Skiing in Belleville Valley

The beginner's ski jargon-buster A glossary for decoding your new favourite hobby

Skiing. Not so much a hobby, more a cult. Like most cults, it has its own rules and its own lexicon. Use this page to break through the jargon and work out just what everyone is talking about.

Alpine Skiing

The main kind of skiing which you will see on a ski holiday, where you get the lift up the mountain and ski back down.

Aprés Ski

Social drinks after a day on the slopes. Usually lasts until dinner time, but can run into the wee small hours.


Almost never a concern for beginners, avalanches are the biggest fear for more experienced skiers and snowboarders who choose to go "off-piste". In France, the local authorities are responsible for keeping recognised pistes safe from avalanche risk.

Base Layer

The layer of thermal clothing that comes into contact with your skin.


The mechanism which attaches your skis to your boots. To protect your knees, this is designed to detach when you fall over or crash. Reattaching your boots to your bindings when you're tired is one of the less enjoyable aspects of your first day or two on skis.

Black run

A ski piste that is suitable for expert skiers and boarders only.

Blue run

A ski piste that is suitable for intermediate skiers and boarders.

Bubble lift

An enclosed walk-on ski lift that takes skiers, boarders and pedestrians up and down the mountain. Also known as telecabine, gondola or cable car.


An advanced form of skiing which involves turning without skidding or scraping the skis. This allows the skier to turn without slowing down.


The combed pattern which is left in the snow on pistes after they have been groomed overnight.

Drag lift

A form of ski lift (usually unpopular with snowboarders) where your skis or board remains in contact with the snow while you are dragged back up the mountain. Also known as a button lift.

Fall line

The imaginary line, which represents how a rolling ball would descend from where you are stood. It's the straightest route to the bottom.

Green run

A ski piste that is suitable for beginner skiers and boarders.


The mechanised process by which ski pistes are smoothed overnight to ready them for another day's skiing. Without being groomed, ski runs can quickly become very challenging.

Magic Carpet

A conveyor belt used to convey novice skiers uphill.


A layer of clothing (e.g. fleece) worn between the base layer and the outer shell (e.g. ski jacket).

Off-piste skiing

Skiing on terrain which has not been designated as official skiable piste. Off-piste terrain is not maintained by local authorities, and skiers venture there only at their own risk. Not for beginners.


An official ski trail that is maintained by local authorities.

Red run

A ski piste that is suitable for experienced skiers and boarders.


Insulated trousers to be worn when skiing or snowboarding.


The outermost layer of ski clothing, i.e. jacket and salopettes

Snow plough

A beginner-friendly style of skiing that gives maximum control and minimal speed.

Tuck position

Also known as 'Schuss'. A forward-leaning crouch position, used to build or maintain high speed by reducing wind resistance.