Alpine skiing (or downhill skiing) is a recreational activity and sport involving sliding down snow-covered hills with long skis attached to each foot. Sport is an Activity that is governed by a set of rules or Customs and often engaged in competitively "Snowfall" redirects here For other uses see Snow (disambiguation or Snowfall (disambiguation. A ski is a long flat device worn on the feet designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over snow
Alpine skiing evolved from cross-country skiing when ski lift infrastructure was developed at mountain resorts to tow skiers back to the top of slopes, thus making it possible to repeatedly enjoy skiing down steep, long slopes that would be otherwise tiring to climb up. Cross-country skiing (also known as XC skiing) is a Winter sport popular in many countries with large snowfields primarily Northern Europe, The term ski lift can refer to many different types of uphill transport in three main classes Lift systems and networks The network lifts at a Ski Infrastructure typically refers to the technical structures that support a society such as Roads Water supply, Wastewater, Power grids A ski area is a developed recreational facility usually on a Mountain or large Hill, containing ski trails and vital supporting services The sport is popular wherever the combination of snow, mountain slopes, and a sufficient tourist infrastructure can be built up, including parts of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, the South America Andes, and East Asia (mainly South Korea and Japan, although the popularity of skiing is increasing in China as well). Tourism is Travel for Recreational or Leisure purposes The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a The Andes form the world's longest exposed Mountain range. They lie as a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea and often referred to as Korea ( Korean: 대한민국 tɛː For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National
The main technical challenges faced by skiers are simply how to control the direction and speed of their descent. Typically, novice skiers use a technique called the "snowplough/snowplow" to turn and stop by pointing one or both skis inward, but more advanced skiers use more difficult but more elegant and speedier methods. The snowplough turn (also dubbed the "wedge" or "pizza" is a braking and turning skiing technique usually taught to beginners One popular method of turning is called parallel turn; it involves keeping both skis parallel to each other while altering the weight distribution between them in order to turn them in any particular direction. The parallel turn in Skiing is a method for turning It is credited to Austrian Toni Seelos in the 1930s The angle of the ski in relation to the slope (called edge angle) is also important as it determines the resistance (friction) created by the edges of the skis. Friction is the Force resisting the relative motion of two Surfaces in contact or a surface in contact with a fluid (e Modern advanced skiing technique is dominated by "carving. " To carve, a skier rolls his or her knees from side to side while keeping the upper body and hips facing down the hill, so that only the knees and feet are turned. This method of turning allows modern skis to turn using the radial properties of the edges of the ski without skidding or slowing down, creating a smooth arc. To maintain the line of a parabolic ski, one must lean one's center of mass into the turn.
As skiers gain confidence, they may tackle steeper, longer and more uneven slopes (including off-piste and ungroomed runs) at higher speeds. In North America, the easiest ski runs are marked by green circles, and are typically fairly flat and smooth. Sometimes known as bunny slopes, they are usually groomed by specially equipped snowcats every night. A snowcat is an enclosed-cab truck sized fully tracked vehicle designed to move on Snow. A blue square marks slopes of medium difficulty; they are steeper than green circles and may be left in a natural state rather than machine-groomed. A black diamond run is steeper than a blue square and often involves challenging terrain such as moguls, double fall lines, or gladed sections. Mogul skiing is a type of Freestyle skiing where skiers pass between different bumps or moguls Glade skiing, or tree skiing is any form of downhill skiing ( Alpine skiing, Telemark skiing, Alpine Touring) off-trails in the woods or in a maintained A double black diamond is for experts only; these trails are steep, rarely groomed and often left in a completely natural state. There is no standard for these designations, however, and each ski resort determines them relative to their own terrain difficulty. So, for instance, a blue-square (mid-level) trail at one ski mountain may be markedly more difficult than a black-diamond (expert) trail at another mountain. In Europe the system is based on colour alone. North American green circles, blue squares, black diamonds, and double blacks correspond to European green, blue, red, and black trails, respectively.
