Where did skiing come from?
10 years ago - the forefather of skis Dating back to more than 8 years B.C., the very first skis were found in Northern China. Made of wood, they were around 2 metres long and covered in horse hair. Other skis dating back to around 6 J.-C. were also found . Dec 21, · Skis and snowshoes were first invented to cross wetlands and marshes in the winter when they froze over. They enabled man to travel during .
Books Apparel Magnet Shop. Note the single pole. D Who were the first people to strap wooden boards onto to their feet and slide down a snowy slope? Since the late nineteenth century, Scandinavians, and Norwegians in particular, have made a serious effort to claim that their ancestors were the first skiers.
And according to early medieval sagas and Norse histories, Scandinavians have a long history of using skis to get around during the cold, dark winters of the north. Yet the question is not so easily answered. While the Chinese are usually credited with the invention of printing, gunpowder, and the compass, few people link them with skiing.
Recently however, the Chinese have begun to assert that they were the first to use skis. Petroglyph from Alta in Finnmark, Norway shows a skier on the right and a moose?
To confuse matters further, the next reference to skiing, was made by Prokopios, a Byzantine scholar of the sixth century C. Present day Sami Lapps still use skis of this type while herding their reindeer in the winter months. The earliest evidence for skiing, however, is prehistoric. This evidence comes in two forms: the wooden remains maade actual skis and poles, and pictures carved into rock, which are usually called petroglyphs.
Whar use a variety of methods to date petroglyphs but none of them is exact. This difficulty in dating the carvings simply adds to the confusion surrounding the origins of skiing. High up in the Altay Mountains of northwestern China, archaeologists have uncovered several petroglyphs which show men on skis. Perhaps the most striking of these is the picture of a skier hunting an ibex.
Chinese archaeologists argue that this group of petroglyphs dates back 10, years. If that date proves accurate, this would be the oldest evidence of skiing anywhere in the world. However, other archaeologists believe these particular engravings are only about 3, years old.
Petroglyph showing a skier on the left, hunting what is thought to be a wolf. Petroglyphs of skiers can also be found in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Over time, scientists have come to a rough consensus about the dates of these depictions. Ina large group of petroglyphs was uncovered in Steinkjer in the county of Nord Trondelag in Norway. Generally believed to be the oldest in Norway, these carvings are about 5, years old. But it was not until that the figure of a skier, Bola man, was unearthed in this cluster of carvings.
Interestingly, the man appears to be using only one pole, a method of skiing still practiced in the Altay Mountains of China. Rock incisions found in Alstahaug, Norland include Rodby man, a figure who is clearly on skis. One of the other figures may also be on skis but unfortunately, its imperfect condition makes it hard to decipher.
This grouping, which is about ,00 years old, includes a particularly fine engraving of a skier. Many Russian petroglyphs also show skiers. Three siis these carvings lie along the river Vyg, which empties into the White Sea in Karelia not far from Finland.
Still others, which date anywhere from the third century BCE to the fourth century CE, are located only miles from the Altay Mountains of northwestern China. Some archaeologists use this clue to argue that skiing originated in the Altay Mountains and spread from there through Russia to Finland and then to the other Scandinavian countries.
But the scanty evidence and the difficulty of tge the petroglyphs make this a tenuous argument. Wooden skis and ski poles have been found in peat bogs throughout Scandinavia and Russia. Since these are easily dated using Carbon methods, they provide the best evidence for and against different theories about the origins of skiing.
The moose head brake on Vis ski, c. There is no disagreement about the oldest ski ever found. Discovered in Russia at the Vis I archaeological site, near Lake Sindor, the find is actually a small fragment. It is only how to prune grapes in summer tip of the wooden ski.
Carved into the hardwood tip is a three-dimensional moose or elk skid. Archaeologists believe ahat carving acted as a brake on the ski. Carbon testing confirmed that this early ski is 8, years old. However, scientists have since lost confidence in wha method for dating objects and a recent How to fix disk read error occurred windows 7 14 test of the ski corrected its age to 5, years old.
