Winter sports, to me, are an indoor affair: an unhealthy obsession with the NBA and a lifelong hoax by, and indifference to the slippery world of the NHL. Obviously, there are those who think more broadly and actually participate, even on the outside. Maybe after such a long 40s these enthusiasts – the skiers, climbers and the rest – are right.
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This week we bring you a selection of pieces on skiing, snowboarding and other perilous winter pastimes. In “Wild Carnival in the Heart of Skiing’s Most Dangerous Race”, Nick Paumgarten visits a small town in the Austrian Alps known for its extraordinarily formidable slopes. In “Learn to Ski in a Beginner’s Land,” Peter Hessler travels across China to see how its athletes are preparing to compete in next year’s Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. In “Dude, where’s the snow? Sheila Yasmin Marikar talks about snowboarder Jeremy Jones and his campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change. In “Kílian Jornet, Sky Runner”, Stephen Kurczy follows the ski mountaineering champion as he tries to conquer heights that should defy conquest. Finally, in “The Adventure of a Skier”, Italo Calvino works his magic by describing a group of young boys who embark on a winter adventure in northern Italy. “The air and the snow were now the same color, an opaque white, but on scrutinizing this whiteness, so that it became almost less dense, the boys could make out the sky blue shadow hanging in the middle. , flying this way and like on a violin string. Enjoy. And wear a hat.