You are here

Letters: The Fate of Ruade, Tone-Deaf Promo



Editor Seth Masia
Managing Editor Greg Ditrinco
Consulting Editor Cindy Hirschfeld
Art Director Edna Baker

Editorial Board
Seth Masia, Chairman
John Allen, Andy Bigford, John Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Kirby Gilbert, Paul Hooge, Jeff Leich, Bob Soden, Ingrid Wicken

Founding Editors 
Morten Lund, Glenn Parkinson

To preserve skiing history and to increase awareness of the sport’s heritage

ISHA Founder 
Mason Beekley, 1927–2001

ISHA Board of Directors

Rick Moulton, Chairman
Seth Masia, President
Wini Jones, Vice President
Jeff Blumenfeld, Vice President
John McMurtry, Vice President
Bob Soden (Canada), Treasurer

Richard Allen, Skip Beitzel, Michael Calderone, Dick Cutler, Wendolyn Holland, Ken Hugessen (Canada), David Ingemie, Joe Jay Jalbert, Henri Rivers, Charles Sanders, Einar Sunde, Christof Thöny (Austria), Ivan Wagner (Switzerland)

Presidential Circle
Christin Cooper, Billy Kidd, Jean-Claude Killy, Bode Miller, Doug Pfeiffer, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine

Executive Director
Janet White

Membership Services 
Fawn Montanye
(802) 367-3408

Corporate Sponsorships 
Peter Kirkpatrick
(541) 944-3095


Bimonthly journal and official publication of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA)

Partners: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame | Canadian Ski Museum and Hall of Fame

Alf Engen Ski Museum | North American Snowsports Journalists Association | Swiss Academic Ski Club


Skiing History (USPS No. 16-201, ISSN: 23293659) is published bimonthly by the International Skiing History Association, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
Periodicals postage paid at Manchester Center, VT and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to ISHA, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255

ISHA is a 501(c)(3) public charity. EIN: 06-1347398

Written permission from the editor is required to reproduce, in any manner, the contents of Skiing History, either in full or in part.

Letters: The Fate of Ruade, Tone-Deaf Promo

Ruade Redux

The November–December 2021 issue’s “Whatever Happened To” explored the ruade technique, developed in France in the 1940s and introduced to the U.S. by Emile Allais. There is an interesting story about Allais, ruade and Sun Valley.

(Photo above: Emile Allais (second from left) at Squaw Valley, 1949, with instructors Dodie Post, Warren Miller, Charlie Cole and Alfred Hauser. Courtesy Palisades Tahoe.)

In 1947, Otto Lang became head of the Sun Valley Ski School. In his autobiography, A Bird of Passage, Lang said it was time to revitalize the ski school and it needed “a celebrity with the charisma of a superior ski racer who could also teach.” In 1948, he brought in four-time world champion and Olympic medalist Allais, famous for devising the French direct-to-parallel teaching technique, in opposition to the stem-based Arlberg system that was the mainstay of the Sun Valley school. Hannes Schneider, godfather of Arlberg, approved the hire, since “only time will tell which of the techniques deserved to last.” Allais worked out well and was a popular instructor.

Lang described ruade as “a christiania with the skis held parallel, and in order to initiate the change of direction, one lifted the tail ends of both skis off the snow and started the turn in midair to head the skis in the opposite direction.” He found it “a physically taxing maneuver, but very useful under certain conditions, such as a crusted or deeply rutted snow surface. The sight of a bunch of skiers doing the ruade reminded me of a flock of bunny rabbits hopping around and frolicking in the snow.”

That spring, Allais was hired to launch the Squaw Valley Ski School. When Lang saw Allais years later, he asked “What about ruade?” Allais replied, “Extinct as the dodo bird.”

John W. Lundin
Seattle, Washington

Cover Blurb Blunder

Ingrid Christophersen has delivered a valuable anthology to the international skiing community with To Heaven’s Heights. She deserves the recognition of ISHA’s Ullr Award for her extensive research and translation achievement and this addition to the skiing literature canon.

Readers of Skiing History also should know that the back cover of the volume highlights an entry by Leni Riefenstahl, the German filmmaker best known for glorifying Hitler and the Nazi regime. The 438-page volume contains entries from 100-plus authors. Singling out Riefenstahl for the back cover suggests a naivety or tone-deafness, especially during this time of growing anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism. To the author’s and publisher’s credit, the Riefenstahl reference, included in the book’s early publicity materials, was removed from subsequent promotional materials when the issue was brought to their attention. It remains on the back cover.

Jon Weisberg
Salt Lake City, Utah


Due to an editing error, on page 20 of “The Legacy of Spider Sabich” (March-April 2022), the site of Spider’s first WPS race—and victory—was misidentified. The race was held at Buffalo, New York, not Hunter Mountain. A caption on page 22 misidentified the woman in the photo. It’s Missy Greis, Spider’s daughter, not her mother Dede Brinkman.


BerkshireEast/Catamount Mountain Resorts
Warren and Laurie Miller 
Sport Obermeyer 


Fairbank Group: Bromley, Cranmore, Jiminy Peak
Hickory & Tweed 
Snowsports Merchandising Corporation 

WORLD CUP ($1,000)

Aspen Skiing Company
Bogner of America 
Boyne Resorts 
Dale of Norway 
Darn Tough Vermont
Gordini USA Inc/Kombi LTD 
Head Wintersports
Intuition Sports
Mammoth Mountain 
Marker/Völkl USA 
National Ski Areas Association
North Carolina Ski Areas Association
Outdoor Retailer 
Ski Area Management 
Ski Country Sports 
Sports Specialists Ltd
Sugar Mountain Resort 
Sun Valley Resort
Vintage Ski World
World Cup Supply


Larson's Ski & Sports
Race Place/Beast Tuning Tools
The Ski Company (Rochester NY)


Alta Ski Area 
Boden Architecture PLLC 
Dalbello Sports
Deer Valley 
EcoSign Mountain Resort Planners 
Fera International
Holiday Valley Resort
Hotronic USA/Wintersteiger
Masterfit Enterprises
McWhorter Driscoll LLC
Metropolitan New York Ski Council 
Mt. Bachelor 
New Jersey Ski & Snowboard Council
Russell Mace Vacation Homes
Scott Sports
Seirus Innovations 
Ski Utah
Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp
Sundance Mountain Resort
Swiss Academic Ski Club
Tecnica Group USA 
Timberline Lodge and Ski Area
Trapp Family Lodge
Wendolyn Holland
Western Winter Sports Reps Association
World Pro Ski Tour
Yellowstone Club

Member Already? Sign in.

Member Already? Sign in.