Get gnarly on that mountain, dude.
What is it?
We're talking any sport which involves zipping along at frantic speeds across the white, cold stuff. This includes the oldest (skiing), the newest (snowboarding), the hardest (cross-country skiing), and the weirdest (biathlon, with its skiing-shooting combo). Skiing involves strapping a long flat runner on to each boot which helps you glide across the snow. For snowboarding, the skis are replaced by what looks like a mini-surfboard. What they all have in common is the need for snow.
What is it good for?
Mountain sports are big with thrill seekers who get a buzz from the speed, but it's also a great way to work on your fitness. It may look like the skis do all the work but it's actually tiring stuff. And as you'd expect with a sport which entails hurtling across a deceptively hard surface at high speed, the risk of injury is pretty high. Ankles and knees are particularly vulnerable.
What do I need?
Quite a lot. Skiing and snowboarding aren't sports you can dip into cheaply. You need the obvious (skis or a board, although these can be hired) and warm, waterproof clothing. You also need to budget for transport, chairlift-passes, accommodation and food.
Who are the experts?
There are plenty of websites out there with good information for skiers, boarders and those flirting with snow sports. Ifyouski.com is a good place to start.
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