Various alpine skiing competitions have developed in the history of skiing. Keystone Resort is a Ski resort located in Keystone Colorado, United States. Skiing, or traveling over snow on wooden runners has a recorded history of almost five millennia Broadly speaking, competitive skiing is broken up into two disciplines: racing and freestyle. Freestyle skiing began in the 1930s when Norwegian skiers began performing acrobatics during alpine and cross-country training
Racing involves making fast turns around gates in an attempt to attain the fastest overall time down one or two runs of a race course. Elite competitive skiers participate in the annual World Cup series, as well as the quadrennial Olympic Games and the biennial World Championships. The alpine skiing World Cup is a circuit of Alpine skiing competitions launched in 1966 by a group of ski racing friends and experts which included French journalist The Winter Olympic Games are a winter Multi-sport event held every four years The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS Slalom (SL), giant slalom (GS), super giant slalom (super-G), and downhill (DH) are the four racing disciplines, with downhill being the fastest event and slalom being the most technical. Slalom is an Alpine skiing discipline involving skiing between poles (gates spaced much closer together than in Giant Slalom, Super-G or Downhill Giant slalom is an Alpine skiing discipline It involves skiing between sets of poles ("gates" spaced at a greater distance to each other than in slalom The Super Giant Slalom is an Alpine skiing discipline It is usually referred to as Super G and is considered a "speed" discipline along with The downhill is an Alpine skiing discipline The rules for the downhill were originally developed by Sir Arnold Lunn for the 1921 British National Ski Championships There is also a "combined" event that includes one downhill run and two slalom runs on a single day. Combined is an Alpine skiing event Although not technically a "discipline" of its own it is sometimes referred to as a fifth alpine discipline along with Downhill In 2005, the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) introduced a new event to the World Cup calendar called the super combined, or super combi, consisting of one shortened downhill run and just one slalom run. The International Ski Federation/Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS is the main international organisation of ski sports Combined is an Alpine skiing event Although not technically a "discipline" of its own it is sometimes referred to as a fifth alpine discipline along with Downhill That year, the FIS also introduced an alpine team racing event at the World Championships in Bormio, Italy. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2005 were held in Bormio, Italy, between January 28 and February 13, 2005. Bormio (Bormio Buorm is a town located in the Province of Sondrio, Lombardy region of the Italian Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Ski racing is controlled by a set of rules which are enforced by FIS. These rules include such things as regulation ski sizes, sidecuts, boot heights, binding risers and many other things which all ensure one particular skier has no advantage over another however these regulations are constantly being pushed by ski manufacturers using new technologies. Next year (2008) these regulations are set to be changed in order to make it harder for racers to complete a race course. Some changes include increasing the minimum ski length and also the sidecut which will make the ski turn less tightly.
Freestyle skiing incorporates events such as moguls, aerials, and sometimes "new-school" events such as halfpipe, big air, slopestyle, and skiercross. Freestyle skiing began in the 1930s when Norwegian skiers began performing acrobatics during alpine and cross-country training Mogul skiing is a type of Freestyle skiing where skiers pass between different bumps or moguls Newschool skiing is a type of Alpine skiing which involves advanced tricks, jumps and Terrain park features such as rails A half-pipe is a structure used in gravity Extreme sports such as Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Skiing, freestyle BMX and Slopestyle is a form of Freestyle snowboarding and skiing competition Skicross (also known as skiercross or skier-X is a relatively new type of skiing competition Together with extreme skiing, new-school freestyle skiing is also sometimes known as freeskiing. Extreme skiing is Skiing performed on long steep (typically from 45 to 60+ degrees or grades of 100 to 170 percent slopes in dangerous terrain Freeskiing is most commonly used to describe Skiing for fun as opposed to training or racing Until relatively recently, freestyle competitions also included an event called ballet, later renamed "acro-ski. "
In addition to racing and freestyle, other types of alpine skiing competitions exist. One discipline administered by the FIS but not usually considered part of racing is speed skiing, in which competitors strive to achieve the highest total speed in a straight line, with no gates or turns. Speed skiing is the Sport of Skiing downhill in a straight line as quickly as possible Numerous non-FIS competitions have emerged over the years. More traditional events include gelandesprung jumping (ski jumping for distance on alpine equipment), and "powder 8" contests; among the more recent introductions are "big mountain" or "extreme skiing" contests, in which athletes start at the top of a mountain and ski a route down that involves wide, fast turns as well as cliff drops. Ski jumping is a Sport in which skiers go down an "inrun" with a take-off ramp (the jump attempting to go as far as possible Extreme skiing is Skiing performed on long steep (typically from 45 to 60+ degrees or grades of 100 to 170 percent slopes in dangerous terrain The competitors are judged on the technical difficulty of their routes and any tricks they perform on the way down the hill.
