Alpine skiing

Alpine skiers
Alpine ski slope in the Zillertal valley, Austria
Alpine ski slopes in San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina)
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right: 
1. Non-sidecut: cross-country, telemark and mountaineering 
2. Parabolic 
3. Twin-tip 
4. Powder
Marcel Hirscher competing in the combined slalom at the World Championships in 2017
Ski trails are measured by percent slope, not degree angle. (North America)
European piste rating system (blue, red, black)

Pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing , which use skis with free-heel bindings.

- Alpine skiing

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Slalom skiing

Tonje Sekse competes in the slalom
Nathalie Eklund skis slalom at Trysil, Norway in 2011
Example of a slalom course
Bottom: 2013 FIS legal slalom race skis, top: giant slalom race skis from 2006

Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates.

Backcountry skiing

Skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas either inside or outside a ski resort's boundaries.

A set of backcountry ski runs in the Battle Range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains
Backcountry skiers skinning up in British Columbia
Backcountry skiers skinning up in Norway
Snowboarding in deep powder is technically easier than skiing and much faster to learn. One reason is that there is naturally no requirement to keep the skis parallel, one of the main difficulties when skiing in deep snow.
A deployed airbag.

This contrasts with alpine skiing, which is typically done on groomed trails benefiting from a ski patrol.

Giant slalom

A skier attacks a gate in GS
Olympian Lotte Smiseth Sejersted
in a GS race
Top: giant slalom skis from 2006,
bottom: slalom skis.

Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline.


Austrian alpine skier Christoph Kornberger competing in super-G

Super giant slalom, or super-G, is a racing discipline of alpine skiing.

Alpine skiing combined

Alpine skiers

Combined is an event in alpine ski racing.

Downhill (ski competition)

Slovenia's Andrej Šporn at the 2010 Winter Olympics downhill in a typical downhill body position
Austrian Downhill racing suit

Downhill is a form of alpine skiing competition.

Ski cross

Skiing competition which incorporates terrain features traditionally found in freestyle skiing with courses which include big-air jumps and high-banked turns.

Ski Cross competitors navigating a jump during January 2010 World Cup competitions in Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

What sets ski cross apart from other alpine skiing disciplines is that it involves more than one skier racing down the course.

Cross-country skiing

Form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

Cross-country skiers in western Norway.
Sami hunter using skis of unequal length—short for traction, long for gliding—and a single pole. Both were employed until c. 1900. (1673 woodcut)
German Reichswehr military patrol on skis training in the Giant Mountains, January 1932.
Michal Malák skate-skis at a qualifier for the Tour de Ski, 2007.
Arctic travelers, Fridtjov Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen at the camp of Frederick Jackson on Northbrook Island in 1896.
Ski touring in untracked terrain.
Groomed ski trails for cross-country in Thuringia, track-set for classic skiing at the sides and groomed for skate skiing in the center.
Swede Anna Haag with classic technique in the women's 10 km classic race at the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Skiers employing step turns, while descending during a 2006 FIS World Cup Cross Country competition in Otepää, Estonia.
Pre-1940 ski gear in Oslo: bamboo poles, wooden skis, and cable bindings.
Cross-country ski equipment for skate-skiing (left) and classic-style skiing (right). Ski and pole lengths are different for each. Classic skis have a "grip zone" in the area under the binding.
Cross-country ski boot and standardized binding system for classic skiing. The skier clicks the toe of the boot into the binding and releases with the button in front of the boot.
An early depiction of a skier—a Sami woman or goddess hunting on skis by Olaus Magnus (1553).
Loyal retainers transporting Prince Haakon IV of Norway to safety on skis during the winter of 1206—1869 depiction by Knud Bergslien.
Olav V of Norway as crown-prince in 1939
A skate-skier in Gatineau Park, Quebec, a North American groomed-trail ski venue.
A recreational cross-country trail, groomed for classic skiing only, in Tyrol.
A blind cross-country skier with guide at a regional Ski for Light event.
Dog skijoring—dogs provide added propulsion to the cross-country skier.

Modern cross-country skiing is similar to the original form of skiing, from which all skiing disciplines evolved, including alpine skiing, ski jumping and Telemark skiing.

Telemark skiing

Telemark ski racer executing Telemark's unique lunging or "free heel" turn.
NTN Binding

Telemark skiing is a skiing technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing, using a squatting motion on downhill skis.


Use of skis to glide on snow.

Alpine skiers
Spring ski touring on Hardangervidda, Norway
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right:
1. Non-sidecut: cross-country, telemark and mountaineering 2. Parabolic
3. Twin-tip
4. Powder
Giant Slalom Ski Racer
Freestyle switch 720 mute grab
A ski jumper using the V-style
Cross country skiing—free-style or skate-skiing
Dry slope racing
A skier with a disability on a sit-ski, using two outriggers.

As equipment evolved and ski lifts were developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two main genres of skiing emerged—Alpine (downhill) skiing and Nordic skiing.