The next day's weather is typical, for Scotland. The sky is the color of lamb's wool, and the rain, blown by gale-force gusts, seems to be falling horizontally. Elaine Adam is happier about this than anyone else. Adam, 22, who teaches canoeing and orienteering at a suburban Glasgow high school, won the women's slalom the day before and is thrilled at the dampness, which will create a faster surface for the giant slalom. "I just love when the rain is chucking it down; it makes the course really scary," says the intrepid Adam, waiting for her run. She is sitting in the tiny, base-area restaurant, where the special of the day is the Scottish delicacy haggis, with tatties and neeps—boiled sheep intestines, mashed potatoes and stewed turnips.
Adam, like Carrick-Anderson, is Scottish and a former British national-team member who had her hopes of ski-racing glory dashed by a knee injury. She is a bit of an anachronism: Instead of wearing a specially padded and insulated ski outfit like most of the other racers, she competes in a wool fisherman's sweater and purple sweatpants. Her only nod to current technology is a jet-black helmet. "I've landed on my head quite a number of times," she says.
Adam's technique, too, seems to be a throwback to less sophisticated times. In the giant slalom she doesn't bother to check her speed on the steep top section, and she barrels into the lower flats seemingly out of control. It is a risky tactic, but a calculated one: Adam will either crash or win. She careers across the finish line, scarlet hair streaming from beneath her helmet, and lifts her arms in triumph as her time flashes on the scoreboard. After 10 years of trying, Adam has won the dry-slope championships.
An hour later Carrick-Anderson roars down the toothbrush, swatting gates out of his way, once again maintaining a grip on the mat on which other racers were forced to skid. He, too, wins both events, and he joins Adam on the top tier of the victory podium. They are awarded crystal trophies—there is no prize money—and stand together for a moment, basking in what might be the sunset of their racing careers. Someone asks whether they are inspired to continue their dry-slope training. "No," says Adam, pointing to an ugly bruise on her forearm, "I'm looking forward to going to Europe and skiing the real snow." Crawfie, reading her lips, nods his head vigorously in agreement.