Ski competition rules and scheduling are managed internationally by the International Ski Federation (FIS) based in Switzerland. The International Ski Federation/Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS is the main international organisation of ski sports Each participating nation worldwide is represented by a national association that manages the sport in that respective nation.
In the United States, alpine skiing competition is managed by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). The US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA is the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding The USSA organizes all levels of skiing competition from grassroots through the U. S. Ski Team and the Olympics.
One group involved in the organization of ski racing in the United States is NASTAR. NASTAR (an Acronym for NAtional STAndard Race is the largest recreational Ski and Snowboard race program in the world Developed by Ski Magazine in 1968, National Standard Race, or NASTAR, provides many skiers with their first look at racing – and their first experience. Many ski resorts have permanent NASTAR courses and timing equipment. To quote the organization “Our mission is simple - to provide a fun, competitive and easily accessible racing program that, through the development of a handicap system, allows racers of all ages and abilities a means to compare their race results to other competitors across the country regardless of when and where they race. ” NASTAR also employs a system where participants can compare their times to those of top U.S. Ski Team racers who serve as NASTAR pacesetters including Steven Nyman, Jimmy Cochran and Kaylin Richardson. The United States Ski Team, operated under the auspices of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA develops and supports men's and women's athletes in the sports Steven Nyman (born February 12, 1982 in Provo Utah) sometimes known as Steve, is an American alpine skier and 2006 Kaylin Richardson is a member of the US Ski Team A-Team She is a World Cup regular is becoming a major 5 event threat Once a year the best NASTAR racers gather at Steamboat in Steamboat Springs, CO for the national championships.
In North America, a color–shape rating system is used to indicate the difficulty of trails (otherwise known as slopes or pistes). Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. A piste is the name given to a marked ski run or path down a mountain for snow Skiing, Snowboarding, or other mountain sports Australian ski slopes also share the same rating system.
There is no governing body that assigns difficulty ratings to ski trails. Instead, ski resorts assign ratings to their own trails, marking a given trail according to its relative difficulty when compared with other trails at that resort. A ski area is a developed recreational facility usually on a Mountain or large Hill, containing ski trails and vital supporting services As a result, identically-pitched trails at different resorts can have different ratings. Some skiers and snowboarders may interpret this as manipulation of ratings of their slopes to appeal to as wide an audience as possible; in fact, it is an attempt by ski areas to conform to the trail rating conventions.
Although slope gradient is the primary consideration in assigning a trail rating, other factors come into play — including trail width, normal snow conditions and whether or not the resort regularly grooms the trail. "Snowfall" redirects here For other uses see Snow (disambiguation or Snowfall (disambiguation. Snow grooming is the process to manipulate snow for recreational uses usually using a snow groomer vehicle
|Trail Rating||Symbol||Level of difficulty||Description|
|Green Circle||Easiest||The easiest pistes at a mountain. A piste is the name given to a marked ski run or path down a mountain for snow Skiing, Snowboarding, or other mountain sports Green Circle trails are generally wide and groomed, typically with slope gradients ranging from 6% to 25% (a 100% slope is a 45 degree angle). The grade (or gradient or pitch or slope) of any physical feature such as a Hill, Stream, Roof, railroad, or|
|Blue Square||Intermediate||Intermediate difficulty slopes with grades commonly ranging from 25% to 40%. The grade (or gradient or pitch or slope) of any physical feature such as a Hill, Stream, Roof, railroad, or  These slopes are usually groomed. Blue Square runs comprise the bulk of pistes at most ski areas, and are usually among the most heavily-trafficked.|
|Black Diamond||Difficult||Amongst the most difficult at a given mountain. Black Diamond trails tend to be steep (typically 40% and up) and may or may not be groomed, though the introduction of winch-cats has made the grooming of steep slopes both possible and more frequent. A snowcat is an enclosed-cab truck sized fully tracked vehicle designed to move on Snow.|
|Double Black Diamond||Expert||These trails are even more difficult than Black Diamond, due to exceptionally steep slopes and other hazards such as narrow trails, exposure to wind, and the presence of obstacles such as steep drop-offs or trees. They are intended only for the most experienced skiers. |
This trail rating is fairly new; by the 1980s, technological improvements in trail construction and maintenance, coupled with intense marketing competition, led to the creation of a Double Black Diamond rating.
