I’ve been a bit preoccupied with skiing lately, after all it’s been one of the best early season’s on record. Here’s a story I wrote about the stellar Snovember conditions. Which made be think about all the stoked out bros, brahs, groms, rippers, shredders and other slang names given to people who live for snow and sliding on it. It took me a while to figure out all the slanguage used by mountain folk and figured I could share a kind of dictionary for those a little lost when I refer to the “sick pow.” It also seems like people add a y on to a lot of words that don’t really need it. For example: Her ski jacket is so styley. Instead of just saying I like her style. So for you none ski bums reading, maybe this will help.

sick: synonyms would be, excellent, very good, awesome. “Dude, yesterday was sick!” If it was really, really good. You can say super sick.

pow or pow-pow: powder snow. light, fluffy, untouched, cold, dry snow. “Let’s go get that pow-pow!”

bro/brah: a buddy or friend also known as a homie or dude. mostly gender specific to guys, but not always. “What up, brah? You been ripping any sick pow?”

ripper/shredder: Someone who is good at skiing or snowboarding. “She’s a ripper.”

freshies: fresh tracks while you’re skiing. “There’s still some freshies ou there, bro. Let’s go rip it up.”

grom: a young skier or snowboard who most likely ski better than you, or will soon. “Watch this grom do a back flip.”

huck: to jump off a cliff.  preferably with a soft powder landing. “Let’s go huck some cliffs.”

yard sale: to fall and have your equipment go every where. “Did you see that gaper yard sale?”

gaper: someone that doesn’t ski very often, or has dated, old gear. “Did you see that gaper skiing in jeans and rear entry boots?” It’s also a celebrated holiday observed on April 1 and the last day of the ski season, as Gaper Day. Those who think they are not gapers, dress up as their interpretation as one. Usually includes skiing in jeans or one piece ski suits from a few decades ago.

face shots: when the snow is deep and you make a turn, then the snow hits you in the face. “I had a face shot on like every turn, bro.”

bluebird: a sunny blue sky day after a storm. “What a sick bluebird pow day!”

dump/dumping: a large snow storm or fastly accumulating snow. “Sick, it’s dumping out! Tomorrow could be epic.”

aggro: aggravation or aggression. “Bro, no need to get all aggro out there. There are plenty of freshies for everyone.”

stezy: flashy or stylish gear. “That grom is so stezy.”

hectic: used to describe extreme circumstances. “Bro, it’s dumping out there. Tomorrow is going to be hectic.” This one is used mostly by groms at the moment.

Most of these aren’t necessarily specific to ski culture and were most likely borrowed from surf culture. They are not in alphabetical order, but more in order of relevance or most commonly used. This is a basic list and I’m sure I’ve missed a few or haven’t learned them yet.

Here’s a parting shot from my house a few mornings ago. It looks like it was about to be a bluebird day, right. Nah, bro. It started dumping about an hour later.

sunrise over the tetons from my front door with holiday decorations. i wish the snowflakes were that big.