Here’s a glossary of a few tidbits of ski language really designed to:

• Help you move from reading about skiing to actually skiing, and/or

• Convince those around you (when you happen to drop the terms lightly into a conversation) that you’re part of that elite crowd that dares only the great ski slopes.

Edging. The maneuver in which the weight of the skier is on the edge of the skis. The weight can be placed so that the same edge of each ski is dug into the snow, or so that both inner edges are dug into the snow.

Traversing. Skiing across the fall line, not down it. The traverse almost always involves edging, pressing the uphill edge of each ski into the snow.

Slalom or Linked Turns. Skiing downhill in a series of curves. The tracks left by slalom skiers on a field of virgin powder make attractive pictures in ski magazines.

Schuss or Schussing. Pointing the skis down the fall line and whooshing straight down is a maneuver used deliberately by experts and inadvertently by novices. The experts make it safely to the bottom.

Snowplow. Spreading the skis so the tips are almost touching and the tails are spread wide apart. Used by novices in stopping.

Snowplow Turn. Shifting the weight to one ski in a moving snowplow position and going into an easy turn.

Stem or Stem Christie. Halfway between a snowplow turn and the parallel.

Parallel. This is what novices will be doing when they finally learn to carve turns with skis parallel throughout the curve.

Telemark. A turn used by downhill skiers or cross-country skis. The skier adopts a sort of kneeling stance with his outside ski leading, his

inside trailing. In the old days, this was how all skiers turned. Then they invented stiff boots, step-in bindings, and skis with steel edges.

Extreme. What gutsy skiers, who are bored with skiing down the steepest trails at the resort, do: They liven things up by leaping off cliffs, hoping to land on a patch of snow larger than their skis.

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