Ski Lingo - Part 2

Here we go again.... More ski and boarding lingo to learn! 

I was writing the second part of these Ski Lingo articles when I stumbled across this post, on SnowBrains.com.  So, to be honest, rather than reinventing the wheel, I have republished this article with a few amendments on my part.  So full credit goes to SnowBrains.com for an entertaining addition to this series!  We even learnt a few new terms!

With a focus on snow conditions, our addition to the list Ski Lingo Dictionary looks something like this: 

Facials:  When you ski in powder which is sooooo deep it blows up into your face and you end up looking like a cross between Santa Clause and a yeti!  There is no downside to facials.... it shows us you've been there, skied the line and have the white hat or beard to prove it!

Blower Pow: When you take a turn in this stuff it blows into the air leaving a trail of frost behind you, allowing for some good face shots and even better turns.

Butter: Silky smooth like butter, but with a fast enough surface to get some speed while still feeling quite silky under the feet.

Chunder: Thick, heavy and non-cohesive…  this snow is non-optimal, and can come in many different varieties. Chunder is something you just know when you are skiing it.

Champagne Powder:  High class light fluffy powder typically found Heli-Skiing in the ranges surrounding Queenstown.. Regular snow takes 1 inch of water to make 12 inches of snow, champagne powder makes 30 inches of snow for every inch of water. This snow is pure bliss. Only found after the coldest of storms.

Cement:  Less commonly found up Coronet Peak with the share quantity of snow guns now in service, but which still is (affectionately) known as Concrete Peak due to heavy wet snow which forms a bulletproof surface that skis a little too hard and a little too fast.    Can also refer to general powder which can be hard to move through if you get in the thick of it. This is wet snow that forms at around 32 degrees and feels like cement when you are caught in it.

Clam Chowder:  Thick, chunky, wet, and lumpy snow. Kind of like the soup you eat but in snow form.

Cornice:  A large build-up of snow often found on the peaks of mountain tops. These things are sick to drop in from, but can be really unstable and can create avalanche danger.

Crud:  The name says it all.

Deep:  “It’s deep!” is often used to describe deep powder days. Usually over a couple of feet. People often describe how deep it is by where the powder reaches to on their body;  I.e Chest Deep, Waist Deep, Knee Deep.

Fluff:  Soft snow that is quite light and fluffy.

Fresh:  Used to describe recent snowfall that hasn’t been touched.

Hard Pack:  Used to describe snow that has been ridden over many times and is packed down and often icy.

Ice:  No longer snow anymore, ice is used to describe conditions where your edges slip out from underneath you because it’s so slick.

Mashed Potatoes:  Often associated with spring skiing, this snow is the effect of warm weather and the harsh rays of the sun.

Pillows:  A pillow is a formation of a large amount of powder, usually on rocks, which looks like a pillow and often explodes into a white fluffy cloud on impact.

Slush:  Snow that is often found during the spring, that is wet and sloppy because of warm temperatures and sun exposure.

Smoke:  Often used to describe snow that seems to float away like smoke when skied on.

Washed Out:  A term used to describe wet snow in spring.

Wind Lip:  Where the wind creates a large formation of snow which is usually followed by a drop.

Wind Buffed:  Crunchy on the top, soft in the middle. This type of snow is created by heavy winds.

WTF Snow:  This is snow that seems like it will be good until you ski on it. Looks like powder, but looks can be deceiving.

Yellow Snow:  Snow many of us are familiar with. Don’t eat this snow. You will regret it.

So these cover the multitude of snow condition terminology you may hear up on the mountain.    We still have more to add around equipment and clothes and yes, people! 

So stay tuned for our next post!

From the team at Spinnaker Bay Apartments, Queenstown - have fun out there!

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