Skiing is one of those things that gets easier the faster you're going. That whole falling over thing is much more likely when you're crawling along slowly, shitting your pants while your ski instructor, who's Frencher than the public execution of an aristocrat, shouts "Zbeed! You need ze zbeed!"

One Italian skier has found a novel way of injecting a little bit of urgency into his runs. While arsing around on Mt Etna, the old volcano started erupting. Well, chucking a load of smoke and ash in the air anyway, but would you risk sticking around and wait for the molten lava?

Seeing the crisp white lines of virgin snow cutting through the increasingly ash-coated surface is sick, although pleasing aesthetics wouldn't be at the forefront of our minds if we were up there. Escaping with largely unsoiled pants would be the name of the game.

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