So, you thought it just meant sliding downhill?

ACROBATIC SKIING

Acrobatics -with the welcome difference that the landings are (usually) soft.

ALPINE DOWNHILL

This is the skiing that ordinary holidaymakers indulge in, on recognised pistes with ski-lifts and crowds. The equipment is solid, feet are locked into the skis and movement is, hopefully, in one direction only - downhill.

CROSS-COUNTRY

This is the most ancient form of skiing and requires special long, metal- edged skis. Basically, it is for skiers who want to travel horizontally from place to place, rather than straight downhill. The foot is held in the ski by the toe only and equipment is light, which means that turns and manoeuvres require serious thigh strength. Considered to be one of the best forms of aerobic exercise there is. It is also the least risky form of skiing.

EXTREME SKIING

Skiers who dare to approach or exceed 100 mph, or who aspire to act as James Bond dummies in the escape scenes, should try this sport which requires total control and spot-on precision.

HANG-GLIDING

Involves you taking off from the top of the slope and landing at the bottom - all on skis. This way, you avoid all the pitfalls en route.

HELI-SKIING

This must be the most expensiveway to get to the top of a slope - by helicopter. Therefore you are able to reach the places that ski-lifts do not penetrate. On the other hand, skiing from a mountain-top can be extremely dangerous and is only recommended for experts.

HORSE-DRAWN

An old tradition in Finland that has not yet taken off in the Alps.

MONO-SKIING

Skiing with both feet strapped into one very fat ski. A very popular innovation from France some years back, but has died a death.

SKI TOURING

(Or ski mountaineering). The whole business of going up and down mountains which are not accessible by ski-lifts. Ski tourers use the skis of cross- country skiers but also dare to indulge in frighteningly steep downhills, perhaps with the help of techniques such as Telemarking (see overleaf). They trek up hills with special skins on their skis, though only at a fairly slow plod.

SNOWBOARDING

Not really skiing, but worth including because it's so popular. This is basically skate-boarding transferred on to snow. Its practitioners tend to come drenched with slope-wise attitude.

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