Terminology question(s)

Discussion in 'New to Skiing?' started by marjoram_sage, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    I wanted to start a thread where beginners can ask skiing terminology questions.

    A couple to start.

    - What is the flat section of a trail called? One you have to keep pushing on your poles to get through and spend a lot of energy. Sometimes this is in middle of trail and often at the end of trail before the lift and just at the top of the lift.
    - What is the word for icy lumps sometimes found on groomed trails?
    - What is the meaning of stem in reference to turns?
     
  2. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Death cookies

    I will let others reply too.
     
  3. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    - What is the flat section of a trail called? One you have to keep pushing on your poles to get through and spend a lot of energy. Sometimes this is in middle of trail and often at the end of trail before the lift and just at the top of the lift.

    At the end it's usually called a "run out". Mid-trail I don't know of a name.

    - What is the word for icy lumps sometimes found on groomed trails?

    Death Cookies

    - What is the meaning of stem in reference to turns?

    Moving the tail of your ski out to the side. Done with both skis in opposite directions, you are in a wedge. (Not sure I have that one exactly right.)

    There are lots of ski dictionaries out there. Here are a few :

    https://www.ski.com/ski-glossary
    https://www.skis.com/Glossary-of-Ski-Terms/article-12-18-2012,default,pg.html
    https://mpora.com/skiing/skiing-words-defined-guide-words-phrases-terms-slang-used-world-skiing
    https://www.chillfactore.com/tips-and-tricks/skiing/ski-terminology/
    https://www.skipeak.net/blog/the-modern-day-ski-lingo-language
     
  4. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    Snowboarder Trap or Snowboarder Control, I think.
     
  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    wow.. this is a pretty funny and clever term. I'm assuming the snow quality on these trails would be better. I'm curious if some people actively seek out trails with Snowboarder traps.
     


  6. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    When I was a teenager learning to ski in the mid 1960s my dad taught me a Stem Christy turn because that is how they skied in the 1930s. You start a snow plow and if you want to go left, you bring the left ski parallel to the right ski. To turn right, go back into a snowplow and then bring the right ski parallel to the left ski.
     
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  7. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I've always called it a traverse.
     
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  8. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    "Traverse", IME, is used to refer to a very narrow ski trail going across the fall line, used to traverse across slopes to other paths down, usually on steep or difficult terrain.

    I think the OP is just talking about flat areas of a normal run. Sometimes I hear terrain referred to as "benchy" if it's steep, then flat, then steep, then flat, etc... which I suppose means you could call the flat sections "benches". (A definition of "bench" is terrace or shelf.)
     
  9. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald Out on the slopes Skier

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    I just call it "a flat" or "the flat"
    "Keep your speed up here or you'll have to pole across the flat..."
     
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  10. Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    How is it oriented in relation to the fall line? If it's in the same orientation as the fall line, it's a flat, and if it's towards the end of the run, it's a runout. At the top of the lift, it's the unloading area, although that's more immediately around the lift. If you're on a flattish section that has no purpose other than to get you from one place to another and you're oriented across the fall line, it's probably a cat track, especially if it's the width of a snowcat/groomer.
     
  11. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I call it a traverse if it's across the mountain relative to the fall line, whether it's getting to another trail or not.

    A cat track to me is considerably longer than a traverse and might be a dirt road in summer.

    I call it The Flats if it's an extended flat section heading "down" the mountain. But it would have quite extended and to be something you build up speed for intentionally just to make sure you don't come to a total stop, not just a bench.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    A stem is a step or slide out of the ski. I think the newer version is the whole ski, not just the tail. Since it's going at an angle to the direction of travel the tail will be more though. It's a useful technique in trees, steeps or even moguls.
    A stem essentially cuts the top of the turn off and gives you an instant steering angle.

    Here's the very old one which involves a down stem first. This is probably more like what @DanoT's dad taught him.
    Then the stem christiania which is more like the more modern version, stem christie. Both were developed by Sondre Norheim in the 19th century. (Of course, maybe the Mongols had already done it). Christiania was a section of what is now Oslo, Norway.




    Here's an interesting steeps use. It's not so much the "wide platform" that's useful, but the fact that you've completed a good portion of the turn once finished.

     
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  13. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    By analogy, if there is a flat section at the top before the good stuff, I call it a run-in.
     
  14. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    My group leader at PSIA's National Academy (Snowbird) a few years ago had us doing stem turns down a bowl. Our goal was to use stem turns, similar to the ones in that second video, to eliminate all left-right travel, to ski down a line no wider than our skis' length. The metaphor was to pretend we were skiing down a fallen log.

    Easy! Totally do-able. The reasoning for doing this was for us to be able to get down a steep narrow couloir safely without having our skis shoot off into a wall of rock. We didn't get a chance to use those stem turns in a couloir that week, though.
     
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  15. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Stem TURNS are one-ski-tail-displaced turns that form a wedge that completes the turn.

    Stem CHRISTIES are one-ski-tail-displaced turns that end with the skis parallel.
     
  16. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    @Kneale Brownson,
    These turns were stem-steps, or stem christies if that's a more specific term.
    We stemmed the new outside ski out, with its tip near but slightly behind the old outside ski.
    We stepped it out there, we did not slide its tail out.
    Then we used it to turn, and came to a stop directly below where we were standing when we initially stemmed it out.
    We did bring the skis parallel as we did this, lifting the tail of the new inside ski to match it, or sliding it over, whatever worked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  17. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Bob Barnes The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing has a ton of the terminology that you're looking for.
    I know he has a digital version, perhaps he'll make it available.
     
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  18. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    It WAS available on Epic. I have it downloaded to my computer. I also have the paper version
     
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  19. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    I am the master at this, and wish I could get rid of it! I've been working on it for 3 seasons now. My advice to those learning? Do NOT pick up this horrible habit.
    Yep, flats.
     
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  20. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Interesting in the second video, they step to the new outside ski as well as the inside ski.
     

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