A class of cable-based transport for snow sports where skiers and snowboarders are carried uphill aboard chairs, cars, cabins, or gondolas suspended from a cable in the air, as opposed to surface lifts, where they remain on the ground.
A sub-discipline of freestyle skiing and a competitive Winter Olympic event in which participants ski off of 2–4-metre (7–13 ft) jumps, propelling them into the air, and then attempt to perform various aerial maneuvers including multiple flips and twists before landing on a designated inclined landing hill.
A discipline of skiing that involves sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, as opposed to other types of skiing (such as cross-country) which use skis with free-heel bindings. Alpine skiing is popular as a recreational activity and competitive sport, both at ski resorts and off-piste.
Ski touring through very steep, alpine terrain. Alpine touring makes use of a specialized binding that allows the heel to be raised when ascending steep slopes but locked down for full support when skiing downhill.
Any area outside of the boundaries of a ski resort, or else not patrolled, groomed, or cleared of avalanche danger. Backcountry areas are usually remote from roads and services and only accessible by long tours, hiking, snowmobile, or helicopter.
A device that connects a ski boot to a ski or snowboard, holding the boot firmly so as to allow the skier or snowboarder to transfer the motion of their legs and feet to the ski or snowboard. Most bindings automatically release the boot if certain force limits are exceeded in order to minimize injury during a fall or impact.
A turning technique used in skiing in which the skier turns by tilting one or both skis onto their edges, whereupon the geometry of the ski's sidecut causes the ski to bend into an arc and naturally follow this arc shape to produce a turning motion. Performed most easily using specialized carving skis, carve turns allow skiers to retain much of their speed while turning because, unlike the stem christie and parallel turn, the skis do not create drag by sideslipping.
A specialized type of ski designed specifically for efficient carve turns, typically with a wide tip and tail and a relatively narrow waist.
A type of ski lift used for uphill transportation to the top of a ski slope, consisting of a series of chairs, each accommodating one to four skiers, suspended from a continuously moving cable. Skiers board the lift at the bottom of the slope and are deposited at the top, after which the empty chairs are returned to the bottom again.
Vibration of skis or snowboards caused by traveling at high speeds. Chatter can reduce contact between the ski and the snow and therefore the ability to stay in control.
Also called XC skiing, Nordic skiing, or simply cross-country.
A type of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Cross-country skiers propel themselves either by striding forward or side-to-side in a skating motion and by using their arms to push on ski poles against the snow. Cross-country skiing is popular as a competitive sport and recreational activity but is also used as a means of transportation.
The tension-release setting which determines the amount of force required for a ski binding to release from the skier's boot during a fall or impact. DIN is an acronym for the German Deutsche Institut für Normung.
A style of skiing performed on very long, very steep slopes (often from 45 to 60+ degrees from horizontal) in remote and unmanaged mountainous terrain, where the likelihood and consequences of a fall or injury present inherently dangerous conditions for skiers.
A style of snowboarding and sometimes skiing performed on natural, off-piste, ungroomed terrain without a set course, goals, or rules, eschewing man-made features such as jumps, rails, and half-pipes and emphasizing the use of natural variation in terrain to perform tricks.
A type of alpine skiing through areas with many trees, either off-piste or on a defined woods trail. Glade skiing is inherently more difficult and dangerous than skiing in treeless areas because of the many additional natural obstacles, which may include fallen logs, stumps, tree wells, concealed root systems, or unmarked cliffs and streams.
Snow that is carried down a slope from the top of a hill or mountain by skiers and snowboarders throughout the day. It is similar to powder but usually comes from hardpack, and therefore is not smooth like fresh snow.
The act or technique of generating forward momentum on skis by spreading the tips apart widely (in a "V" shape) and striding the legs forward independently of each other, so named for the geometric pattern this motion leaves behind in the snow. The technique can be useful when climbing uphill or traversing flat ground on skis.
An identification tag which indicates that a skier or snowboarder has paid for the use of one or more ski lifts at a particular ski resort, usually attached to the ticketholder's outerwear for easy access.
A large round protrusion carved out of a snow surface, especially a slope, and typically occurring in "fields" of multiple moguls. Moguls are created both naturally by the repeated turns of skiers and artificially.
A marked trail, run, or pathway down a mountain slope, reserved for skiing, snowboarding, or other alpine sports and generally within the boundaries of a ski resort. Pistes are usually groomed, marked with signage and indicated on maps, and rated by their difficulty, as opposed to off-piste areas.
Pain or discomfort in the lower anterior portion of the tibia (the shin) caused by prolonged pressing of the shin against the tongue of a ski boot. Shin-bang is common among both skiers and snowboarders, though the condition is generally not serious and is easily remedied.
The inward curvature of a ski or snowboard, measured by the difference between the width of the ski or snowboard at the narrowest point of the waist and the width at the widest point of the tip or tail. The curvature of the sidecut greatly influences the ski or snowboard's turning radius: drastic sidecuts allow users to make sharper turns.
The slipping of skis sideways down a slope, perpendicular to the direction in which they are pointed.
A narrow plank of semi-rigid material attached to the sole of the foot in order to allow the wearer to glide easily over snow, used in the sport of skiing. Skis are characteristically employed in pairs, one on each foot, and attached to specialized ski boots with bindings that secure the toe of the boot and in some disciplines also the heel.
