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Val Thorens

From Geneva – €49.50

Tignes

From Geneva – €49.50

Meribel

From Geneva – €49.50

Verbier – Private only

From Geneva – 49.50 CHF

Morzine

From Geneva – €23.50

Avoriaz (New)

From Geneva – €32.50

Les Gets

From Geneva – €23.50

Chamonix – Private only

From Geneva – €22.50

Les Arcs – NEW!

From Geneva – €49.50

La Plagne – NEW!

From Geneva – €49.50

Courchevel – NEW!

From Geneva – €49.50

Val d’Isere – NEW!

From Geneva – €49.50

Val Thorens

From Geneva – €49.50

Tignes

From Geneva – €49.50

Morzine

From Geneva – €23.50

Avoriaz

From Geneva – €32.50

Meribel

From Geneva – €49.50

Courchevel

From Geneva – €49.50

Val d’Isere

From Geneva – €49.50

Les Arcs

From Geneva – €49.50

Les Gets

From Geneva – €23.50

La Plagne

From Geneva – €49.50

Chamonix – Private only

From Geneva – €21.50

Verbier – Private only

From Geneva – 49.50 CHF

The History of Skiing

The History of Skiing

Whether you are there to glide gracefully across the snow, navigate through beautiful landscapes, or enjoy adrenaline-fuelled jumps and turns – the varied sport of skiing had to start somewhere, and it has evolved into a diverse leisure activity enjoyed by people of all ages.

 

The history of skiing takes us through the centuries and across the world, starting as a means of transport and survival in isolated alpine communities, then later becoming a mainstream sport and popular recreational activity. Fasten your boots as we glide through the history of skiing, finding out how it became such a global winter phenomenon.

The History of Skiing

When was skiing invented?

Skiing started as a practical solution for travelling and hunting in frozen landscapes of remote communities. When snow was falling, and the ground and water were frozen, skiing allowed people to continue to gather food. Learning to ski was a means of survival. In terms of evidence, cave drawings suggest that skis were used in the Palaeolithic period, around the last Ice Age.

 

In the 1960s, fragments of wooden ski-like objects thought to date back to 6000 BC were discovered in Northern Russia. There are also rock carvings in Norway dating back to around 25000 BC, showing figures appearing to travel on skis.

 

Skiing is thought to have originated in Scandinavian countries, where the indigenous Sámi people used skiing as a method of travelling and surviving in harsh winters. Norse mythology also refers to the God and Goddess of Skiing, Ullr and Skaði (or Skade), showing how important skiing was as part of life and Scandinavian culture.

Skiing as transportation

Snowy and frozen ground is difficult to travel on by foot, so skiing was used as a means of transport, allowing people to stand on and glide over the surface of the snow and ice. In the 1700s, skiing was used by the military in Norway and the Great Northern War of 1716 involving Norway, Sweden, and Russia was fought primarily on skis.

 

Fighting battles in alpine climates meant skiing was hugely important for the military, and the French army started the Briancon ski school to train regional troops in this vital skill. Troops in various armies began to compete in skiing contests as part of their training, and in 1760 the Norwegian army ran competitive events involving skiing a course through trees, down slopes and across flat snowfields, whilst also shooting targets along the way. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to advance your skills!

Skiing as a sport

As the military started to make their ski training more competitive, more and more people noticed this novel way of travelling, and it gradually started to capture the attention of the rest of the world. The evolution of skiing from a military training exercise, right through to becoming a worldwide sport was facilitated by developments in the technology of ski equipment, and things became mainstream when the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924.

 

Different styles and disciplines of skiing also began to develop, the first being Nordic skiing used to travel cross-country on mainly flat land navigating obstacles along the way, and the second being alpine skiing, travelling downhill.

Nordic Skiing

Norway led the way with developments in skiing, and it became known as Nordic skiing. After the army contests of 1760, people became interested in learning how to ski for pleasure and sport. Fast-forward to 100 years later, and in 1867 national cross-country skiing races were held in Oslo, with civilian participants.

 

The popularity of skii