Slang on the Slopes

“Goofy” refers to leading with your right foot on a snowboard where you might “jib” in the Terrain Park or “shred” high speed carving turns. Done well, these could be considered “phat” and done poorly they could be considered “wack.” Either way, a “hucker,” flying high through the air could end up a “bono” should they smack into a tree. Of course, “snow scum” refers to any skier or snowboarder refusing to follow the responsibility code or other slope side etiquette, while “run rubbish” is any group blocking passage on the trail. This same group, or any group like it, would be considered “vermin” if blocking access to the lift line or “gapers” if pausing to take in the view.

“Schussing” on skis is straight lining down the “fall line” without turning, and “ripping” is good high speed carving. However, either one could result in a “snotsicle” due to the wind chill reacting with a runny nose. Incidentally, any parent using a leash or harness to teach their young child on the slopes would be referred to as a “dog trainer” and is usually well equipped to handle partially frozen mucous.

Perhaps you consider yourself “old school” and you believe most of this slang to be the work of young punks with no regard for tradition or nostalgia. In that case, you better make sure your “wicket” doesn’t impede your “stem Christie” resulting in a “face plant” of epic proportions. Even worse, a poorly executed “wedeln” on your long straight skis could cause you to become a “rag doll,” cart wheeling down the slope. After all, some “hoe dad” is likely to be watching from his perpetual seat in the lodge, glad he is just a “poser” instead of an old fashioned “fruit booter” like you.

Pondering such linguistic nonsense on a recent ride up the gondola at Gore Mountain, I couldn’t help but wonder how the English Dictionary would read differently if old Webster new the pure joy of “vertical rise,” finding the “sweet spot” and “shredding the gnar.” Instead, the unfortunate “flatlander” never knew what pleasure awaited him on the proverbial edge of that mountain.

John Bernardi is an avid lifelong skier and freelance writer. He can be contacted through his website at www.slopesider.net.

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