A long-distance, usually point-to-point race on skis, often covering more than 40 kilometres (25 mi). Racers may use a variety of skiing techniques depending on the rules of the competition. Participation is usually open to the public and major events may feature thousands of racers.
Any team or organization, often employed by a ski resort, that promotes ski safety, enforces resort policies, and provides medical, rescue, and hazard prevention services to injured or disabled skiers and snowboarders, usually within the boundaries of a particular ski area but sometimes off-piste as well. Many ski patrollers have technical-medical certifications or EMS credentials, and may be trained in wilderness medicine, avalanche rescue, and/or evacuation by ski toboggan, snowmobile, or helicopter.
A lightweight handheld pole, often made from aluminum or carbon fiber, used by skiers for balance and propulsion, typically in pairs. Ski poles are commonly used in alpine, freestyle, and cross-country disciplines, but seldom in other disciplines such as ski jumping.
A resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and/or other winter sports, typically situated within a naturally mountainous area and providing groomedpistes and one or more ski lifts to guests for a fee. The term may additionally include other amenities and services or even entire towns adjacent to but operated independently of the ski area.
An establishment or program that offers lessons in skiing or snowboarding, typically at a ski resort. Ski schools may teach a variety of disciplines and techniques to students at a wide range of skill levels, from first-time skiers to advanced or expert skiers.
The part of the year when skiing, snowboarding, or other alpine sports are viable at a particular ski resort, generally corresponding to the period between the resort's opening date and closing date, during which ski lifts are operating and lift passes can be purchased or used. Because these sports depend largely on the weather, the start and duration of a ski season can vary considerably between resorts due to latitude, altitude, and other climatic factors, and even for the same resort often varies somewhat from year to year.
Removable strips of fabric that attach to the underside of skis, designed to allow the skis to slide forward on snow but not backward. Skins are often used in Nordic and touring disciplines to help skiers ascend backcountry slopes.
A material applied to the underside of snow runners such as skis and snowboards in order to improve their performance on various types of snow, typically either by minimizing kinetic friction with a so-called glide wax (used to make sliding easier in both alpine and cross-country disciplines) or by increasing static friction with a grip wax (used to increase traction in cross-country skiing). Both types of wax are designed to be specifically matched with the varying properties of snow, including crystal type and size and the moisture content of the snow surface.
The general direction or area to the left of a skier moving or facing downhill.
The general direction or area to the right of a skier moving or facing downhill.
A hybrid sport that attempts to combine the carving of skiing with the riding feel of snowboarding using a special piece of equipment called a skwal, which is similar to a snowboard or monoski in that both feet are attached to the same board; unlike a snowboard or monoski, however, on a skwal the feet are positioned one in front of the other, in line with the direction of forward movement.
A round-edged board of semi-rigid material used in the sport of snowboarding, placed beneath and usually attached to the soles of both feet to allow the wearer to glide easily on snow. Snowboards are much wider than skis (typically between 6 and 12 inches (15 and 30 cm)) to accommodate both feet on the same board, and are differentiated from monoskis in that the rider stands with feet more or less transverse to the longitude of the board, perpendicular to the direction of travel.
A closed-cab, truck-sized vehicle propelled by a continuous track that is designed to move on snow. Snowcats are employed for a wide variety of purposes from personal use to industrial applications; they are often used for grooming trails and for transporting skiers to off-piste slopes in a discipline known as "snowcat skiing".
A snowboard that can be separated into two ski-like halves and fitted with climbing skins to allow the rider to ascend slopes in the same manner as randonnée and Telemark skis. Unlike normal snowboards, splitboards usually have nose and tail clips, split hooks, and touring mounts. Splitboarding allows for free-heel movement and, with skins attached, provides uphill traction; the two halves can later be reconnected to form a regular snowboard for descent.
The technique of angling the tail of one ski away from the other ski, into a "V" position, while keeping the tips generally close together. Stemming is a fundamental movement in many techniques of turning and control.
A basic turning technique used in skiing, initiated by stemming one ski outward at an angle to the direction of movement, which forces a change in direction opposite to the stemmed ski, and then bringing the other ski parallel to the angled ski for the duration of the turn.
A skiing technique and competitive sport that combines elements of alpine skiing and Nordic skiing, in which skiers perform sharp, carving turns using a squatting and lunging motion with knees bent, typically on skis with deep sidecuts and specialized free-heel bindings.
Telemark skiers perform fast, sharp turns with a unique motion that involves bending one knee and lunging forward
A void or area of loose snow around a tree trunk and beneath its branches which forms because the branches prevent this space from receiving the same amount of snowfall as adjacent open spaces. Tree wells are a significant hazard to skiers and snowboarders because falling into one may result in serious injury, and they are often too deep to easily climb out.
The upper ski (i.e. higher on the hill than the downhill ski) or the one that will become the upper ski during a turn.
The difference in elevation between the base of a ski slope or mountain and its highest point. At ski resorts, this often refers to the highest point served by a ski lift rather than the geographical summit of a mountain.
The narrowest width of a ski as viewed from above, usually the area beneath where the ski boot is positioned.