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Extreme Skiing



Extreme Skiing
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.11

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    beginner, chipping, radical, rates, wiper, slope, difficulty, windshield, depression, version, skier, crud, density, flips, shots, resort
     content words:    Sylvain Saudan, Le Ski Extreme, Big Mountain Skiing, Free Skiing, Warren Miller, Colorado Ski Hall


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Extreme Skiing
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Skiing smoothly down a snowy slope under a clear blue sky is one thing. Crashing over a rocky cliff onto a rocky, tree-covered slope is something else. Webster's dictionary defines extreme as "going to great or exaggerated lengths," or as "radical." Extreme skiing is a radical sport.
 
2     Extreme skiing is done on long, steep slopes on rugged, unmarked terrain. Usually, the slopes are more than 45 degrees. The first extreme skier was a Swiss man named Sylvain Saudan. He invented a wild turn called the "windshield wiper" in the 1960s. Sylvain was a bold skier who went down slopes that seemed impossible. He had his friends take movies of him on his wild adventures. The French named this new, dangerous sport "Le Ski Extreme" in the 1970s. Today, this kind of skiing is also called Big Mountain Skiing and Free Skiing.
 
3     Extreme skiing is a wild ride through pine trees and off of cliffs. Sometimes, skiers do 360-degree flips on the way down the slope. Extreme skiing is not categorized like regular skiing. In normal snow skiing, a color-coded system defines the slope's difficulty. At a ski resort, the slopes are groomed with large machines that smooth out lumps and bumps. Green slopes are for beginners and are gently sloping hills at the bottom of a ski lodge. Blue slopes are slightly steeper and well groomed. Black diamond slopes are for experts skiers. Double black diamond slopes are the hardest of all. In extreme skiing, no one rates the slopes because they are so rugged. Extreme skiing on terrain that is not groomed is called skiing off piste.

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