Now you’re talking!

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 11/08/07 •  2 min read

Every sport has its lingo. It’s no different in skiing. Hang around enough, and you’re bound to hear some ski slang.

Here are a few of the more colorful terms:

White Ribbon of Death: Seen mostly during the early season, this is the thin stripe of snow present on the trails of many resorts. Riddled with rocks, sticks, and the bodies of skiers who’ve hit same.

Gaper: Not one of my favorite words. A “Gaper” is someone who’s clueless about skiing, ski fashion, and proper skiing etiquette. I believe the word comes from the gap that can occur between one’s goggles and hat and/or helmet (though if that’s the case, shouldn’t it be “gapper”?), and is often used to describe someone who’s new to the sport.

Death Cookies: Hard, evil chunks of icy snow that can occur when grooming machines try to break up a sheet of ice. Commonly found here in the East.

Yard Sale: A spectacular wipe-out that results in gloves, poles, and skis strewn across the mountain.

Sierra Cement: The opposite to powder. Thick, heavy stuff that’ll slow you down and grab your skis.

Skiing Switch: Skiing backwards. That’s why there are twin tips.

Snow snake: A mythical, invisible creature who’ll grab you when you ski, pulling you down and causing you to fall.

Face plant: This is what you do when you fall on your face.

Bluebird Day: The best. Used to describe a sunny day with blue, blue skies, and white, white snow. I love these!