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PEDIA OF SK O IING CL AND CY SN ) EN OW D BRIDGE BO LY A (HIGH AR A DIN G

PH

BY

DANIEL W

WS K I RO C L A

AND C

HRIS WRIGH

JU BY ION I LL USTRAT

STIN METZ

BY DANIEL WROCLAWSKI AND CHRIS WRIGHT


PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JUSTIN METZ

OT

Bunny Slope
A semi-tilted area where inexperienced adults fraternize with toddlers while enduring the smirks of onlookers; an inescapable rite of passage for most skiers.

Aprs
Literally, a er (Fr.). Refers to non-slope-related activities, especially eating, drinking and bragging endlessly about ones exploits on the trails.

Should you happen to spot a burly bartender wearing a baby-pink cowboy hat at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, chances are hes being punished. The sta has decided that on Sunday nights they should wear cowboy hats, explains Charlee Starr, a 20-year employee. If you show up to work without a hat, you have to wear a pink one. This fabled Jackson Hole, Wyo., institutionits been around in one form or another since the 1930s doesnt take its Wild West theme too seriously. The barstools are made of saddles and the place is clu ered with what its owner speculatively refers to as artifacts. The music, however, is another ma er. Willie Nelson has performed here, as have Tanya Tucker, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. And if your legs can handle it a er a day on the slopes, there are even lessons in how to execute the aprs two-step.

Nowhere is the rookie skiers sense of ignominy more acute than on the dreaded bunny slope. And Ski le Gaps Bruce Eaves, a veteran instructor at the excellent Quebec school, has seen it all in his 42 years of teaching: the tumbles, the tears, the slow-motion pileups. One thing hes learned is to not be openly amused by such spectaclesthe prospect of ridicule being a major terror for the uninitiated, second only to unexpected contact with trees. So Eaves rst step in ge ing his students o the bunnies is to lighten the mood. If people are having fun, he says, theyre going to learn be er. The next step, not surprisingly, is addressing the runninginto-a-tree issue. Ge ing speed under control is a big priority for us.

CelebritySpotting
A maneuver involving a slackening of the jaw and an extending of the index nger, coupled with a variation on the phrase Oh my God, its Heidi Klum!; may result in injury if practiced at high speeds.

At the Jerome Hotels J-Bar, in Aspen, Colo., the most uncool thing you can do is ask a celebrity for an autograph, says hotel general manager Tony DiLucia. This is partly why celebs from John Wayne to Johnny Depp have felt comfortable planting their elbows on the ornate Chippendale bar at this circa-1889 watering hole. Though the Jerome is reopening in December after a redesign, the J-Bar remains largely untouched (save for some new furniture and a lick of paint). Certainly, no one is in a hurry to change the spirit of the place. All are welcome, says DiLucia, and all are treated the same.

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Double Black Diamond

Theres something gratuitous about the double in double black diamond, a term that calls to mind stacked adjectives like super-mega-huge. Why not just go with black-diamond-times-innity? At Colorados Telluride Ski Resort, this isnt so far off Describes trails reserved for those the mark. The Mak-M-Stairs-Plunge (steep, bumpy, whose aprs-ski is exclusively unimaginably fast) is tough on the way down, devoted to interminable boasting. while Palmyra Peak, with its 50-degree pitch, is (Note: Novices who inadvertently just as hard on the way up (requiring a hike of end up on a DBD should sob extravagantly until help arrives.) more than an hour from the lift to reach the top).

Ego Snow

Snow whose consistency is so ideal, whether by artice or a conuence of natural conditions, that even juddering rookies get to turn like a pro.

Rising to about 7,500 feet, Kronplatz is the Alpine equivalent of Tom Cruise: not the tallest fellow on the block,

but extremely well turned out. Few ski areas on earth are subjected to such meticulous, obsessive grooming as this picturesque resort in Italys Dolomites. The nightly eorts of Kronplatzs slope heroesthe folks who do the

groomingare especially heroic to those for whom turning and stopping are issues. Making turns on good snow is be er than on bumpy or broken snow, deadpans Kronplatz spokesman Artur Costabiei. It helps to prevent injuries and accidents. Hear, hear.

