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Snowsport History
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The Beginning of Skiing
by Catherine Ohl, Pacific Rim Alliance


A Beginning
The oldest sports have their roots in man’s struggle to survive. These sports were practiced out of necessity long before someone figured out how to turn them into ones of pleasure. These activities include running, horseback riding, boating and, naturally, skiing.

Skiing has a rich and colorful past. It is difficult for many of us to imagine a time when there were no on-mountain facilities or trails, skis lacked metal edges, bindings didn’t release and the only way to ski was to “earn your turns” by hiking to the top.

The first evidence of skiing comes from Stone Age rock carvings discovered around the Arctic rim, many showing ski-shod hunters in hot pursuit of game in lands recently uncovered by the retreat of continental glaciers. The time frame is the same as that of Egyptian pyramid-building.

The oldest equipment find was two-thirds of a ski uncovered at Hoting, Sweden in 1921 and estimated to be 4,500 years old. Stone-Age skiing, obviously, was not anything like the good times we have sliding down the hills. The first evidence of skiing other than as utility is a mere thousand years ago.

Back to Far West History



Ancient Skiers

Cave drawing from Eastern Russia dating from 7000 to 5000 BC

Rodoy Drawing

Rodoy Drawing



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