Despite the plights of Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy, skiing remains an extremely popular (and relatively safe) family activity. The most common type of skiing is alpine, or downhill, skiing, in which both the heel and toe of the boot are attached to the ski. However, Nordic skiing techniques (where only the toe is attached) such as telemark and cross-country are quite popular as well.

5,000-year-old rock drawings attest to the long history of skiing, but modern skiing began in the late 19th century with the invention of bindings that held ski to boot by Norwegian Sondre Norheim, often called “the father of modern skiing.” The sport continues to develop and cross pollinate with snowboarding, taking on new innovations such as side cut or “parabolic” skis for improved carving and turning.

Though environmentalists warn that winters are getting warmer, there are still plenty of cool places to ski. Among the most popular U.S. destinations are Aspen and Vail, and Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia. Chamonix Mont-Blanc in France, Switzerland (Gstaad), Italy (Cortina) and Austria (Lech-Zurs, Seefeld) also boast some of the world’s best skiing.

Articles About Skiing

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