Literally, to slide down a snowfield on one's feet, belly, or bottom, usually while using an ice axe as a brake. Glissades can be a valuable means of rapidly descending a snowy slope; however, the technique is not without peril, and should not be considered unless the slope angle is moderate and the runout (in the event of uncontrolled descent) is safe
A quick method of descending a snowfield, in which the climber sits, crouches or stands, with an ice axe ready for self-arrest, and slides down the slope. In the sitting or crouching position, the tail of the axe can be used as a rudder to control direction and speed.
Glissading is the usually voluntary act of descending a steep slope of snow in a controlled manner either for the sheer thrill of the ride and/or to bypass tedious scree. Glissading is an alternative to plunge stepping and also cuts down on descent time.