Glossary

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VOC Jargon Definition
ACC Alpine Club of Canada, Alpine Choppers Club, Airborne Climbers of Canada
AT Alpine touring: refers to backcountry ski equipment where the heels can be locked down for descending.
ATES Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale. An objective scale for rating the avalanche risk of terrain. There are three ratings: Simple, Challenging and Complex.
Backcountry Time A different time zone, experienced in the backcountry, most applicable in the dead of winter when it gets dark really early and the party starts at 4:30pm. For example: "It's 10pm."; "Whoa, that's 3am Backcountry Time!".
Bail (1) To announce that you are no longer going on a trip at the last minute. There are several versions of this, notably the "I am sick", "I have too much work to do", or "I found a trip that is cooler/hotter than yours". When bailing, it is courteous to let the trip leader, your driver and food/tent partners know as soon as possible. Especially let your driver know, to avoid the situation where two drivers stop at your place at the same time, to pick you up for two different trips. If you bail too often, you will get a reputation.
Bail (2) Any move from the standard skiing position (skis on the ground and body upright) to an alternative skiing position (e.g. face in the snow and skis/poles scattered over the general area).
Beginner Friendly

In short, a euphemism for a guaranteed epic. Beginner friendly means that the trip is not necessarily easy (in fact it may be quite difficult), but that any people on the trip with actual skills are obligated to be nice to the beginners. When the label 'beginner friendly' is attached to a trip, the usual result is that many keen beginners are attracted to it and experienced people stay away (since they know what beginner friendly actually means). The result is usually a 10:1 beginner ratio which guarantees epic results. See related definitions for "Sufferfest" and "Death March".

BCMC British Columbia Mountaineering Club, Big Cheap Mountaineering Club
Bushwhack To make, or attempt to make, progress through thick coastal forest and undergrowth. See Fun (type II).
CAA Canadian Avalanche Association
CAC Canadian Avalanche Center
Clusterfuck Also know as "Charlie Foxtrot", commonly used to descriptively generalize any situation with a large scale of disarray.
Crossword Puzzles A euphemism for sexual activity. Eg. "they went to the hut to do some crossword puzzles."
Death March To boldly go, usually ill-prepared and without sufficient experience, where nobody in their right mind would even think about going. See also: Beginner Friendly.
Epic Hyperbole used to describe a particularly challenging trip. To call a trip an epic is to compare it to the story of classical epic poems, such as Homer's Illiad and Odyssey.
Experience Something you get by suffering through mistakes, which will either help you to avoid making the same mistakes in the future or alternatively help you to enjoy the consequences.
Faceshot 1 - When skiing, you turn hard or land a drop and snow is kicked up into your face. You do not bail as a result. This is the type you want.

2 - Faceplant

3 - Another skier turns hard, spraying snow in your direction.

4 - Contact with a snow-laden branch. Can take place whilst skinning.

5 - Kick-turn faceshot. Snow from ski tips catapulted when negotiating a switchback.

6 - Snowball thrown by another teammember

7 - Faceshot from spinning wheels during automotive shenanigans.

