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Which Bears Skied First?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
OK, here's one for the older crowd, and for ski history buffs ...

Which Bears can claim the crown of having skied longest ago, in terms of history?

Several Bears must have started skiing in the 1960s.

Did anyone here ski first in the 1950s?

1940s?

1930s?!?!?


Please describe the experience a bit! Year, month? What was your gear setup????? Where was it?
post #2 of 22

50's, barely

It was late 1959, I was 8, wearing lace-up leather boots, on Northland wooden skis with screw-on edges and cable throw bear trap bindings. The area was Fauhnstock, NY, with my younger sister. My parents let the two of us ride the rope tow by ourselves. The beginners slope couldn't have had more than 50' of vertical drop. I remember falling and getting my legs all tangled up, and taking a long time to get untangled and back up again.

Now, 48 years later, I am back on "beartrap" bindings, only this time because I am on telemark gear. Everything else is modern, even the bindings, actually.
post #3 of 22

1955

hey, I was just thinking about this concept, and zap, there you are. pretty cool. I like it because skiing is a sport that is richer the deeper you go, and skiing has an amazing history, from Bud Werner making a 70mph left turn in the Hahnenkahm Downhill on his left inside edge with his right ski straight out from his hip in the air, to Killy's ridiculous line in the Insbruck Olympic downhill of '64, to McKinney machin at Portillo back in the day, to Sylvain windshield wiper turning down some sick high angle pitches, the Herminator's massive crash, Picaboo Street taking guts (the tiger) to the way next level in women's downhill, the huge loss of Craig Kelly, and so on. That is the STUFF.

woah, so back a few knotches to the thread specifics. I started skiing in Anchorage Alaska in 1955, at Arctic Valley Ski Bowl, as an Army brat. The lifts headed up toward the Nike Missles that dotted the ridge line above, aimed at Moscow. I idolized the ski patrol, and was their little mascot. They even took my rope hook into their shack one day and hit it with the blow torch to tweak it a little and make it grip better, not slip or fall of going over the pulleys. One Christmas eve, at 20 below, they opened the hill for me alone, fired up the tow, and let me ski the mountain under the lights by myself. I was such a fanatic about skiing that I thought that was just the best. The ski patrol. totally my gods in 1956. The rope tows were a mile long (it seemed to a 50lb skier), and once an adult snapped the rope off the pulleys and it crashed me onto the track , pinned me there like that, and slid over my leg until someone could lift the mother off me, leaving a huge blister/rope burn that is still a prominent mark on my leg some 52 years later. Oh, and the binding I longed for because the racers used it: it was called a suicide binding, and that only made it more desirous to me. It was like this: You had a steel plate bolted to the toe/sole of your leather boot. There was a corresponding longitudinal pin screwed to the ski for the toe piece. The pin fit into the hole on the steel plate on your boot toe. then there were two D-rings screwed into the sidewall of the ski right under the heel of your boot. To one of the d-rings was attached about 6 feet of 3/4"leather strap. You took that leather strap and wrapped it up around your ankle and back through the opposite d-ring, repeat, repeat. It was so f-ing cool. Maybe I'm lucky that the patrol told my dad not to give them to me.

I moved to Garmisch Partenkirchen in the German-Austrian Alps in 1960, where I learned Stein Erickson's reverse shoulder technique, which is very close to the block your shoulders down the hill simple concept used today, except back then, I swear to god, a turn had a mandatory 5 moves to accomplish. It had you talking to yourself. In Europe, they had T-bars that went up huge mountains over pretty gnar terrain, and if you were a tiny kid, you had to balance on your tips or even maintain up off the track at times when the track went into a dip and the T-bar went straight on up. You had to be freakin' good just to ride the thing at 65lbs soakin' wet. Anyhow, it has been the best journey of my life, and I'm aiming for 80 years on skis before I add the last pair to the museum rack.
post #4 of 22

