A highly abridged encyclopedia of skiing and snowboarding
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.
Being Norway’s largest ski resort isn’t the only thing that distinguishes Trysil, in the eastern county of Hedmark. It’s 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 Høgegga. This is the peak with the highest concentration of black-diamond slopes in the resort (whose longest run is 3.4 miles). Høgegga is, according to Trysil spokeswoman Lise Moen, “challenging even for the good skiers”—and yet there’s 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. “It’s a special feeling.”
The most damning term in the skier’s vocabulary, encompassing everything from someone whose boots are on backward to a skier who fails to adequately execute a corkscrew 720.
The names say it all: Cloudspin, Skyward, Lookout Below. Whiteface Mountain, located in New York’s majestic Adirondacks, is renowned for having some of the most white-knuckle slopes in the eastern U.S., as well as the loftiest drop this side of the Rockies (3,430 feet). And while there are no trails called “Noobs, Do Not Even Think About 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 terrified howls. Often icy and littered with hazards, The Slides pretty much guarantees a noob-free day on the slopes.
A special date in a resort’s skiing calendar, often marked by drinking, dancing, whooping and morning-after head-holding.
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 Heavenly’s 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 first chairs missed,” says Russell Pecoraro, the resort’s communications director. “It’s important to pace yourself, because if you go too big your first night, it can compromise the skiing aspect of your vacation.”