Faffing Wasting time by doing absolutely nothing, see also Clusterfuck. Technically you have to waste the time of others on your trip; just wasting your own time is not sufficient. Arriving at the trailhead with nothing in your pack and most everything scattered in your car is classical faffing.
Fall line What skiers call the direction which points directly downhill.
FMCBC Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia
Failure Innability to gain the summit or top out on a climb and return home safely. There are three types of failure.
Type 1a failure Failure to reach a summit due to unforeseeable and unmanageable events (white-outs fall into this category)
Type 1b failure Failure to reach a summit due to manageable events (faffing, moving too slowly, not being tough enough, etc...)
Type 2 failure Needing to be rescued from a mountain or a climb (dropping ropes, being buried in avalanches, getting lifts in helicopters, etc...).
Type 3 failure Here a few examples: You factor two fall onto your anchor and it fails, your entire party falls into a bottomless crevasse, you are buried 10 meters by an avalanche, you are struck by lightening, i.e. you don't come home.
Fun A measure of your enjoyment of the situation. Since it's outdoors it's automatically 'fun', but it comes it three types. Some trips may have various amounts of all types of fun.
Fun (type 1) This is what you normally think of as fun - you enjoy it at the time, and in retrospect. Like eating ice-cream, skiing pow when you know how to do it, or crossword puzzles with that special someone.
Fun (type 2) Something you don't enjoy at the time, but will in retrospect and will probably do again (although maybe not until you've completely forgotten how miserable you were at the time). Your first real bushwack will likely be type 2 fun. With enough experience you will find many things that were once type 2 fun become type 1 fun for you.
Fun (type 3a) Something you don't enjoy at the time, will never think back on fondly, and will strive never to do again. Like cutting the rope.
Fun (type 3b) This type of fun has only recently been identified. Sometimes called "altruistic fun", is what you get when you do something mainly so that others may enjoy it. An example might be building a school in Pakistan, or working on one of our Huts, or going to a beginner ski area with a bunch of beginners, mainly to instruct.
Gnar Skier's term to define snow condition. Somewhat soft packed powder, heavier, denser than pow.
Gong Show An event marred by confusion, ineptitude, and shenanigans. See also: Clusterfuck.
Heavy Breathing Caused by physical exertion near or above your fitness level, such as trying to keep up to a High Output individual
High Output A person who is tougher than you; a trip preferred by such a person
Hustlers Handbook List of Members with Contact Information
Interested As in, "I'm interested in your trip." This means "Your trip sounds like fun, probably type 2 fun, but I don't actually intend to go on your trip, in fact I have to stay home that weekend and study/party/do laundry". See Type 2 fun, and Bail.
Intermediate Friendly A challenging trip intended to make you feel like you are a beginner again.
Kick Turn An in place turn across the fall line. The kick turn starts with both skis across the fall line. One ski is turned 180 degrees to face the other direction across the fall line, then the second ski is brought around. To execute a kick turn, the skier has to lift their legs quite high up in the air, hence the name kick turn. When wearing climbing skins, the turn can be less than 180 degrees since the skis will not slide backwards. Kick turns are usually used to climb steep slopes by switchbacking, or to descend when the skier does not want to do a regular turn. Kick turns may be executed uphill or downhill. For the uphill kick turn, the skier turns uphill and the uphill ski is moved across the fall line first. For the downhill kick turn, the downhill ski is moved first and the skier turns to face down the hill. Some people with extreme flexibility can make a turn in the uphill direction with downhill ski first, but this is not the normal technique. See also: Survival Skiing.
Low Output See High Output. A low output trip is generally suitable for anybody, and likely won't make you breathe too hard.
NARSID Non Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death. a.k.a. I've fallen and I can't get up. Most NARSID incidents occur when people fall into a conifer tree well in soft snow conditions. To avoid NARSID, always ski with a friend.[1]
Ninja camping Camping where it is not specifically forbidden, and where nobody will likely find you, and there's nobody coming around to collect camping fees.
Pow Skier's term to define snow condition. Fluffy, loose, dry, deep powder snow.
Probably Adjective denoting near certainty of something happening. Caveat, it generally means the opposite when referring to your safety or the safety of others (e.g. that slope is probably safe; that nut will probably hold a fall).
RMOW Resort Municipality of Whistler
ROO Richmond Olympic Oval
Sea to Sky Refers to the region along highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton to Lillooet.
Significant Other Somebody who will drive you to one end of a long ski traverse, or pick you up from the other end
Sketchy …Sketchy!! Any unsafe situation. Getting sketched out : being scared.
Spondonacle Pot gripper. (Australian Origin).
Strategic Bail Self-induced bailing to avoid a more damaging bail later on. E.g. crashing into a snowbank rather than hitting a tree, or crashing into a tree rather than falling off a cliff.
Struggling to keep warm Masturbating for the purpose of warming yourself or distracting yourself from your hypothermia.
Sucker hole Sitting out a storm in a tent, you see a small patch of blue sky. Thinking the good weather has arrived, you pack up the tent. But you don't see any more blue sky for several days.
Sufferfest Any experience involving considerable suffering. See also: Beginner Friendly.
Survival Skiing Skiing, with the goal of making it down the slope alive. Survival skiing involves a few primary techniques: the snowplow, the kick-turn/traverse, the sidestep and the sideslip. The snowplow is employed to control speed and avoid trees in gentle terrain while travelling generally straight down the fall line. The kick-turn traverse method is used in steeper terrain. The skier does long traverses across the slope and uses kick turns on either side to change direction without the fall line commitment of making a proper turn. Worm turns may be substituted for kick turns at the discretion of the skier. Sidestepping is when you step down the slope while standing perpendicular to the fall line. Sideslipping is when you slide down the slope sideways, while varying the angle of the ski bases to the slope to control speed - you slow down by digging your edges in, and speed up by keeping your ski bases parallel to the surface. The last two techniques are particularly useful in steep/dense trees.
Telemark A type of skiing turn where the inside knee is dropped and the heel of the inside foot lifts off the ski, the outside foot moving forward, and the inside foot moving backward. Skis remain fairly parallel and the stance should remain shoulder width. Telemark turns can be executed with any boot/binding system with a free heel (i.e. not alpine boot/binding systems). Modern telemark boots use plastic shells with a liner, boots have flexible bellows across the toe to allow the boot to flex. The telemark binding are attached mainly at the toe. Many binding designs also have a cable around the back of the boot to secure it in place. Together the flex of the boot and the design of the binding allow the heel to lift from the ski. Skiers on telemark gear can still perform an alpine turn although they must keep their weight further back and thus proper alpine technique is compromised. Tele skiers and alpine skiers enjoy a friendly disagreement as to which style of skiing is better. Each argument has its merits and fair share of accompanying jokes. Telemarking is also known as free-heeling. See Tele School.
Toque A secret codeword used by Canadians to identify foreigners in winter. British/Austalian/American translation: wool hat.
Torch Flashlight (UK and antipodean origin). A headtorch is a headlamp.
VOCene The VOC's weekly e-newsletter (also posted on the VOC website).
VOCJ VOC Journal
Weekend Warrior I have to work during the week, so I can only go on weekend trips.
WOP Whistler Olympic Park
Worm Turn An alternative to the kick turn. To execute a worm turn, the skier lays down in the snow, brings both skis across the fall line (while still lying down) then gets back up with skis facing the other direction. Worm turns are most effective on very steep slopes, because the skier's centre of gravity is closer to the slope to begin with. Worm turns generally require less balance and coordination than kick turns.