When an English speaker says "I'm going skiing", they mean Alpine skiing. Alpine skiing is laskettelu in Finnish. hiihto refers to cross-country skiing. The related verbs are lasketella and hiihtää. And no, we do not really have words that apply to both, unless you're talking about general winter activities related to hiihtoloma, "skiing holiday" (about a week long holiday for pupils and students in February). To Finns cross-country is the proper form of skiing, to English speakers going downhill is skiing. As a linguistic phenomenon that is, since most Finns enjoy both hiihto and laskettelu. :)
Kirjoitat: "unless you're talking about general winter activities related to hiihtoloma" . Tämä tarkoittaa, että "Skiing is fun" should be accepted. Just show the better answer as an alternativ, when someone just writes "skiing is fun". This is not exclusively "downhill skiing". Plus people who are not English speakers and maybe never have seen snow before, will have a hard time getting the skill done :) Kiitos
I think I explained this unclearly. That's more about the prefix hiihto-. hiihto as an independent noun should not be mixed with laskettelu. hiihtäminen (a noun formed from the verb hiihtää) would, rather oddly, be more likely to include both: hiihtäminen on hauskaa, "(cross-country) skiing is fun". I would really recommend keeping those two apart though. We will reconsider this matter for the second version of the course though, so if you have more things to say about this matter, please let us know. For now, we're going to keep laskettelu and hiihto as far apart from one another as possible. :)
Can someone explain cross country skiing to me? I'm not a native speaker of English and I have never heard of it before. So if downhill skiing is a separate thing, how do you move in cross country skiing? Is it long distance skiing (across the country)? I even live relatively near an Olympic mountain (we had winter Olympics back 1984.), but I don't ski and I don't know much about winter sports.
By moving the skis and pushing with the ski poles. Contrary to downhill skiing, in cross-country skiing you use your own strength to propel yourself forward. You can check for example the English Wikipedia article for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-country_skiing
(nordijsko skijanje in Serbian, apparently)