The Various Styles of Skiing

Peter Bergstein volunteers at numerous charitable events and organizations, including the South Plains Food Bank and Texas Boys Ranch. When he is not volunteering, Peter Bergstein enjoys outdoor activities such as fly-fishing and skiing.

When someone mentions skiing, most people imagine the downhill, or Alpine, style of skiing. However, there are a number of other popular disciplines and styles of skiing. Backcountry skiing is perhaps the exact opposite of Alpine skiing. Rather than cruising downhill at a resort or professionally maintained mountain, backcountry skiers move through untamed and sometimes dangerous landscapes. Backcountry skiing is similar to cross-country, though the latter generally takes place on tracts of land void of extreme features and obstacles. In countries with expansive snow fields, cross-country tracks may even be part of public ski resorts.

Extreme skiing, or speed skiing, could be considered a hybrid of Alpine and backcountry skiing, combining the downhill aspect of Alpine with the danger and off-piste approach of backcountry. Extreme runs are generally much steeper than traditional Alpine slopes and have led to extreme skiing gaining a reputation as the world’s fastest non-motorized sport. Additional disciplines include freestyle skiing, grass skiing, and heliskiing. Some athletes even combine skiing with another sport, such as shooting, as part of a biathlon event.

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