Feet

The two lumps of ice a ached to the ends of a skiers legs; a word o en used in conjunction with the phrase are killing me.

Forget what the how-tos tell you. The rst thing you need to know before hi ing the slopes is this: Snow is cold; the closest body part to the snow is the foot; ergo brrr. Which is why we love the Therm-ic Footwarmer SmartPack Remote rc1200 with Heat-Ready Insoles ($430). The ba ery-powered insoles have three heat se ings, adjustable by remote control. Why didnt evolution think of that?

Goggles

detail stu like altitude, temperature, speed, jump Specialized eyewear whose benets analytics, run count and are twofold: They look cool and geographic locationall of they help prevent you from hurtling which can be stored on your headlong into stu. computer for subsequent bragging sessions. Oh, and the If youre keen to inject lens is fog-resistant, which is a li le science ction into also kind of important. your day on the mountain, then Zeal Optics Z3 GPS Live Goggles ($649) are the way to go. They look like something you might wear while fending o an alien invasion, and their smart, polar-/ photo-everything lens would certainly come in handy if said aliens happened to be wielding powerful intergalactic glare guns. But the real ooh factor here lies in the in-goggle display screen, which provides Minority Reportlike graphics that

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Indy Grab

The most basic of myriad snowboarding grabs; involves grasping the edge of ones board, midair, in an eort to elicit gasps from onlookers.

Heli-skiing
An activity for those skiers whose prowess is so o-thecharts that they can only nd suitably challenging terrain via the skies (a.k.a. o-o-o-piste).

So youve nally gured out how to execute a turn without doing a face-plant or sliding down the mountain on your back. Congratulations. Your sense of accomplishment, however, will rapidly falter when you nd yourself surrounded by a swirl of 720s and ying tail-grabs on the trails. Dont frethelp is at hand. From the company that

helped dene the sport comes Burton Snowboards Learn to Ride, covering everything from how to avoid ge ing snow up your nose to all manner of freestyle shenanigans. Company founder Jake Burton launched the program back in 1998 with three locations; today there are more than 200, with each individual ski resort gearing the LTR curriculum for its clientele and terrain. So it is that we have people in various parts of the world shouting things like Bon shi y, Pierre! and Gut indy, Hans!

Skiing the Roof of the World may not be to everyones taste, but if your idea of a good day out calls for remote, rugged, ridiculously elevated terrain with sublime scenery and scads of virgin snow, then heli-skiing the Indian Himalayas will not disappoint. One company to y with out here is Himalayan Heli Adventures, which promises to transport you to trails some 16,000 feet up, with vertical drops exceeding 4,000 feet. And the thrills dont end at backof-beyond hurtling: HHAs aprs oerings include hot springs, temples, Tibetan monasteries, the Manali Bazaar and snow leopards preying on ocks of goats. That last bit isnt such a good thing for the goats, admi edly, but itll make for an interesting anecdote to tell when you get back home.

Jibbing

The act of disengaging oneself from the snow to either jump or ride over an alien object, such as a log or stone.

No matter how procient they are, chances are there will come a time in every slope slickers career when the cranium encounters an immovable object. Such a moment is, as a rule, made considerably more agreeable if a

helmet is involved. For one thing, theres less physical pain. Theres also the possibility that the right helmet will help diminish psychic painthat is, your mortifying fail will be mitigated by the fact that you look good doing it.

POC Sports Receptor Bug (starting at around $120), which comes in 10 colors, is big with tricksters because its a handsome helmet, yes, but also one that makes jibbingrelated mishaps easier to bear. Plus, as a spokesman puts it, the Bug nally brings to an end the constant conict between ventilation and protection, which will have important ramications on your post-ski socializations, scent-wise.

