A Skier's Dictionary

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's 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 Something-Or-Other.

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 drift.

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 warming 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 break them.

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: Thcandinavian 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.


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This message was sent on 7 May 1996