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A beginner’s guide to speaking ski

So you’re all set for your first snow holiday. But how ready are you for that first day on the slopes, when someone says, “Don’t forget your ski pass” or “We’re going to cut some serious powder today”?

If learning ski lingo sounds a little daunting, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We chatted to our snow specialists who break down the most common words and phrases you’ll hear on the slopes.

Alpenglow

A rosy glow that suffuses snow-covered mountain peaks at dawn and dusk on a clear day

Après-ski

End-of-day drinks, dancing on tables, live music, maybe a saxophone or two, stories from the slopes. Best experienced at La Folie Douce

Enjoying some aprés-ski with Club Med

Bail

To take an involuntary dive into the snow

Balaclava

A face mask used to cover exposed skin on the slopes; particularly handy on snowfall days while on a ski lift

Base

Main area at the bottom of a ski slope; also the underneath of a ski or snowboard

Carving

A turning technique that makes use of the edges of the skis or snowboard

Dump

Slang term for a massive snowfall 

Edge

Sharpened metal strip on the sides of skis or snowboards used for carving. Helps you to hold a smoother grip on the slopes while turning. Also used to control speed

Goosebumps

Uncontrollable and in abundance as you approach the slopes for the first time

Icing sugar

That first view of the mountain tops graced by the famous white powder

On a ski lift in the Alps

Powder

Fresh snow

Ski lift

Chair attached to a raised cable that takes you up a slope

Ski pass

A ticket or card that gives you access to the lifts

Snow plough

Technique used to help you slow down or stop while skiing. Spread your legs and point the tips of your skis together, making sure they don’t cross!

Traverse

To ski or snowboard in a zigzag fashion (side to side) in order to slow down or gain control down a slope

Wipe-out

When your body and the snow meet in the most unglamorous way

Club Med offers ski and snowboarding lessons for children

Slope colours

You should also be aware of the “colour” of the slope you’re on. Here they are by degree of difficulty:

1. Green – fine for beginners

2. Blue – a little more steep than green

3. Red – getting a lot more difficult

4. Black – for experienced skiers and snowboarders only

These are a few of the terms you’ll need to know when you start out. By the end of your first week you’ll be speaking ski like a pro!

Speak to a snow specialist at the Travel Agency by Club Med today and book all your flights, transfers, and accommodation. Your All-Inclusive Club Med holiday includes accommodation, food, drinks, in-resort activities, entertainment, after-parties and more. Also, kids stay for free* with Club Med so enquire with your snow specialist about this.

*T&Cs apply