The Alpine Ski World Championships is a time for experts. And on Austrian TV channel ORF in particular, they use expressions which normal people can’t understand. But Trisanna is here to help: we’ve asked Ischgl experts to explain sports journalist German to us. Today: what, then, is an aggressive snow?

The snow in Åre, Central Sweden, is special. We’ve been hearing this a lot in the past few days, and we’ll also hear it tomorrow at the men’s downhill. Because the snow in Åre, in the middle of Sweden, is particularly aggressive. But hang on a moment, what on earth is “aggressive snow”? Does it bite? Does it hit back straight away when you tease it a bit? Or does it have a really short fuse and won’t put up with much? We asked Serafin Siegele, the slopes director at the Silvretta cableway company, and he explains what it all means.

“There is powder snow, which you can glide through. There is hard snow, where the edges of the skis really have to grip. There’s ice, which you can only stay on at all using the edges. And there’s aggressive snow, which is so hard that you have to use the edges a lot – but which is also soft in some places and then doesn’t let the skis go. And this is apparently what the snow is like in Åre.

If you get onto the wrong track just once, it can mean the end of your run, because you then have to ski very precisely to get back out of the track. Aggressive snow can sort of hold on to the skis, and in exactly the wrong places. This is what makes it so tricky, and this is why you have to ski extremely precisely.”