Parlez-Vous Bro?

Your guide to snow slang for those upcoming days on the mountain.

With Brian Barker November 9, 2009 Published in the December 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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avy savvy adj. Educated in “snow safety,” aka the fine art of guessing where avalanches might occur. Note: “He was avy savvy” is often whispered during eulogies for avalanche victims.

blower n. Cold, dry, light snow that plumes like a hydroplane rooster tail when skied. 

bluebird n. A bright, sunny day. Basically, any day of skiing in Bend.

boilerplate adj. Used to describe thin or otherwise suspect snow conditions. Note: Using this term makes you feel hip. Don’t overdo it, though.

bomber n. 1. Any piece of equipment strong enough to survive the end of days. 2. Hard, icy snow conditions. See also: bombproof

brolingo n. A dialect that makes excessive use of the word “bro.” See also: bro-brah, bromance. Note: Try to avoid.

Cascade concrete n. Eskimos apparently have several words for snow. Oregonians get the job done with these two. See also: Sierra cement  

corn snow n. Spring snow condition in which surface snow becomes granular due to repeated cycles of melting and freezing. Usually found in the late morning, this kind of snow is highly prized by skiers.

death cookies n. Patches of ice hidden under a thin layer of snow.

disco sticks n. Short slalom or twin-tip skis used to make extremely tight radius turns.

doggin’ it n. Something fun to yell while skiing through powder, as opposed to “Yeah!”

dust on crust n. Slope condition after snowfall of roughly .01 to 2 inches blankets an otherwise icy slope.

face shot n. The instance of snow hitting one’s face as one skis through it.

free refills n. When it’s snowing hard enough to cover up your tracks.

freshies n. If you’re skiing new-fallen, untracked snow, you’re getting them.

gaper n. Skiers who pause to marvel at their surroundings, often with an open mouth. The license plate on their car will probably be from Texas or Nebraska.

hero turns n. What that guy who plows down steep and deep terrain like the Silver Surfer himself is doing. Note: You probably can’t ski like this.  

huck v. To launch oneself off a cliff.  

jibber n. The baggy-pants kids flashing Monster drinks and Motorola Razrs while bouncing off rails in the terrain park? Those are all jibbers.

junk show n. If your walk to the lift includes multiple backpacks, a fanny pack, an extra jacket, a sweater, two pairs of children’s skis, bottled water, and an open trail map, congratulations, you are an example of a junk show.

knuckle dragger n. A derogatory term for a snowboarder. Skiers over the age of, say, 35, think this term is funny.

Kodak courage n. A questionable mind-set wherein someone decides to ski above his or her actual ability level when being photographed.

liftie n. A chairlift attendant. Also a man (occasionally a woman) of extremes: either a 17-year-old kid who’s in it for the free pass or a crusty ski bum who’s still “livin’ the dream, brother.”

pinhead n. A thousand-year-old term for an avid telemark skier. See also: knee basher

poach v. To clandestinely ski snow that has been deemed off-limits by ski patrol. See also: ducking rope

red coats n. A derogatory term for ski patrollers.

shit circus n. Think Mt Hood Meadows on President’s Day. See also: junk show

shreddin’ the gnar v. Modern equivalent of hot doggin’. See also: gnar buckets

thank you n. Seldom-used phrase on any mountain. Try it on ski patrollers and lift operators, especially if they’re working on Christmas.

yard sale n. A trail of ski equipment (poles, hat, goggles, skis, teeth, so on) left by a skier who has taken a bad fall.

Add your most broriffic terms in the comments below!

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