Sticks & Poles - A Ski History


Skiing and “poles” had, in their evolution, jumped to the New World, to California in the 1860’s. Norwegian miners introduced skiing as a sport to the American west says Stan Cohen in his A Pictorial History of Downhill Skiing, 1985:

‘…[T]he first matchups, held about 1860, were informal…hotly contested…The various mining camps organized teams…and challenged each other on courses that went straight down the open Sierra mountainsides… The speeds were impressive…14 seconds down an icy 1,804-foot course…88 miles per hour…The racers invented a low crouch…and they slowed themselves down by dragging their single pole…’ 12