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F. F. Roget
In 1905, when nearer fifty than forty, had I not been the happy father of a girl of seven I should have had no occasion to write this book. I bought, for her to play with, a pair of small ski in deal, which I remember cost nine francs. For myself I bought a rough pair, on which to fetch and bring her back to shore if the small ship foundered.No sooner had I equipped myself, standing, as a Newfoundland dog, on the brink of the waves, ready to rescue a child from snow peril, than I was born again into a ski-runner.Since, I have devoted some of my spare time to revisiting—in winter—the passes and peaks of Switzerland.The bringing of the ski to Switzerland ushered in the “New Mountaineering,” of which a few specimens seek in these pages the favour of the general public.The reader may notice that I never spell “ski” with an s in the plural, because it is quite unnecessary. One may stand on one ski, and one may stand on both ski. The s adds nothing to intelligibility.Nor do I ever pronounce ski otherwise than I write it. There is in ski the k that appears in skipper and in skiff. Though cultured Germans say Schiff and Schiffer, the k sound of ski is quite good Norse. It has been preserved in the French esquif, of same origin.The i should be pronounced long as in “tree.”So let us always say s-k-ee and write ski for both numbers.Saas-Fee.
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