Roland Huntford's brilliant history begins 20,000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a travelling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival.That it has developed into the leisure and sporting pursuit of choice by so much of the globe bears testament to its elemental appeal. In polar exploration, it has changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too. The origins of skiing are bound up in with the emergence of modern man and the world we live in today.