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Canada's Catskiing Directory
Glossary

Alpine Skiing: Commonly known as downhill skiing. Uses skis, hard-shell boots and fixed-heel, releasable bindings.

Avalanche: Is a large volume of snow falling down a mountain because of weather, instabilities in the snow pack or some sort of human trigger. Avalanches can prove deadly and thus, avalanche avoidance is extremely important.

Avalanche probes: Are long rods commonly made of light metal that are used to probe down through the snow in path of an avalanche to locate people buried under the snow.

Avalanche Tranceiver: Also known as a Beacon, this is a device worn when skiing in the backcountry or out of bounds in order to locate party members caught in an avalanche. A transceiver transmits and receives a radio signal which can be detected by another transceiver. They can locate victims buried in an avalanche if the user is educated in their use and the subject is wearing the device properly.

Backcountry: The area beyond the groomed runs of a ski area or backcountry away from developed ski areas.

Bowl Skiing: Skiing on wide open bowl shaped slopes usually without trees and very prone to avalanches.

Cat skiing: Using a Cat or Snow Cat to ascend a mountain slop so that a group of skiers may ski down in the backcountry in fresh powder.

Champagne powder: is very light, dry, and smooth snow, which is great for skiing.

Cirque: A bowl shape or amphitheater sculpted out of the mountain.

Dump: An unusually large or heavy snowfall when it has been "puking" [see puking].

Elephant Snot: Wet, heavy snow not good for skiing.

Fat Skis: Very wide skis designed to perform in deep powder snow.

First Tracks: When a skier is the first to ski an area of fresh snow before anyone else; also known as "freshies".

Freshies: The act of getting first tracks down a run/route with fresh powder.

Granular snow: Is snow with the consistency of small pellets.

Mashed Potatoes: Wet, heavy snow not good for skiing.

Pillows: The soft tops of moguls or buried tree stumps or rocks after a fresh powder dump.

POW: Is a slang term for fresh powder snow [see powder].

Powder: Light, flufy, and deep snow accumulation which is freshly fallen and soft.

Puking: Heavy thick snowfall that accumulates to form good powder snow and freshies for skiing.

Snorkeling: When powder runs up the body and blurs a skier's vision [because a snorkel is required to breathe properly].

Snowboard: A board which is wider and shorter, with bindings that fix both feet in a position similar to surfing or skateboarding.

Snow Cat: A machine driven over the snow (on belts similar to a bulldozer's) to groom slopes for skiing or to transport people and gear.

Snowboarding: Riding on a wide and shorter board, with both feet fixed in a position similar to surfing or skateboarding.

Telemark skiing: is a style of skiing in which the heel is allowed to move upward and the opposing knee downwards. Telemark skiing is useful for backcountry skiing but is not essential as one can use "AT" alpine touring equipment.

Vertical Drop: The vertical distance from the top to the bottom of the mountain or slope.

Yard Sale: A fall which results in ski equipment being strewn all over the hill - looking like a yard sale.

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