing.

Apres ski: Refers to the end of the day, after the slopes are closed when skiers go to restaurants and bars to socialize and talk about the day’s fun and adventures.

Base lodge: A lodge at the base of the slopes, usually containing a variety of skier services, from ticketing to food.

Bowl skiing: Skiing in open, above-tree-line areas, down broad expanses without trails. Bowl skiing is often, but not always, for more advanced skiers.

Cross-country skiing: Skiing on a generally flat surface, usually through wooded areas, on a specialized type of ski, thinner than a downhill ski.

Glade skiing: Downhill skiing in open areas surrounded, sometimes quite closely, by trees.

Gondola: An enclosed lift in which skiers stand or sit, usually taking a minimum of six persons at a time.

Heliskiing: Skiing in which the participants are transported by helicopter to an area inaccessible by lifts.

Moguls: Refers to bumps formed on the ski slope, formed naturally after many skiers ski down a slope — usually enjoyed by intermediate and advance skiers.

NASTAR racing: An acronym for National Standard Racing. These are runs on standardized courses on which skiers are timed, their results ranked and the skiers rated.

Never-ever: Refers to an individual who has never skied, usually someone who signs up for a first-time ski lesson.

Powder snow: Fresh snow that has fallen at a very low temperature. The crystals do not stick together, giving the snow a dry, light feeling and the consistency of powder. Skiers can zip through powder snow.

Quad: A chair lift, carrying four people, that comes in two basic varieties. A high-speed detachable quad allows the lift operator to remove or add chairs depending on the skier load. A fixed-grip quad is a lift with chairs that cannot be removed.

Rope tow: A continuously moving rope that pulls skiers up the mountain as they stand on their skis. Rope tows usually are located on novice trails.

Ski in, ski out: Lodging so close to slopes whereby guests can conveniently walk to the slopes without needing transportation.

Ski touring: Off-trail skiing in less- accessible areas, usually reached only by hiking or snowcat.

Snowcat skiing: Skiing in areas accessible only by snowcat, a vehicle able to haul skiers up the mountain.

Snowmaking: Refers to machines that make abundant artificial snow.

Surface lifts: Lifts that pull the skier up the mountain along the ground, such as rope tows and T-bars.

T-bar: A lift that pulls skiers up the mountain by means of a bar placed behind the skiers’ legs.

Terrain park: Think of a terrain park as a challenging and fun-filled obstacle course featuring hits, splines, table tops and even an occasional quarter-pipe. They are designed to challenge the skill level of all skiers and riders.

Tree line: The altitude above which trees do not grow on the mountain, giving skiers an unobstructed expanse on which to ski.

Vertical drop: The distance straight down the mountain, measured by the difference between the altitude at the top of the mountain and the base.

— Courtesy of the National Ski Areas Association

Special to The Enterprise

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