Planning ski tours with accurate topographic maps is today a standard procedure. When a specific avalanche-prone slope has to be evaluated, the perception of the terrain from the map varies due to subjective interpretation. The question arises: How do experienced backcountry skiers assess avalanche terrain from a map? To gain a better understanding, we conducted a survey among 26 experts. They were asked to evaluate 24 avalanche-prone locations considering a given avalanche situation. First, they had to delineate the slope area they considered relevant for assessing the terrain. Second, they had to rate the hazard in terms of avalanche triggering probability and the consequences of being caught. The participants were also encouraged to describe their assessment in qualitative terms. Depending on the specific location, the assessments among the participants varied, whereas the agreement between the qualitative explanations was higher. The criteria most frequently mentioned to rate the terrain were slope angle, slope size, terrain traps, homogeneity of the slope and proximity to ridges. The results confirm that assessing avalanche terrain from a map is not a straightforward task. Nevertheless, the survey helps quantifying subjective expert knowledge. For instance, the data can be useful for designing algorithms to classify potential avalanche terrain, as it provides a set of well-studied terrain situations.