Nordic Terms

CANSI: Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors

Classic: refers to the diagonal stride (straight ahead) technique of cross country skiing, as opposed to skating.

Cross Country Skiing: skiing machine-groomed trail over varied terrain with lightweight ski equipment. Boots are held onto the ski by a binding which secures the toe but allows your heel to freely lift up off the ski.

Groomed Trail: the snow has been prepared by a machine for ease of movement.

KM: kilometer (.6 miles)

Nordic: the umbrella term: Any type of skiing which uses free-heel equipment, including cross country, telemark, ski touring, biathlon (cross country skiing and target shooting), and ski jumping (also called ski flying).

PSIA: Professional Ski Instructors of America

Skating: a technique used on a consistent packed surface where you ski in a V rather than straight ahead, pushing one ski to the side and gliding. Specialized equipment is available, although skating can also be accomplished on waxable cross country skis.

Ski Touring: skiing ungroomed snow (including backcountry skiing), where you break your own trail.

Skijoring: cross country skiing while being pulled by a dog (or, sometimes, a horse or reindeer).

Telemark: an elegant descent and downhill turning technique that’s done mostly at alpine ski resorts and in the backcountry. Specific equipment – very similar to downhill ski gear, except the heel is free – is available, although the telemark turn can be executed on light cross country skis in the right conditions.

Tracks: grooves made in the snow by a machine, enabling a skier to ski more easily when employing diagonal stride. Tracks make learning much easier.