|Variations||Various||Variations such as doubling a symbol to indicate increased difficulty, or combining two different symbols to indicate intermediate difficulty are occasionally used. One example is a diamond overlapping a square to indicate a trail rating between a Blue Square and a Black Diamond. Mont Tremblant in Canada utilizes two blue squares right next to each other to indicate the same thing. Many resorts in Summit County, Colorado use a double diamond with an "EX" in the center to mark a trail even more difficult than a double diamond. Summit County is the 19th most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The State of Colorado ( or chiefly by nonresidents) is a state located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States of America. The combination of symbols is comparatively rare at U. S. ski areas; most ski resorts stick to the standard 4-symbol progression.|
|Terrain Parks||Various||Terrain parks are whole or portions of trails that can offer a variety of jumps, half-pipes, and other special "extreme" sporting obstacles beyond traditional moguls. A terrain park is an outdoor area that contains terrain that allows Skiers and snowboarders to do tricks A half-pipe is a structure used in gravity Extreme sports such as Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Skiing, freestyle BMX and Mogul skiing is a type of Freestyle skiing where skiers pass between different bumps or moguls The trails are typically represented by an orange rectangle with rounded corners. |
Usually, the terrain park will carry its own trail rating, indicating the level of challenge. A terrain park with a Black Diamond or Double Black Diamond rating would contain greater and more challenging obstacles than a park with a Blue Square rating.
Triple black diamond trails can be found in certain ski resorts, such as Black Hole in Smuggler's Notch, Vermont. Smugglers' Notch is a Ski area in Jeffersonville Vermont. It consists of three ski mountains Morse Mountain with terrain geared more towards families and beginners There are also unrated slopes, generally as hard as or harder than double blacks. One such example is the Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood, Oregon.
In Europe, pistes are classified by a similar, colour-coded system, although shapes are not always used (sometimes all ratings are circles). The ratings are:
Alpine slope classification in Europe is less rigidly tied to slope angle than in North America. A lower angle slope may be classified as more difficult than a steeper slope if, for instance, it is narrower and/or requires better skiing ability to carry speed through flatter sections while controlling speed through sharp hairpin turns, off-camber slope angles or exposed rock.
Japan uses a color-coded system, but shapes do not usually accompany them. Some resorts, mainly those catering to foreigners, use the North American or European color-coding system, adding to the confusion. When in doubt, check the map legend. The usual ratings are:
Japan has more than 1000 ski areas (115 in Nagano Prefecture alone), many of them small and family-oriented, so comparisons between slope classifications in Japan and "equivalent" slopes in Europe or North America are minimal. WikipediaWikiProject Japanese prefectures for guidelines --> is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū
Skiers and snowboarders can encounter a wide range of snow and weather conditions, in part due to the location of specific resorts and global weather patterns at the time.
Natural snow ranges in consistency from very light and fluffy to dense and heavy, depending upon atmospheric conditions as it falls. "Snowfall" redirects here For other uses see Snow (disambiguation or Snowfall (disambiguation. Snow is often measured by moisture content, or the amount of water in a given volume of snow. Some areas of the United States' Rocky Mountains, for example, can receive considerable amounts of snow with moisture content as low as three to five percent; in the Northeastern United States and the Alps, moisture content is more typically 15 percent or more. Snow made by mechanical snowmaking often has moisture content of 35 percent or more. Snowmaking is the production of Snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a "snow gun" or "snow cannon" on ski slopes
Temperatures play a critical role in snow moisture content, but other atmospheric conditions are also relevant. Air currents and other factors determine snow crystal shape; obviously, the farther apart given snow crystals are, the more air is contained in the newly settled snow, resulting in lower net moisture content in a given volume of snow. Snow produced mechanically typically has high relative moisture content and low amounts of loft because the crystal structure resembles small, dense pellets.
Even the fluffiest snow has mass, and snow typically settles under its own weight after time. This is one reason why untouched snow measuring 20 cm on the day it falls might be measured at 15 cm the day following. Snow is also subject to sublimation — a process by which water can go directly from a frozen state to a gaseous state without first melting. Sublimation of an element or compound is a transition from the Solid to Gas phase with no intermediate liquid stage It is this same process that ultimately makes ice cubes shrink in a freezer.
There are other factors that impact snow beyond its moisture content and crystal shape, however. Snow is impacted by wind, sunlight, skier traffic, ambient air temperature, relative humidity and grooming equipment; all of these factors combine to change snow crystal shape and density over time.
Thus, skiers and snowboarders typically encounter a wide range of snow conditions over the course of a season. Some of the more common conditions include: