Skiing – All You Need To Know


If you have ever gone skiing on the slopes of snow-capped peaks of Thredbo and Perisher in New South Wales and Mount Hotham, Falls Creek or Mount Buller in Victoria during your Australia travel, you would have heard some terms which you may have never heard before and kept wondering what they mean and eventually forgot about them. Read on to find out what they mean,

Categories of Skiing

In general, there are three categories of skiing,

1) Alpine Skiing – This is known to be the most common kind of skiing. This kind of skiing involves skiing down mountains with a ski which has a stiff boot attached to it.

2) Cross Country Skiing – In this type of skiing, the skier uses narrower skis that are open at the heels along with lighter shoes enable to the skier to reduce drag as this kind of skiing takes place on relatively flatter trails.

3) Telemark Skiing – In this type of skiing, only the toe part of the boot is attached to the ski while the heel is free. Some telemark skiers are known to trek up mountains with their skies attached before skiing down it.


Pistes are snow routes that are marked and patrolled. The snow along these routes is flattened and compacted with the use of specialized machines in order to prevent snowboarders and skiers from sinking. Pistes are generally graded for skiers to quickly identify their difficulty and steepness. Here are the different grades that you will find

Nursery Slopes – Ideal for Beginners

Green – Indicates gentle and easy slopes

Blue – Slightly steeper slopes that are easy to ski as they are not very deep

Red – Intermediate slopes that need the skiers to have some experience to tackle

Black – These slopes are highly advanced technical slopes ideal for experts

Ski route – These are marked routes off the piste routes and are constantly patrolled.

Off-piste routes – These are ungroomed parts of the mountain slopes so they have loose ice which can make the skiers sink. These are considered high-risk type because of the risk of avalanches and presence of rocks and other obstacles along the route.

Lift Pass

This is basically a ticket that allows you to access the lifts in the area. These passes are the size of credit cars and can be easily stored in the pocket.

Powder and Packed Powder

Powder is a term used to describe natural loose snow that is ideal for snowboarders and packed powder is the term used to describe compacted snow that is suitable for skiers.


Pistes become solid ice when there has been no snowfall for a while. This makes it harder for skiers to get control.


Avalanches are a sort of landslides that happens with snow. When loose snow that is unstable breaks off from the part of mountains and rushes down towards the valley. These can come in various sizes and can be triggered by humans or starts naturally. While traveling on mountains prone to avalanches, one must be careful and follow all the rules.

For other travel tips, you can read our other blogs.