There’s a lot of skiing literature from the past, some of which still has relevance. If you have a favorite that you’d like to share with other readers, please write an appreciation and send it in. Our goal is a maximum of 500 words. Thank you, Susan Zangrilli, for this nice account of We Learned to Ski.

Although equipment and ski teaching has changed since the 70s, We Learned to Ski, produced by writers and artists of The Sunday Times of London, remains one of my personal ski library favorites.

The not-quite-coffee-table 10” by 13” format is filled with photos, illustrations, easy to read headings and text, and covers everything about skiing from choosing a resort, equipment, and lessons starting from day one on snow, to getting fit for the sport.

Authors Harold Evans, Brian Jackman and Mark Ottaway write “their main impetus is a conviction about the teaching of ski movements.” They explain that the book addresses those mainly unbitten by the ski bug and recreational skiers with less than three years experience.

In Chapter 1, Where to Go, the authors illustrate “Goodalp” and “Badalp.”  Lift access in the “Goodalp” allows skiers to ski the upper slopes without having to return to the bottom at the end of each run. A “Badalp” forces many of the skiers do just the opposite, creating bottlenecks at the base.

Lessons for Beginners, Stopping and Going Slow, mentions using a “half-plough,” when there may not be room for a wide basic snowplough. One ski stays flat in the fall line, the other has an open tail, is set on its inside edge, and acts as a brake. This might come in handy for me this winter.

Large illustrations in Chapter 25, Ski Craft, compare the descent of a “crafty skier” and a “snarled-up skier”; how to navigate a narrow, icy catwalk, and the best path through a mogul-filled gully.

It’s fun to read about older ski techniques in Section 6, Lessons for the Advanced Skier: the “jet turn,” with its “sit-back style,” classical and braking wedel turns, and the avalement turn to master moguls.

The book: We Learned to Ski, Copyright © 1974, 1975, by The Sunday Times, St. Martin’s Press, Inc., New York, New York. Copies are available online.


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