Skiing was once considered a fad like Mah-Jong.  That was a long time ago.

Here’s a seven-minute series of clips from John Jay’s “Ski Down The Years”, a visual history of skiing from the early days of rope tows in the mid-30s in New England to the FIS championships at Aspen in 1950.  From our current perspective, those initial attempts appear at once hardy and comical.

A flop on the Inferno, Mt. Washington, circa late 1930s.  Credit: John Jay.
A flop on the Inferno, Mt. Washington, circa late 1930s. Credit: John Jay.
Ski Mobile in North Conway, mid-1930s.  Credit: John Jay
Ski Mobile in North Conway, mid-1930s. Credit: John Jay

Oh, the technique! Downhill shoulders leading through a turn.  Bending forward at the waist.  Oh, the savior-faire.  Lowell Thomas, the celeb journalist, has a knowing air about him as he adjusts his skis.  And Gary Cooper puffing away at Sun Valley.  Oh, the early glory of powder skiing.  There’s a series of shots of Dick “Straight Down” Durrance skiing powder at Alta.  Amazing.  Most interesting is the formation skiing of the Tenth Mountain Division training on Mt. Rainier.

We’re lucky we have this kind of footage to reflect upon.  We remember the legacy of those early days in our own first skiing gear and experiences in the mid-1960s.  Leather lace-up boots, bear trap bindings, army surplus goggles, rope tows.  What equipment from your first days can you track back to that glorious time?

 

 

One Comment

  1. Thanks; wonderful documented history

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