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Knuckle Dragger

trails follow natural mountain contours and theres very li le snowmaking. You A term used by skiers to describe snowboarders, ski as nature intended, or not at all. And referring to the crouched, loose-armed stance when we say ski, we mean just that: of these territorial rivals, as well as to their The resort isnt open to snowperceived lack of nesse. boarders. As former owner Betsy Pra reportedly snied, Mad River Glen is like one of those genSnowboarding on a ski mouneral stores you still nd in Vermontthe tain is like playing croquet on ones selling apple cider made by a local named Mavis. Theres a erce dedication to the 18th green. You can do it, tradition at this Fayston, Vt., resort, which but I dont think its opened more than half a century ago. The appropriate.

Milk Run
An inordinately early session whose main advantages are that the snow is pristine, the light is magical and the lateral bullets are mostly still abed.

Lateral Bullet
A skier whose engagement with the forces of gravity and friction has gone so badly that he nds himself pinging across the slopes rather than down them.

For inexperienced skiers, there must be something comforting about heading for Diamond Peak, given that this Nevada resort is located in a place called Incline Village as opposed to, say, Plummeters Gulch. Fi ingly, much of the resort is geared toward making the rookies cross-trail pinging as pain-free as possible. The slopes at this Tahoe favorite tend to be gentle andmost importantwide. The patrons, moreover, are not the sort given to providing spirited commentaries when you cut them o.

Being Norways largest ski resort isnt the only thing that distinguishes Trysil, in the eastern county of Hedmark. Its also an exceptionally comely place. And, a couple of times a week, you can have it all to yourself (nearly) by joining its early morning ski sessions. The daybreak runs start at 7 a.m. with a normal Norwegian breakfast (cheesy crispbreads, ham rolls, etc.) in a small wooden hut at the base of Hgegga. This is the peak with the highest concentration of black-diamond slopes in the resort (the longest run being 17,700 feet). Hgegga is, according to Trysil spokeswoman Lise Moen, challenging even for the good skiersand yet theres a great sense of peace to be had hurtling down its deserted slopes, the sun just beginning to tinge the treetops. All you can hear is the sound of your skis carving the virgin snow, Moen says. Its a special feeling.

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Noob

located in New Yorks majestic Adirondacks, The most damning term in the is renowned for having skiers vocabulary, encompasssome of the most whiteing everything from someone whose boots are on backward to knuckle slopes in the a skier who fails to adequately eastern U.S., as well as execute a corkscrew 720. the loftiest drop this side of the Rockies (3,430 The names say it all: feet). And while there are Cloudspin, Skyward, no trails called Noobs, Lookout Below. Do Not Even Think About Whiteface Mountain,

Skiing Here, the 35-acre expanse known as The Slides is a preferred spot for those who like to do their skiing in the absence of terried howls. Often icy and littered with hazards, The Slides pretty much guarantees a noob-free day on the slopes.

Opening Day
A special date in a resorts skiing calendar, o en marked by drinking, dancing, whooping and morning-a er head-holding.

Pow
Abbreviation of powder; signies that the person using the word is both a fan of powder and so well versed in ski culture as to be comfortable speaking in code.

Most ski resorts celebrate opening day in one form or another, but Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., takes the tradition to its extreme. Beginning with Winter Ignite, a 24-hour shindig at Heavenlys boisterous Tamarack Lodge, the festivities continue all week long with activities that range from rock concerts to displays by aerial acrobats. There is, however, a potential downside to all this merrymaking. Heavenly leads the world in rst chairs missed, says Russell Pecoraro, the resorts communications director. Its important to pace yourself, because if you go too big your rst night, it can compromise the skiing aspect of your vacation.

Quiver, One-Ski
A ski that can be used by powder hounds and groomers equally comfortably; the skiing equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.

Skiers tend to talk about the one-ski quiver as if it were the lost city of Atlantis. One blogger has called it a fantasy, one thats easy to imagine but impossible to achieve. Well, the Salomon Enduro XT 850 ($875) comes darn close. It may not be the worlds nest carving ski or the best on moguls, but its among the most versatile ever made.

