ski terminology

Ski Terminology

Ski jargon and ski terminology all pretty much equal the same thing – have fun and enjoy yourself, but here is a useful little guide to some of the word you might hear people say – and what it actually mean!

The Most Popular Ski Terminology

  • Aprés ski: the time after skiing to relax and have a drink and dance
  • Binding: The connection between the ski boot and the ski.
  • Cable car or Tram: Cabins, suspended on cables, transporting skiers to the top of the mountain.
  • Fall line: The most direct route down the hill.
  • Gondola :Small suspended cars that carry four to ten skiers up the hill.
  • Off-piste: un-prepared and un-patrolled ski areas.
  • Drag lift: A moving rope that skiers grab on to be towed up the mountain.
  • Tip: The front of the ski shaped like a shovel.
  • Salopettes / Pants – the trouser part of your ski clothing.
  • Sidestep: To climb a hill using sideways steps up the hill.
  • Ski brake: An attachment on your skis that stops the skis from going downhill when you are not attached.
  • Snowplow: To put skis in V-position to turn or slow down mainly when you are learning to ski.
  • Tail: The back of the ski.
  • Traverse: To ski across the mountain rather than down.
  • White out: Poor visibility due to a combination of fog and snow.

How are ski pistes graded

In European ski resorts, pistes are classified by a colour-coded system. There are some differentiations in some countries but in most cases:
Green stands for slopes suitable for beginners – large, open, with gently slopes.
Blue are easy runs with slope gradients of no more than 25%.
Red is an intermediate slope, steeper or narrower than a blue one.
Black are slopes for very experienced skiers.
Orange ones are extremely difficult and require expert skills and years of experience.
Yellow stands for off – piste un-patrolled slopes.
And for a final bit of help check out our ski holiday tips for a guaranteed great first ski trip.

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