Getting to Grips with Ski Slang

The Curious Skier

18 January 2022

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Whenever you learn a new activity or sport, you are classed as a beginner. For any beginner there is a large degree of learning, especially around the nuances of the language used within the activity or sport. Skiing is no different. If you’re skiing for the first time this season, you’ll come across some ski-slang words and phrases that you probably have no clue as to what they mean. Fear not, for below we have listed some of the most important skiing lingo to know, so you can hit the slopes with confidence!


Bluebird day

This phrase is typically shouted by excited skiers and snowboarders first thing in the morning when they open the curtains and it denotes a cloudless, blue sky day, often after a night of heavy snowfall.




The complete opposite of a bluebird day, a white out is when the snow-clouds roll in and you can barely see your hands in front of your face. Best to sit this one out in the chalet. Check out our blog post for our favourite ways of waiting out a whiteout at Chalet Floralie.



Tracked out

When fresh snow has been skied or boarded to death and there are no fresh lines available.



Snow plough

This is the first technique new skiers learn when starting to ski, in which you point your toes inwards. In turn, this points your skis inwards and allows you to use your weight to turn right and left or come to a stop altogether.



Magic carpet

Used by those learning to ski, a magic carpet is essentially an uphill conveyor-belt to help beginners climb back up nursery slopes.




The best conditions for skiing – fresh powder!




The sharpened metal strips on the sides of your skis, used for gaining control on the snow and enabling a good, solid turn.



Parallel turn

A technique new skiers learn once they’ve mastered the snow plough, in which your legs turn in parallel, letting your skis do the work as you turn.




Some might call it the ultimate ski-technique, “carving” is where you let your skis do the work in which a skier leans right over the edges of the skis, creating a series a clean turns often in giant S-shaped swoops.




When there has been a significant fresh fall of snow.




A term for pistes that have been barely skied on, and you are one of the first to carve tracks in the snow.




The bumps and mounds that form in the snow by the turns of skiers and often found on black runs and the side of red runs.




Skiing isn’t just about being on skis and hurtling yourself down a mountain, oh no. It’s also about the time spent in the bar at the end of the day, a.k.a. après ski. This is about drinking beers and shots, swapping stories about the day and dancing on tables in your ski boots until the wee hours.


Have we missed any words or phrases? Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram pages!