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Beijing Olympic Courses Still a Mystery

What to Expect When You're Inspecting By Edith Thys Morgan When Alpine skiing athletes head to the Beijing Olympics, they will do so with an unprecedented lack of knowledge about the venue. While...

Dynamic Reinvents the Slalom Ski

By Seth Masia  The VR17, engineered for French ski racers, was imitated by ski factories around the world. The Dynamic VR17 remains legendary, and for good reason. With its hickory core, fiberglass...

The Nelson Camps: Birth of the Canadian Ski Team

In 1964, the Kokanee Glacier gave birth to Canada’s national ski team. Canadians fared poorly at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck. Only Nancy Greene had a top-10 finish (seventh in downhill). In May...

Resorts: Baroness Mimi and Mont d'Arbois

Megève celebrates 100 years as the first purpose-built ski resort in France. Megève, the posh ski resort just off the main road between Geneva and Chamonix, has been managed by the Rothschild banking...

Walter Kofler Invents the Polyethylene Ski Base

Before P-tex, there was Kofix. It drove a revolution in ski racing. When Alpine skis had wooden bases, it was common to waterproof them with celluloid lacquer, made by dissolving celluloid in ether,...

Heavy Lifting: Aspen Under Construction

 Meet the folks who built Aspen’s first chairlifts, 75 years ago. Aspen Mountain celebrates its 75th anniversary of lift-served slopes this winter, but the area’s skiing history started well before...

Northland Skis: Fire and Feud in St. Paul

By Greg Fangel and Paul Hooge How Christian Lund mopped up rivals while making the world’s best-known hickory skis. Illustration above: Henry Hall (1893-1986), of Ishpeming, Michigan, was just one of...

Catching up with Kari Traa

By Aimee Berg The Norwegian mogul champ is back home in Voss, raising kids and running a $70 million company. But she still flies through the air.  At 14, Kari Traa started skiing moguls in oversized...

Sunshine on my Shoulders: A history of ski music and song

By Charlie Sanders Photo by Robert Doisneau/Getty Images As a professor of entertainment law at New York University, I’ve taught courses on the relationship of music to history. I’ve also been skiing...

The European Origin of Skiing

By Maurice Woehrlé Archaeology and DNA evidence support the theory that skiing arose east of the Baltic, at the end of the last Ice Age. Translated by Seth Masia Where and when was skiing invented?...

Kiki Cutter Densmore

By Edith Thys Morgan Where are they now? The first American to win a World Cup race starts a new life. Photo above: Kiki at the World Cup GS in Val d'Isere, December 11, 1969. Popperfoto/Getty Images...

Why Racers Marry Their Ski Boots

By Peter Oliver Ski racers take extreme measures to get—and keep—a winning boot.  Ingemar Stenmark spent almost his entire World Cup career in Caber’s blue Alfa boot (top of page). He ran his first...

Faster, Easier, Better: Evolution of XC Track Setting

By Rick Eliot with John Caldwell For any sport, the condition of the playing surface is vital to success. For that reason, ski-touring centers strive to provide guests with well-designed trails...

A Century of Ski Films

Movies have had a special place in the history of skiing, of course. Because motion picture cameras were invented just about the time skiing emerged as a sport in the Alps, snippets of footage exist...

Ski Business: Better Than Wool

By Seth Masia In the early ’80s, skiers finally learned to stay dry and warm. Photo above: In the 1980s, Patagonia's fleece top helped launch the technical skiwear category. Those of us who began...

Skiers Will Ski on Anything -- Especially Sand

By Jeff Blumenfeld Lack of snow deters not the true believer. Photo above: German sand-skiing speed record holder (nearly 60 mph) Henrik May shows his form on the sands of Namibia. Snow is...

Alison Owen Bradley

By Peggy Shinn The first American to win a World Cup cross-country race, this pioneer has remained an advocate for women for five decades. Photo above: Alison at the U.S. Nationals in 1977. Courtesy...

A blizzard in Israel: Skiing in the Middle East

This winter, Israel’s Ski Hermon (skihermon.co.il) centre celebrated 50 years since opening its first ski lift, on land captured from Syria during the 1967 war. Of course, this was a freaky winter....

ISHA Awards, 2021: Honoring the best histories published in 2020

INTERNATIONAL SKIING HISTORY ASSOC. HONORS 14 OF THE BEST HISTORICAL BOOKS AND FILMS OF 2020 MANCHESTER CENTER, VT (Feb. 8, 2021) – The International Skiing History Association (ISHA), the nonprofit...

100 years of timed slalom racing

1921 was an important year in the history of ski racing. In 1920 the British ski racing pioneer Arnold Lunn, then age 32, became chairman of the Federal Council of British Ski Clubs and thus...

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