Your Very Own Ski Glossary

In theory, skiing is pretty easy. If you consider yourself a newbie to the slopes, you’ve probably heard various terms and words thrown around. To most, they don’t mean much. But if you’re planning on becoming a regular on the pistes, we’ve got a few definitions that will make life a little bit easier when understanding the ski terminology.

Apres Ski

Apres Ski is French for after-ski! So there’s actually no skiing involved in this. It refers to the fantastic activities you can enjoy after you’re done on the slopes for the day.

Black Runs

These are steep slopes that are for advanced skiers only.

Blue Runs

Unlike the black runs, blue runs are perfect for beginners and kids! They’re great for gently easing yourself into the exciting and fast world of snow sports.

Backcountry Skiing

This is where extreme skiers like to go. Unmarked ski slopes are just outside of the ski resorts and happens in the more remote parts of the mountains. Skiers have to climb their way to the top to ski back down…no lifts here!


Successful carving involves the skier or snowboarder turning on the edges of their board or skis therefore carving tracks in to the snow!

Freestyle Skiing

This is where skiers focus more on tricks rather than speed or jumping.


Not to be confused with the boats in Venice, the gondolas in ski resorts are enclosed lifts that will take you up the mountains.


Helicopters can take you to more remote parts of the mountains where you can ski and carve into beautifully untouched snow in the more inaccessible off-piste areas.

Lift Pass

You’ll need this to get anywhere! Lift passes grant you access to chair lifts, ski lifts and gondolas to get you up the mountains. Lift passes very in price depending on where you go.

Milk Run

It’s your first run of the day on the slopes. Give it’ll get into the swing of it.

Nordic Skiing

A term used for cross-country skiing. It’s named after the Norweigans who happen to be the best cross-country skiers in the world!

Off-Piste Skiing

Covered in more powder snow than the more crowded piste areas, off-piste skiing is on unregulated ski zones where the snow isn’t as groomed.

Packed Powder

Brand new groomed snow, perfectly groomed and the best surface to ski on!

Red Run

Not as hard as the black runs but not as easy as the blues. The red runs are the perfect place for intermediate skiers who want to increase their skills and have fun.


This iconic winter Olympic event is where skiers weave between closely spaced out gates at high speeds. Exhilarating and tricky, the slalom is where you can watch the professional athletes work the slopes.

Twin Tips

These are great for freestyle skiers, allowing them to ski down the slopes backwards using the twin tip skis.

White Out

This where the snow fall is so heavy that you can barely see a few yards ahead of you!

Contact our team of multi award-winning luxury ski property experts today to secure your ideal chalet. You’ll be out enjoying the slopes in no time.

+44 (0)1244 629963

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