Last month, we talked a little about the jargon on the slopes. It can definitely be daunting keeping up with all the conversations if you’re new to the scene but fear not, we’ve got you covered! Our first lingo guide took you through all the skiing slang from A-G, and there was enough to fill a whole blog article. Now, we’re going to run you through G-Z, so you don’t confuse your stomps with your wipe-outs on your budget ski holidays.
Gnar: This one has a few associations in skiing, but it often used in the place of the word gnarly; a ‘high’ on the scale of epic and danger. “Shredding some gnar” is a phrase you will often hear on the slopes, but also in other extreme sports.
G.N.A.R. can also refer to the acronym, standing for ‘Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness’. This is an entertaining ski game created by Shane McConkey after Dr Robb Gaffney released a book called “Squallywood” - a guide which gives lines in Squaw Valley numerical value. Essentially, the game requires you to compete with friends. The more you embarrass yourself or perform rad tricks or tasks, the more points you earn. Do something lame, and you lose all those precious points you’ve earnt. Hilarious tasks such as calling out pros can earn you some serious points. This is definitely a game for a daring and competitive group of friends because it can get really competitive and embarrassing, just don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Grooming: This one’s more for the maintenance crew, but maybe something that pops up in conversations from time-to-time. No, it’s nothing to do with hair but more about maintaining the trails. New snow is spread over them to smooth out any bumps, ice or obstacles that could be awkward or deadly to skiers. Grooming is performed in tractors known as snowcats or piste bashers which drag giant rakes across the snow. For the steeper slopes, winches are utilised so that the rakes can be dragged up the incline.
Jib: You may not see this if you are a beginner to the slopes, but a jib refers to riding a snowboard or skis across a non-snow surface. Popular choices include rails and logs, and it is a new phenomenon which sees moderate to advanced skiers show off their skills in new territories. We highly recommend that beginners do not turn to jibbing but learn in a safe environment with an instructor.
Kicker: Jealous of those awesome trick videos plastered across YouTube? Well, a kicker, a purpose-built jump, will allow you to try out some rad tricks for yourself!
Liftie: Perhaps an obvious one when you think of it, lifties refer to the ski lift operators. These guys are a wealth of free local knowledge because they have their ears to the ground (metaphorically).
Line: Your line is the proposed route down the mountain ridge.
Lunch/Launch Tray: Slang for a snowboard.
Magic Carpet: Well, you won’t be doing any flying on this, but magic carpets are a conveyor-belt-like surface lift that will take you up to the top of a slope. You will find these typically on smaller, bunny slopes designed for kids and beginners.
Park Rat: Those who will not leave the confines of their favourite snow park playground.
Planker/Two-Planker: Slang for skiers.
Pow/Pow-Pow: A shortened version of powder, it refers to light, dry and fluffy snow.
Rail: A rail is a metal bar that has been built for skiers and snowboarders to slide along. Usually featured in snow parks, comedy usually derives when novices try to attempt them and fail. Just make sure not to attempt it if you haven’t polished your skills!
Ripper: A ripper is an accomplished skier, who ‘rips’ up the slopes like a legend. They are skier through-and-through, living and breathing the ski-world.
Schussing: Schussing is when you ski downhill without turning. This is usually done when a slope flattens out, but some may attempt it to gain their GNAR points.
Scissoring: The crossing of ski tips, consisting of edge-to-edge contact. This can be quite the kafuffle for those that aren’t used to doing it!
Shredder: Just like a ripper, a shredder is a talented snowboarder who knows the slopes like the back of their hand.
Sick: One that you may know from common slang, sick is a phrase for something extreme, amazing and totally awesome!
Six-pack: No, this isn’t about beer or bods. It’s slang for a chairlift that carries six people, perfect for those group holidays!
Ski Bum: A person whose unearthed the best alternative to working!
Snowplough/Pizza: This is a beginner’s way of putting on the brakes when on the slopes. It’s done by bringing the front tips of the skis together, which brings the tails apart, and applying some pressure on the inside edges of the skis.
Stomp: Landing a sweet trick.
Tracked Out: A slope that’s had a lot of visitors, so is not so fresh anymore!
Traverse: Skiing in a zigzag pattern, which helps to keep the speed down on a steep surface or allows the skier to cut across the mountain to get to the pow pow.
Twin Tip: This is when the skis are turned up at both the tail and tip ends, which helps the skier ski backwards easily. This was once popular with freestyle skiers because it helped with take-offs and landing. As skis have developed in design, we see many twin tip shapes in big mountain skis because their shape allows for smooth rides in powder conditions.
Waist Deep: A term for snow depth measurement (taken when there is too much powder).
White Out: Caused by heavy snowfall, fog or sometimes a combination of the two, a white out is when visibility drops to almost nothing. These days, we head to the trees!
Wipe Out: This is when a trick ends miserably, with a painful and unpoetic fall.
So, here it is, the end of our A-Z guide to slope slang. Be sure to use them correctly on your skiing holiday at Hucksters Ski Lodge.
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