Discovered in a swamp, fiirst ski is made from pine wood. A single, shovel shaped pole, approximately 61 inches long, accompanied the ski. Archaeologists speculate that early skiers only used one pole, which doubled as a balancing tool and a weapon for firstt. The shovel shape at the end would allow a skier to disembowel his prey, dig deep into snow to find forage for his herds, or scoop how to make a broken heart with symbols or ice.
Today, skiers in the northwestern province of Xinjiang in China, still use only one ski pole, both as a balancing tool and a rudder in deep snow. In one of several references to skiers between the What were the first skis made of Dynasty B. Kalvtraskskidan, with the shovel shaped pole below, dating from about 3, B. About Contact Staff Board of Directors. Click to set custom HTML.
The history of skiing spans from the Cro-Magnon man to the chairlift. Find out where to get closer to its roots. The ski was invented before the wheel. Twenty-two thousand years ago, when the Cro-Magnon man first attached two sticks to his feet, it was not to race down a snowy mountain just for the thrill of it. According to Huntford, cave drawings suggest that man used skis during the last Ice Age in the Palaeolithic period.
The oldest ski artefacts, though, come from the more recent Mesolithic period. Fragments of ski-like objects, discovered by s archaeologist Grigoriy Burov, date back to BC in northern Russia. Skis and snowshoes were first invented to cross wetlands and marshes in the winter when they froze over.
They enabled man to travel during the winter and hunt reindeer and elk across the frozen tundra. Skis were widely utilized in Central Asia and Europe, while snowshoes were common in the New World - probably because snow was more compact and less soft in the Old World, theorizes Huntford.
Skiing's next era evolved out of military considerations. In the s, the Norwegian army held skill competitions involving skiing down slopes, around trees, across level snowfields and while shooting. These races were precursors to Olympic sports. The first national race took place in Oslo in the s. All the while, more and more civilians — both in Norway and other parts of Europe — were trying their hand at skiing.
The s saw a shift from Nordic skiing cross-country skiing , to Alpine skiing downhill skiing , because the adrenaline rush of gliding down a mountainside had more mass appeal than skiing across level terrain.
This evolution eventually made the Alps the new centre of the skiing world. Then, in , the first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France. At first, the Winter Games only featured the more established sport of Nordic skiing, but the growing love of downhill skiing resulted in the inclusion of Alpine skiing in the Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Germany.
That same year, writes John Fry in his book The Story of Modern Skiing, the chairlift was invented in the US, revolutionizing skiing as a recreational activity.
Fry, the president of the International Skiing History Association, explained that the pastime of skiing grew rapidly between and In the s came the plastic boot, since there were a lot of disadvantages to the leather boot. Some of the resorts that help tell the story of skiing's origins are still around today.
Skiers with a mind for history would be remiss not to visit one of these monuments to modern ski history. Wherever snow travellers decide to take the plunge on the slopes, Fry leaves both ski veterans and newcomers with this bit of advice: "I do think that people can derive a lot more enjoyment out of the sport if they know something about its past.
Skiers can delve further into ski history at the International Skiing History Association website. Travelwise is a BBC Travel column that goes behind the travel stories to answer common questions, satisfy uncommon curiosities and uncover some of the mystery surrounding travel. If you have a burning travel question, contact Travelwise.
Travel Menu. Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Share on Reddit. Share on WhatsApp. Share by Email. Share on StumbleUpon. By Suemedha Sood 22 December La Clusaz , a French ski resort about an hour from Geneva, Switzerland, has been around since and is one of the oldest in continued use.
Since La Clusaz is still very much a village, it is a nice change of pace from the larger ski resorts. It is still considered one of the best ski resorts today. Alta in Utah and Sun Valley in Idaho are among America's first ski resorts, both having opened in the s. This year Sun Valley celebrates its 75th anniversary. Murren ski area is one of the oldest in Switzerland.
Quebec is home to one of Canada's oldest and best known resorts, Mont-Tremblant. Just an hour from Montreal, Mont-Tremblant was the country's first resort to install a chairlift.