What is ISHA?
The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a not-for-profit corporation, whose mission is to preserve and advance the knowledge of ski history and to increase public awareness of the sport’s heritage.
Almost two thousand skiers belong to ISHA. They hail from many nations, though mostly from the United States. Members are defined by their love of the sport and its rich past.
ISHA's mission has been enthusiastically endorsed by former champions, including Jean-Claude Killy, Stein Eriksen, Billy Kidd and Nancy Greene Raine. Members include distinguished members of the FIS, 10th Mountain Division members, members of the Ski Hall of Fame, ski area pioneers, and filmmakers. But you needn’t be a ski world insider to belong. It merely takes an interest in this most beautiful of sports.
The non-profit International Skiing History Association (ISHA) preserves and increases awareness of the sport’s heritage through our skills and long experience in editing, research and publishing. We aren’t a museum. We don’t own a physical collection of antique ski gear and clothing. Our role in preserving ski history is unique.
ISHA publishes a bimonthly magazine Skiing History, filled with lively, carefully researched stories and stunning images from skiing’s past, prepared by the sport’s most experienced, most respected writers and editors. Enthusiastically read six times a year by several thousand subscribers, researchers, hall-of-fame members, and skiers around the world, Skiing History is recognized as the world’s best periodical of ski history published in any language.
We make ski history accessible to thousands of enthusiasts on the Internet, operating the world’s most-visited website of information about the sport’s past. At this website is a timeline of events going back to 5,000 BC. The website contains histories of ski shapes, waxing, plastic boots, the steel edge, skating in cross-country, women’s jumping, the World Cup, Nastar, and much more. There’s an index to 7,000 ski books and films, and to ski magazines published since the middle of the 20th Century. Here also is the gateway, via Google Books, to viewing the pages of past issues of Skiing Heritage and Snow Country magazines (skiinghistory.org home page photo)
We present annual awards to the authors of ski history books, and to journalists, filmmakers, TV and radio broadcasters, website creators who have devoted their professional lives to recording the sport’s history. In the past ten years, we have handed out lifetime broadcasting achievement awards to Tim Ryan and Bob Beattie; film-making honors to Dick Barrymore, Roger Brown and German documentary maker Richard Rossman; British historian Roland Huntford and E. John B. Allen.
We hold an annual gathering, Skiing History Week, which brings together skiers to celebrate the sport’s history in historic ski towns, broadening local interest in the sport’s heritage. (crowd photo)
The website and the magazine constitute invaluable resources for educators, researchers, writers, students, and the general public seeking to learn more about the sport’s legacy.
The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a 501-( C )-3 educational non-profit corporation.
ISHA was founded in 1991 by the late Mason Beekley, who amassed perhaps the world’s largest private collection of ski books and art. The collection opened to the public for the first time in December, 2003 in a newly-created museum in Mammoth Lakes, California.
The founding of ISHA and the idea for a magazine of ski history came from Mason Beekley’s belief that, by the 1980’s, the need for a rational and complete record of American skiing history had reached the tipping point.
In the 1990-91 time frame, Mason Beekley gathered a number of individuals who he thought would share his vision for a skiing history organization assembled a group of “founders.” By November 1, 1990 he had convinced 36 prestigious prospects to become ISHA Founders “to encourage and promote sharing, organizing, preserving, archiving, collecting and disseminating every aspect of the history of skiing.”
A May, 1991 meeting of Founders in Hanover, New Hampshire led to the founders’ list growing to 102 individuals. This Founders meeting followed the Winter 1991 issuance of the Snow News Newsletter as “The Official Journal of the International Skiing History Association.”
The first Skiing Heritage Week (now known as Skiing History Week) was held in 1992. The name Snow News was replaced by SKIING HERITAGE in 1993 and Morten Lund was hired as editor. The fall, 1994 issue of the journal carried the first full-length article on Gretchen Fraser. Over the years the SKIING HERITAGE expanded to 48 pages. Full color is employed, and historical and entertaining articles have filled many of the holes in the documented record of skiing history.
This web site was launched in 2001 to enable ISHA to deliver on its mission to a worldwide Internet audience. The web site is #1 on Google Internet searches for ski history topics.
The magazine was renamed SKIING HISTORY in 2013. Today, it goes out to more than 2,000 subscribers, including individuals who are part of corporate sponsorship programs, who are museum members (National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum, Alf Engen Ski Museum at Olympic Park in Park City, and the Canadian Ski Museum), and who are individual subscribers.
SKIING HISTORY Editor
Kathleen James, former Editor of Vermont Magazine, was an editor at the award-winning Snow Country Magazine.
SKIING HISTORY Editorial Board
The ISHA Editorial Board works closely with the SKIING HISTORY Editor to ensure that articles meet high standards for accuracy and editorial quality. Members of this important peer review group are: John Fry; John Henry Auran; Jeff Leich; Seth Masia (ISHA Webmaster); Doug Pfeiffer; and Patrick Lang.
SkiingHistory.org Editor and Webmaster
Seth Masia was technical editor of SKI Magazine from 1974 to 1994, and launched SkiNet in 1995. He has worked as product manager at K2 Corp. and was a website producer at Microsoft Corp. He teaches skiing at Vail, and is editor of Solar Today and head of the American Solar Energy Society.
ISHA’s volunteer board of directors has included a few individuals whose substantial contributions over the years has resulted in being awarded “Emeritus Status.” Current directors emeritus are John Fry, Peter Lunn (deceased), Glenn Parkinson, and Doug Pfeiffer
ISHA Legacy Partners
Along with ISHA Directors Emeritus and the Presidential Circle, Legacy Partner is an honor reserved for individuals whose breadth and depth of commitment to and involvement with ISHA is outstanding. Current Legacy Partners are Gretchen Besser, PhD; Dr. Donn R. Mosser, and Gene Rose.