Some skiers will stop at nothing in the search for fresh powder.
Exhibit A: a man who skied through the streets of suburban Detroit on 1 February, carving S-turns down a snow-covered road as he was being towed by a car – until police intervened.
Incredibly, Detroit news station WXYZ-TV was interviewing the mayor of Warren, Michigan, about hazardous driving conditions and showing live footage of the road when the skier cruised past.
Told of the incident, mayor Jim Fouts wasted no time in condemning the stunt.
“It’s horrendous,” he told the station. “That driver would certainly get a ticket if there was a police officer in that area. It’s very dangerous.”
Moments later, as the station continued to broadcast live, a police car pulled over the skier, bringing the stunt to an end.
Urban skiing isn’t exactly new. More than a decade ago, skiers and snowboarders inspired by skateboarders began sliding down handrails and other man-mad features found in snowy cityscapes. The practice continues today, with adherents often trying to stay a step ahead of local police.
Needless to say, not all skiing near major cities has to end with police intervention. Some urban centres – Interlaken, Switzerland comes to mind – have more favourable conditions nearby. In fact, almost all of these cities would make fine choices.