Feature

The Ultimate Guide to the Modern-Day Ski Bum

Contrary to the popular belief, ski bums aren’t extinct—they’re just evolving.

By
November 2013

Dude, You So Totally Need To Know The Lingo
Avie – avalanche
Biff – a minor fall
Bowl – a steep, wide run, usually high on both sides
Bumps – moguls
Champagne Powder – dry, light snow; coined and trademarked in Steamboat Springs
Chatter – vibrations produced by a ski not holding its edge on ice
Chowder – chopped up powder
Chute – a steep, narrow run
Corduroy – parallel grooves in the snow made by grooming machines
Corn – spring snow that forms into small kernels
Cornice – an overhanging ridge 
of snow
Couloir – a narrow chute with rock walls on both sides; sometimes called a “coulie”
Face shot – powder flying up into your mug
Freshies – newly fallen snow
Gapers – spectators whose midslope perches, mouths agape at the stunning scenery, make it difficult for others to ski downhill
Glades – skiable terrain 
through trees
Huck – to purposefully ski off a cliff
Knuckle dragger – snowboarder
Liftie – ski lift operator
Off-piste – French term for un-groomed terrain
Out of bounds – terrain outside of the patrolled area of a ski resort
Pie – novice skiing technique where ski tips are pointed together to create a triangle; also “wedge”
Pipe – short for halfpipe, a feature in a terrain park
Poaching – skiing out of bounds
Run – a resort-designated trail
Ski bum – Stereotypically, a person, male or female, who shirks customary adult responsibilities and accepts a life of near financial insolvency and substandard living conditions to devote himself or herself solely to skiing or snowboarding
Sticks – skis
Telemarking – skiing that uses free-heel skis
Tree well – a skier-swallowing indentation in the snow around a tree
Yard sale – a major fall in which the rider loses gear and clothing as he plunges downhill

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