Trekchick did you page me? Skigypsy may be interested in some of my Sigi stories and some others in our Premium Article Collection, especially the one I shot on buying ski equipment around 1960. I am going to try and post a link to those stories he might be interested in, if that is OK.
At 77 you may consider me an old timer, but Franz Bindreiter still teaches at 79, we are at Boston Mills, Ohio.EDIT BY CIRQUERIDER: The following excerpts are from the supporter area premium content articles and the links will not work for members who are not subscribed supporters
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Brand New Skis 1944 Bavaria
Leitner may have invented the steel edges by then, but we didn't know about them or need them, we thought, not until we got them.
In the fall my father had cut some nice straight hazelnut branches for poles and taken them to the shoemaker who fitted leather straps to the top, which, along with the skis which had a through slot about a quarter inch by two inches for the bear traps, we took to the local blacksmith who measured the poles and cut them and fashioned a ferule and a square pointy point at the bottom, a hole was drilled where the basket would be and a quarter inch dried and lashed willow twig circle about six inches or so in diameter was fastened with two criss-crossed leather bands to the nail in the hole in the pole.
The blacksmith put the bear traps on by sliding a steel plate through the slot and bending both sides up to fit my boots, they also had a slot on each side near the top for the leather strap which holds the boot down and another pair of slots on the side for the heel binding, which were just leather straps with a buckle. The heel was free to come up and when the leather got wet the straps of the heel bindings would fall off and only the wedged boots in the bear traps would hold us in.
The skis would also get wet on every outing and had to be blocked with a wooden clamp at the tail and just before the bend at the shovel and a spreader block under the bindings and a tip spreader fork, held in place with nails through holes in the fork and the tip which had kind of a nipple on it.
Forgetting to do this one day after skiing would have you see a couple of flat boards the next day...
Photo Essay-Learning to ski 1962
At home with a cozy fire and Fritzi, his better half watching, he'll learn how to ski.
THE BOOK said to lean forward...
...but keep your back straight
: Story Sigi - Prelude to backcountry skiing in 1948
When I was 16 in 1948 I bought a pair of real skis with money from working after school, they were Laupheimers and were laminated and thus would hold their camber, and had steel edges, those four inch strips held with wood screws to the skis. Also they had Kandahar cable bindings which could be either skied heel free or could be hooked down near the heel. The first time I saw bamboo was when I got the ski poles, they were great.
Our local ski hill with a rope tow powered by a farmers tractor was not challenging and had hordes of little kids on it and adults who kept hollering at us to slow down, bummer. So we continued our hang-on adventure during the week after school. About every three weeks we had a school sponsored chaperoned two day bus trip to the mountains for skiing, plus I got to go during school holidays and vacations with my best friend's
parents since mine were non-skiers.
But the best was on weekends when a bunch of us, boys and girls, went to a mountain a couple of hours by bike away with a little village in the valley. Our parents figured there was safety in numbers since there were usually 14-16 of us so we had one night without adults...
This mountain had a hut on top at the Alm, an Alm is where a farmers cows are driven up to in May and they stay there grazing until September, with a couple living in the hut and milking daily and making cheese. The drives, both up and down are done with a lot of hoopla, the cows decorated with flowers on their horns and big bells around their necks. The huts are left open all winter with firewood and all utensils intact and anyone who uses them must leave them the way they were found .
We would leave home right after Saturday school (half day until 11 a.m.) and start climbing the mountain by 3 p.m. It was wide open from the top to the bottom and it meant traversing for four hours to reach the top.
Some of the richer kids had skins, but we poorer ones just buckled a short thong around the skis just ahead of the binding making the bottoms ice up, kind of heavy but we didn't slip backward.
Now I must make you aware what motivated us: there was Siglinde, Sigi for short, a tall lanky 16 year old beauty with a big blonde braid down her back, always a twinkle in her eyes, who could out ski us all and all of us boys were smitten with her if not even in love, as I was. There is nothing sexier than a beautiful, graceful girl who skis better than you do...all the boys went because of Sigi and the rest of the girls went because the boys went......
I was 70 when Bob Barnes shot that wedeln gif of me. The jump is in Aspen in the 50s, Austrian style at our ski school about 1963-65, and my ski wall doesn't have real old skis, but old enough.