way back

My son shreds with a kid whose grandfather became the first director of skiing at Squaw Valley. there is a picture on the wall of their house, a 20 X24 black and white, of Scott and his best bud skiing powder on a pitch in an area below Dead Tree, and they both are in exactly the same position, in high speed dynamic synchronization of the same turn, side by side. the reason they make that turn in exactly the same position: there was only one right way to make a high speed turn with that gear, and they were pioneers of off-piste skiing WAY back in the day, in the 1940's I'd guess, leather boots, wood skis (edges?), bear trap bindings, giant bamboo poles with leather baskets, wool pants and caps, hand-knit Austrian sweaters. Absolutely a beautiful shot.
post #5 of 22
I think Ott Gangl invented skiing.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
I think Ott Gangl invented skiing.
Wonder if he'll post on this thread? fingers crossed. I know of older skiers on Epic, but I don't know when they started.
post #7 of 22
Who participates here and is older than Ott?

I took my first ride on skis in 1945, but I'm pretty sure Ott started in the 1930s.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Who participates here and is older than Ott?

I took my first ride on skis in 1945, but I'm pretty sure Ott started in the 1930s.
Hey, first off, let's have your reflection on your first time skiing????????

To answer your question, I don't know who the oldest is, but I believe that the Epic Supporter named mrski00 is an octogenarian (my apologies, mrskii00, if I've got that wrong!). Still, I don't know when he started skiing, which is a very different question.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
Hey, first off, let's have your reflection on your first time skiing????????

To answer your question, I don't know who the oldest is, but I believe that the Epic Supporter named mrski00 is an octogenarian (my apologies, mrskii00, if I've got that wrong!). Still, I don't know when he started skiing, which is a very different question.

I've described my earliest ski experience here previously, including post #17 in your other thread here: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=60776

Yeah, age isn't the real indicator. I have a friend I ski with occasionally who's 78, I think, who didn't start skiing until after he started collecting Social Security.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
I've described my earliest ski experience here previously, including post #17 in your other thread here: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=60776
Of course you did -- sorry Kneale, I mixed up the names. That's a wonderful story you share.

So, so far it seems that you first tracks in 1945 win it (until someone else comes along).
post #11 of 22
1947. I had my own skis, and used them if I wanted to go see mommy, who ran the rope tow. But this was more fun:

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest1 View Post
1947. I had my own skis, and used them if I wanted to go see mommy, who ran the rope tow. But this was more fun:
Details, details ... ? :
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
Details, details ... ? :


Well, the skis were too long to be able to turn. The poles were too tall, the bindings were bear traps with thongs.

We couldn't ride the tow, so mom or dad would take us up between their legs:




I didn't make much money at my job, picking up beer bottles, but -- luckily -- my best friend was the ticket checker at the rope tow:


post #14 of 22
Great pix, guest1. It's really nice when you have something like that.

My only winter pix from my childhood was this of myself and my little brother:



Nothing related to skiing.
post #15 of 22
Cool, guest1! Those are fabulous pics from Mt. Baker. It's great to see that it looks the same today. The chair lifts didn't go in until later if I remember correctly.
post #16 of 22
1962
post #17 of 22
1963
post #18 of 22
1991

/i'll get my coat now
post #19 of 22
I started skiing in 1959 but I think Ott buried that Hoting ski in that peet bogg up in Norway.

The backup mogul instructor at our resort is 88 years old and started at age 4. He got his level three at 79.
post #20 of 22
1976
post #21 of 22
1955, had a very steep hill in our back field and an old pair of wooden skis. A year or two later I got to visit some real ski areas in the North country. We didn't have the money but I had a very kind family down the road where a kid that was my best friend kind of adopted me and got me into real skiing.
post #22 of 22
I started skiing in 1959 at Badger Pass, Yosemite & haven't missed a season since. I was 3 years old & don't remember much, but I've seen 8mm film. The film always reminds me of the tricycle character on Laugh In, I would go straight down the hill perfectly parallel & would just fall over sideways at the bottom. The skiing was on a rope tow. My equipment consisted of a pair of solid wood skis w/no edges, painted red. The bindings were something like strips from tire tubes & my boots were red rubber rain golashes. The poles, like the skis were carved from solid wood, I don't remember the baskets.

"I like snow, cause it's slippery".

JF
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