Whisinterpretations: An Idiot’s Guide to Ski Town Terminology

I’ll start this one with a confession so we can be on the same page; I can’t and don’t ski or snowboard. Yep. I live in one of the most beautiful ski towns in the whole entire world and I have only “been up” twice. I know, I know, I am an embarrassment to myself and my family and I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologise.

*…In my defense, I would’ve needed to take out a small mortgage to be able to afford a season pass PLUS I possess zero snow tekkers, so yeah. I just like living among it all, OK? Bite me.*

Right. Cool. Now that that’s out in the open I feel more comfortable talking freely and openly about my complete and utter ignorance in the face of all things Winter Sports Related! Grasping the lingo has been quite the struggle and in all honesty, after four months I still haven’t got a clue what most people are banging on about the majority of the time. The Whistler culture *OBVIOUSLY* revolves around mountain escapades, so naturally, certain conversations can prove problematic for a token Ground Level Dweller such as myself.

In a bid to show off my recent learnings I have compiled a list of phrases I hear on a daily basis and Their Actual Meaning vs. My Brain’s Interpretation…

Context: “Ahhhh mate, we are gonna go up tomorrow and f***ing send it!”
What I hear: Send what, where? Is there a return address? Why is everyone so obsessed with the postal service here?
Reality: To SEND something is to really BLOODY GO FOR IT in the context of winter sports.  #RespectTheSend (is apparently a thing)

Big Dump
Context: “OMG! Had suuuuch a big dump last night…”
What I hear: Sorry, did I hear you correctly? Why on EARTH are you discussing your bowel movements?! In public!? How uncouth!
Reality: They will be talking about a dumping of fresh snow. Thank goodness!

Context: “I got a good couple of runs in this morning.”
What I hear: You RAN up the mountain? Several times!? Are you not EXHAUSTED?!
Reality: Simply means they got on the ski lift, went up the mountain, skied/boarded down aaaaaaaand repeat.  Issa run.

Context: “Guys it snowed so much last night it was knee deep freshies all day!”
My brain: Brain.Does.Not.Compute.Please.Explain.
Reality: Freshies is a term used to describe totally untouched snow. A proper exciting concept for people that play in it I would imagine.

Bluebird Day
Context: “Corrr, it’s a beautiful Bluebird day up there today!”
My brain: Ahhh cute ickle birdies!! I would never have taken you as someone who would notice nature n that but I guess Canada does have some pretty neat wildlife hey.
Reality: ACTUALLY a bluebird day is a period of time, typically after a night of solid snowfall when there is nothing but sunshine and cloudless blue skies.

Yard Sale
Context: “Mate you should have seen it, this dude had a massive yard sale!”
My brain: Wait, what?! I have some questions ere…
Reality: Basically, if a skier loses his skies, poles, hat, goggles, the whole shebang, and you are lucky enough to be a witness to this calamity, it is fully acceptable to shout “YARD SALE” from the ski lift. lol.

Context: “You gonna join us for Swedish later?”
What I hear: Like, the food? I guess I could go for meatballs. How random.
Reality: This is almost exclusively #Whistler terminology and refers to the Après Ski tradition of getting well and truly battered post-shred. A typical Swedish would commence at roughly 3pm with everyone fully steaming by dinner time.

Death Cookie
Context: “Watch out for the death cookies on Blackcomb, I faceplanted HARD earlier.”
My brain: Wow they don’t sound particularly appetising I must say.
Reality: A big nugget of ice and or snow that is nestled in among the regular snow and can cause quite the problem for those #SENDING #IT!

Context: “Yeah we were shredding off-piste all morning it was gnarrrrrrrrrrly bro!”
My brain: Oh so is that like, the opposite of being piste-off?
Reality: Skiing/boarding in more dangerous, out of bounds territory, off the beaten track. This is strictly Bad Boy Boss Bish Business this.

Context: “Ha ha ha check out that absolute Jerry over there!”
My brain: How could you possibly know that is his name though?
Reality: A Jerry is someone who clearly lacks an understanding of Winter Sports, their efforts on the hill making this a painfully obvious fact (I would fit comfortably into this category, should I ever venture back up there…)

April Abroad Whistler Mountain Blackcomb


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