Downhill skiing is to the city what cross-country skiing is to the country. It’s as different as mayhem is to peace.
Think about it. Downhill skiing epitomizes the city. You drive a long way to get to where you’re going; try to find a spot in the parking lot; join the throng milling about what amounts to a Main Street; stand in a line to take the equivalent of an elevator up a slope; admire the view as you would from a skyscraper; wend your way down as you would navigate a busy street; do it all again as if it was just another city block and when you’re done for the day, you apres in a cafe or bar knowing you’re going to join the rush home. When you get there you count up the cost.
Cross-country skiing, on the other hand, requires you to tootle out to woods; wax-up as if your were choosing the right Chardonnais; stride through the trees until you find your rate of exaltation; maintain it for an hour or two then meander home, spent.
Sure, Downhill is fun, and you get to wear all the fashions and sport all that equipment and you get to gossip about who you saw and brag about how you did. But, really, Downhill is merely foreplay.
The real deal is getting it on with Mother Earth.
Guess who had his first ski today.