The breathtaking o-piste runs, the eye-bulging views, the brilliant black diamonds none of it means a jot if you havent got the right kind of snow. And for many skiers and snowboarders, the only right kind of snow is the powdery kind. The Champagne of snow. The most delicate house of cards ever made. Which is why they ock to Big White Ski Resort in Okanagan, British Columbia. Thanks to the areas copious snowfall, reliably low temperatures and relatively dry air, there are impressive heaps of the stu here. As one powder acionado emotes, It gives a supreme feeling of freedom and mobility, a great sense of ying, moving anywhere in a great white paradise.

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Salami Sandwich

A compound adjective used among snowboarders to describe food that is poor and overpriced (I found the salmon en crote to be somewhat salami sandwich).

Retro

Describes old-school resorts that allow skiers to pretend theyre Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charades When Strangers Meet scene (or, in this instance, When Strangers in Gore-Tex Meet).

Aprs-ski dining too o en consists of burgers the texture of snow boots, washed down with a agon of whatever yellow beer is closest to hand. A er all, its all about the fuel, right? Not for Clement Gelas, executive chef at Slopes at the Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah. A French national, Gelas specializes in upscale Alpine cuisine (cherrywood-smoked short ribs, cumin-poached wild king salmon), while the Slopes wine wall can accommodate 2,000 bo les of the good stu. Theres also a hot chocolate cart making the rounds, allowing diners to customize their drink with such ingredients as cardamom and crme de menthe. And if its fuel youre a er, try the spaghe i-and-meatball cupcake at the adjacent Crave Caf. Its said to be very lling.

It seems odd to go looking for tradition in a place thats been open only four years, but Vermonts Stowe Mountain Lodge hits all the right notes. The hotel, which aims for a Vermont-Alpine aesthetic, is built out of local timber and stone. Its design evokes the ostentatiously rustic New England country retreats favored by Boston Brahmins a century ago, albeit with a few contemporary twists, while the oor-to-ceiling windows oer a constant reminder of what brought that old money here in the rst place. Even the restaurant has a retro feel to it: Executive chef Josh Berry (born and raised in the area) is given to making dishes like lobster potpie, a high-end take on a Yankee staple.

Tele

Abbreviation of telemark, the somewhat bewildering form of skiing that forgoes sharp turns for maneuvers that require willyou-marry-me knee-bending.

If youre one of the brave few who enjoy this hybrid of Nordic and Alpine skiing, chances are youve spent a fair amount of time hunting for a resort where your fellow skiers dont give you strange looks. At Colorados Crested Butte Mountain Resort, you can be sure youll be surrounded by plenty of like-minded folks. In fact, when telemark was in the midst of a rebirth in the 1970s, Crested Butte was the delivery room. As the home of the U.S. Telemark Extreme Freeskiing Championships, the resort boasts some of the most challenging telemark terrain around. But not everyone who skis here needs to be a pro, since its wide variety of terrain allows for seven levels of difculty. As professional telemark skier and Crested Butte native Max Mancini observes, its the kind of place where tele-heads come on holiday and never leave.

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Underwear, Appropriate
An aspect of skiing a ire that o en doesnt receive enough a ention, leading to the opposing discomforts of perspiration and frost.

Vertical Drop
A slightly misleading term for the skiable distance between a mountains peak and its base; the drop itself, if actually vertical, would be called a cli.

One of the most critical challenges involved in winter sports is maintaining climate control around ones base camp. Youre hot, youre coldeither way, youre not happy. Predictably, it took Norwegians to come up with a solution. Sports apparel company Odlo has spent 66 years exploring this conundrum, an epic investigation that has resulted in Odlo Evolution thermal underwear ($105 $130), which promises to nd an in-trouser balance between Arctic Circle and Amazon rain forest.

