The ABC’s of Snowboarding/Skiing

Here’s a basic rundown of common skiing and snowboarding vocabulary.  

Types of Runs:

  • Bunny Hill- the area of any ski mountain that’s specifically set aside for kids and beginners.  It has a slight incline and lots of extra room for people to fall
  • Backcountry- the unmarked trails that are beyond the areas of the mountain that are accessible by the lifts. Only the most advanced riders should explore this area
  • Groomed- is a run that’s been combed over by grooming equipment, resulting in a smooth, wavy surface that looks like “corduroy” 
  • Bowl- a large, open, bowl-shaped area of a mountain, usually with few trees and lots of snow
  • Mogul run- a run that has big bumps, which are very challenging.  Most are on black diamond runs
  • Chutes- extremely challenging trails that dodge between trees or rocks, usually at the top of the mountain, marked with double-black diamonds
  • Cat tracks- very thin trail that cuts across a mountain, slight decline
  • Traverse- to ski or slide-slip against the fall line
Many of the skiers and boarders who ride on the East Coast slopes haven’t discovered that there are many different types of snow, and your snow equipment responds differently, based on the snow type.  
Types of Snow:
  • Powder- fresh snowfall that’s low in moisture and is the best to ride out in, West Coast generally has more fluffier snow
  • Crud- powder that has been skied over
  • Corn- hard re-frozen pellets of snow
  • Crust- hard packed snow that’s frozen, but not icy
  • Mashed Potatoes- warm, melting snow, most occurring in the spring time
  • Sierra cement- wet, heavy, snow that is like cement that isn’t melting
Types of Conditions:
  • Bluebird day- most gorgeous day imaginable, bright, sunny
  • Vertigo- foggy conditions, which makes it easy to lose your sense of balance
  • Flatlight- cloudy day, can trigger headaches, best to use yellow-lens goggles

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