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Slang on the Slopes

Like all good fanatics, skiers and snowboarders have developed their own unique terminology. In some cases, the fun-loving slang is universal between the two disciplines, and in other cases, it is derogatory toward the other. Either way though, the slopes are full of enough jargon and lingo to symbolically push old man Webster over the proverbial edge of the mountain.

The “milk run” is the first run of the day and “plankers” do it on skis, while “knuckle draggers” do it on a snowboard, or “lunch tray.” If you’re a “Betty,” you’re a novice female snowboarder, while “chicks on sticks” can be any group of girls or women on skis. Hopefully, they are wearing a “brain bucket” for head protection and their “chatter” refers not to their rapid conversation, but to the unwanted vibration of their skis or board when running at speed. A small snowboarder might be referred to as a “grom” and anyone who ventures into closed terrain could be considered a “poacher.”

A “dump” has nothing to do with a trip to the bathroom, but has everything to do with a significant snowfall. Speaking of lavatory references, “pooping” refers to sitting way back on your skis while bent at the waist, which usually results in making “toilet turns” all the way down the slope. This is considered bad form for adults, but “lift lickers,” kids who can’t resist sticking their tongue on the chairlift bar, enjoy doing it for fun.

If the snow is really good, it’s referred to as “epic,” if too soft “mashed potatoes” and if too hard “boiler plate” or even “bullet proof.” On occasion, good snow turns to “crud” after too many skiers or snowboarders have used it to get their “freshies” early in the day, causing late day conditions to become “gnarly.” Worse yet, “death cookies” are present after extensive snowmaking and grooming leave big frozen chunks of ice in the middle of the trail. This, of course, could cause a potential “yard sale” should some poor sap wipe out, leaving their equipment strewn across the trail in plain view of the chairlift.

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