Once upon a donkeys years ago, man was a fairly sensible sort of creature and was quite content to spend his time down on the 'flat', as opposed to the top of hills and mountains. He'd invent, build, farm, and get together in massive groups on a flat plain facing another massive group and proceed to beat the shit out of each other. They built boats to sail the flattish seas to find other flat plains were they could gather and beat the shit out of the 'home' gathering. As far as they were concerned hills and mountains were ok, if you could use them to grow grapes on the slopes to make the vino to help the fighting groups get 'tanked up' on the flat plain below for the forthcoming 'beating the shit out of'. As far as they were concerned going uphill was hard work, so the tops of the big hills and mountains were allocated as the homes of the gods, so, totally off limits to 'us mere mortals down on the 'flat'. This was before they invented gravity!...
Over in our part of the world , there was a pile of plain out n' out nutjobs who lived in the 'highlands' and would come racing down to the flat from time to time to batter the 'flattee's', but rarely would the 'flatee's' follow them back up, wisely thinking. "Why should i virtually kill meself and freeze me nuts off chasing them gobshites up the side of a mountain?".A fairly understandable sentiment, i think you bunch of lazy gets would sympathise with. In some places like the Alpine regions, esspecially. The farmers would move their cattle to the upper pastures in the summer and back down in the winter. They invented planks of wood to strap on their feet and with the aid of sticks tramp up the snowy slopes and sometimes use the planks of wood on their feet to slide back down on the snow. This was the ski. An aid to get to the village strasse ;the boozenfarter and back to the fraulein(???)er. And that was that.
When Issac Newton decided to invent gravity it was handy for getting apples out of trees, and working out where the moon would be, or where a cannon ball may drop. But the real streamlining of gravity was with a swiss chappie by the name of ALBERT EINSTEIN.
Before our hero gave the world the new sporty model of gravity. Gravity was this 'stuff' that kept you on the floor. There were a few strange sorts who wanted to oppose this perfectly natural force. They would risk life and limb and climb up almost vertical slopes and cliffs to get to the top of mountains ,"cos' it was there?". But man is basically a lazy git and much preferred coming down to busting a gut going up. So, somebody invented the cablecar so people could go up higher than your screaming thighs and howling calf muscles would let you walk, and then you could slide down on those wooden planks called ski's. The higher you went the faster you skied. Einstein, apparently was a keen skier. So, wether he discovered the Relative theory of general insanity, The only possible reason for hurling yourself off the top of a mountain to see how fast you can get to the bottom.(E=MC2....ego=madness x craziness 2 )... And if this inspired the general theory of relativity, which to the average non skier makes much more sense, we may never know.
But this fascination with gravity has made parts of the world into haunts of the rich n' famous,(thats not us)..Gravity has made the Alpine regions and the various countries thereabouts very rich indeed. Even richer now, since some maniac decided to launch a kiddie-sized bike off the top of a mountain when the snow wasn't about. The mountain bike craze had begun. So now the whole reigion has an ever expanding variety of ways of falling down mountains at ridiculous speeds in and out of the snowy season. I know this having just come back from LES GETS, in the FRENCH ALPS...As the week wore on the numbers of wrecked bikes and legs and arms in plaster mounted up. I think the skiers are ok, as apparently they do like to drink and have a good time...Whereas the bikers go back to their tent , van or hotel to fix their bike to wreck it again tomorrow ,then' hit the sack'. For my money i reckon the bikers are the real maniacs as they stay sober, so they've no excuse.