The small, and grand, circuits, that lure and occupy amateur skiers are the setting for Jack Roche's association with equally competitive companions. The story of his relationships with the best downhill man in the U.S., Chris Leary; with Anne Patterson, a comer in the woman's slalom; and Georgians Brown, on her way among the women downbillers; takes him from Europe, back home and to the seasonal events that will lead to the Olympics. It takes him also to a greater knowledge of Chris and his ""crappy"" view of life, of his family and of Georgiana; a deeper realization of Anne's inaccessibility-and her need for love; an awakening of responsibility -- when Georgiana needs a father for her child. This, with its in speed"", informs on the psyching out, the edge of dangers, the compulsion -- destructive as well as exhillrating -- to win, the loneliness of this type of competition -- gray in mood, warm in pride,-for an account of a non stop to the top which can make or break its followers. A defined audience for an exciting sport will find this reporting keyed to its interests. A different take-off for the author of Wirlock (1958), Mardios Beach (1955), etc.