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Raymond Flower - The History of Skiing and Other Winter Sports
This book by a British author relies heavily on the earlier writings of Arnold Lunn (people index). I've noted items not covered by Lunn.

The Origins of Skiing

p. 20: The author discusses the Rodoy carving, Hoting ski, the writings of Procopius, Norse sagas, early warfare on ski in Scandinavia, and the introduction of skiing into Scotland in the 12th century.

p. 24: Crichton Somerville contrasts the performance of skiers in Christiania with the demonstration given by Sondre Norheim and friends in 1868:

"Starting from the summit, riding their poles, as in former times, like witches on broomsticks, checking the speed with frantic efforts, they slipped downwards to the dreaded platform or 'hop' from which they were supposed to leap, but over which they but trickled, as it were, and, landing softly beneath, finally reached the bottom somehow, thankful for their safe escape from the dreaded slide. But then came the Telemark boys, erect at starting, pliant, confident, without anything but a fir branch in their hands, swooping downwards with ever increasing impetus, until, with a bound, they were in the air, and 76 feet of space was cleared ere, with a resounding smack, their ski touched the slippery slope beneath, and they shot onwards to the plain, where suddenly they turned, stopped in a smother of snow dust, and faced the hill they had just descended."

p. 26: Photo of Fridtjof Nansen on skis at age nineteen.

p. 27: Photo of Nansen's 1888 expedition to Greenland.

p. 28: Photo of Sondre Norheim (1825-1897). Another photo shows skis constructed by Norheim in 1870, with stiff osier bindings and sidecut.

The Early 'Plank-Hoppers'

This chapter describes the spread of skiing outside Scandinavia, to Germany, Austria, Australia, California and Switzerland.

p. 58: Photo of Roald Anundsen on skis in 1893 when he was twenty. In 1911 Anmundsen and party, travelling on skis, became the first men to reach the South Pole.

p. 65: Arnold Lunn first put on skis at Chamonix in 1898 at age ten. "Sir Arnold Lunn skied for three winters before seeing a stem turn, much less a telemark or christiania."

Ski Mountaineering

p. 73: Describing early ski mountaineering by Paulcke, Helbling and others, the author writes: "The wonder of it is that skiers more qualified for the nursery slopes should have had so few qualms about tackling the toughest ascents in the Alps. Perhaps it was because they were all experienced mountaineers to whom the lightweight Norwegian skis were, in a way, so much novel and enjoyable equipment. In any case, many of them seem hardly to have deviated from direct traverses, kick-turning or stepping round when necessary, and simply sitting down when in trouble."

Growing Pains

This chapter discusses the growth of clubs, ski tests, and races, mainly from a British point of view.

Downhill Only

p. 87: British slalom, as defined by Arnold Lunn, was tried out in 1923 and became an integral part of the British championship at Gstaad in January 1924. The first Parsenn Derby at Davos and the first Winter Olympic Games, which featured only the traditional Nordic events, were held at Chamonix that same year. The FIS was formed after the Olympic Games. This chapter describes the formation of the Kandahar and Downhill Only clubs by the British at Murren and Wengen in Switzerland in 1924 and 1925.

Ski Fever Grows

p. 116: The earliest U.S. cross-country skiing championships were held at Ashland, Wisconsin in 1907. In 1923, Dartmouth held a slalom, and the first Kandahar-style downhill race was staged at Mt Moosilauke in New Hampshire in 1926. A year or two later Sig Buchmayr and Kurt Thalhameer opened the first fully-fledged ski school in the U.S. on Sugar Hill at Franconia.

p. 118: Gerhard Muller, a Swiss engineer, invented the first drag-lift, which was installed on a slope above Davos. At Gstaad, skiers were conveyed up the Hornberg by a device called a Funi, a sleigh pulled by cables up a steep snow track.

p. 122: The author discusses the emergence of national schools in Austria, Switzerland and France before World War II.

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Last Updated: Fri Feb 28 17:01:39 PST 2003