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A Skier's Dictionary
Condensed from "Skiing: A Skier's Dictionary"
Henry Bread and Roy McKie
Alp: One of a number of ski mountains in Europe. Also a shouted
request for assistance made by a European skier on a U.S.
mountain. An appropriate reply: "What Zermatter?"
Avalanche: One of the few actual perils skiers face that
needlessly frighten timid individuals away from the sport. See
also: Blizzard, Fracture, Frostbite, Hypothermia, Lift Collapse.
Bindings: Automatic mechanisms that protect skiers from
potentially serious injury during a fall by releasing skis from
boots, sending the skis skittering across the slope where they
trip two other skiers, and so on and on, eventually causing the
entire slope to be protected from serious injury.
Bones: There are 206 in the human body. No need for dismay,
however: TWO bones of the middle ear have never beeen broken in
a skiing accident.
Cross-Country Skiing: Traditional Scandinavian all-terrain
snow-travelling technique. It's good exercise. It doesn't
require the purchase of costly lift tickets. It has no crowds
or lines. It isn't skiing. See Cross-Country
Cross-Country Something-or-Other: Touring on skis along trails
in scenic wilderness, gliding through snow-hushed woods far from
the hubbub of the ski slopes, hearing nothing but the whispery
hiss of the skis slipping through snow and the muffled tinkle of
car keys dropping into the puffy powder of a deep, wind-sculped
Exercises: A few simple warm-ups to make sure you're prepared
for the slopes: *Tie a cinder block to each foot with old belts
and climb a flight of stairs. *Sit on the outside of a
second-story window ledge with your skis on and your poles in
your lap for 30 minutes. *Bind your legs together at the ankles,
lie flat on the floor; then, holding a banana in each hand, get
to your feet.
Gloves: Designed to be tight enough around the wrist to restrict
circulation, but not so closefitting as to allow any manual
dexterity; they should also admit moisture from the outside
without permitting any dampness within to escape.
Gravity: One of four fundamental forces in nature that affect
skiers. The other three are the strong force, which makes
bindings jam; the weak force, which makes ankles give way on
turns; and electromagnetism, which produces dead batteries in
expensive ski-resort parking lots. See Inertia.
Inertia: Tendency of a skier's body to resist changes in
direction or speed due to the action of Newton's First Law of
Motion. Goes along with these other physical laws: * Two objects
of greatly different mass falling side by side will have the
same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have larger
hospital bills. * Matter can neither be created nor destroyed,
but if it drops out of a parka pocket, don't expect to encounter
it again in our universe. * When an irrestible force meets an
immovable object, an unethical lawyer will immediately appear.
Prejump: Manuever in which an expert skier makes a controlled
jump just ahead of a bump. Beginners can execute a controlled
prefall just before losing their balance and, if they wish, can
precede it with a prescream and a few pregroans.
Shin: The bruised area on the front of the leg that runs from
the point where the ache from the wrenched knee ends to where
the soreness from the strained ankle begins.
Ski! : A shout to alert people ahead that a loose ski is coming
down the hill. Another warning skiers should be familiar with
is "Avalanche!" - which tells everyone that a hill is coming
down the hill.
Skier: One who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to
Stance: Your knees should be flexed, but shaking slightly; your
arms straight and covered with a good layer of goose flesh; your
hands forward, palms clammy, knuckles white and fingers icy,
your eyes a little crossed and darting in all directions. Your
lips should be quivering, and you should be mumbling, "Why?"
Thor: The Scandinavian god of acheth and painth.
Traverse: To ski across a slope at an angle; one of two quick
and simple methods of reducing speed.
Tree: The other method.