Anyone whos subject to nosebleeds or vertigo will probably want to steer clear of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Some 90 percent of the slopes surrounding this French resort townwhich, unsurprisingly, is crawling with mountain climbers during the summerare located 6,500 feet above sea level. It boasts one of Europes highest cable cars, which rises to 12,000 feet, the starting point for a 13-mile descent on demanding, unmarked trails. Its Grands Montets slopes oer an altitude of 10,700 feet (or more, if you decide to climb up to the observation platform). From here, theres a world-beating, quadbusting uninterrupted vertical drop of about 7,000 feetpart of that on a glacier. As one skiing enthusiast puts it, Your legs are happy when you nally reach the lower gondola.

Whiteout

A condition in which various permutations of airborne moisture make for poor visibility, the worst examples of which deter all but the most intrepid/stupid skiers.

When the squalls set in and it becomes impossible to see the tips of your skis, let alone the winding trail in front of you, your thoughts may, understandably, wander to the sandy shores of a tropical island paradise like the Bahamas

or Turks and Caicos. While Idahos Silver Mountain Resort doesnt have gently swaying palms or drinks served in coconut shells, it does have surng. Among the a ractions at Silver Rapids, the resorts 44,000-square-foot indoor water park, is a continuous surf wave upon which you can wipe out to your hearts content in carefully calibrated summertime temperatures. Theres also a more sedate wave pool, a lazy river, a warm spring, a whole bunch of slides and, of course, a

poolside bar. With a li le imagination and a rum-based cocktail or two, you could almost be in the Caribbean. (As for that scary, incessant howling you can hear outsidewell, thatd be the humpback whales, singing to each other as they frolic in the turquoise waters just oshore. )

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X-C (or Cross Country)


A form of skiing whose gentle pace fools people into thinking its a gentle pursuit, a misconception that invariably leads to leg cramps, lung seizures and bickering of the Slow down, will you! variety.

So you want a change of pace and have decided to give crosscountry skiing a shot. Wonderful. First, youre going to need the right equipment because while you are unlikely to suer serious injury engaging in this low-velocity activity, shin splints are a constant threat. Fischer Cruiser cross-country skis ($190) are lightweight and durable, and bristle with special features: wide-body technology to keep you upright and a single/double crown climbing system to keep you moving. They also boast a bulletproof surface, presumably for those cross-country moments when skiers get really, really frustrated with their lack of progress.

Yard Sale
A phrase that smug bystanders tend to call out when a particularly spectacular fall leads to a skiers hat, gloves, skis, poles and dignity being sca ered down the mountainside.

Zipper Line
The fastest route down a trail of moguls, the traversing of which requires that a skier will deliberately negotiate perilous bumps in the pursuit of peer approval.

For most, Switzerlands Zermatt needs no introduction. It boasts some of the highest, most adventurous and most diverse trails on the planet. It also tends to attract those who like their slopes bumpy. Zermatt is where the big-time mogul skiers come to train and race. There are 23 miles of knee-jerking, teeth-rattling trails hereabout 10 percent of the resorts totaland they are not a good place to be if you dont know your stuff. Zermatt spokeswoman Lorena Donnabella, revealing a wonderful air for understatement, says that these slopes are not usual, that you will nd some difculties and that you should be a good skier or snowboarder if youd like to enjoy the mogul piste. Got that?

When you nally come to rest at the bottom of the slope, sans gear and resembling a powdered doughnut, conventional wisdom suggests collecting your belongings and strapping in for another go. You dont want to be a noob forever, right? But for those of us whod rather nurse our sore limbs and ego with a massage, a soak and, say, a traditional Japanese meal and a smoke in a Havanainspired cigar lounge, there are places like the stately Alpina Gstaad, which debuts Dec. 1 as the rst ve-star property to open in the ultra-exclusive Swiss Alpine village of Gstaad in 100 years. Here, the luxurious off-mountain amenities will alleviate any feelings of inadequacy. After a markedly dramatic spill, theres the 4,300-square-foot Panorama Suite, complete with private spa treatment room, outdoor hot tub and sweeping balcony from which you can heckle your former detractors between sips of cognac as they hobble off the mountain at the end of the day.

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