As ski season is coming to a close (on the east coast of the U.S. anyway), I thought I’d do a run (get it?) of fun ski facts!
1. The word ski comes from the Old Norse for “split piece of wood”.
2. We can trace the origins of skiing back about 8,000 years to Norway.
3. The longest ski lift in the world is the Seilbahn Zugspitze in Bavaria, Germany. It holds the record as the longest freespan cable car at 3,213 meters or 10,541 feet.
4. AT 16 km, the longest black diamond (expert) ski run in the world is La Sarenne at Alpe d’Huez in France.
5. The ski resort with the most snow in one season goes to Mt. Baker in Washington State with a whopping 29 meters of snow! That’s just over 95 feet to those of us in the U.S. I mean, get out your fat skis?
6. The country winning the most Olympic alpine skiing medals is….Austria! With 121 total medals, of which 37 are gold.
7. Skiing was introduced at the first winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
8. St. Bernard of Menthon (near Annecy in the Savoie region of France) is the patron saint of skiers. So,I guess we know now how the dog got its name.
9. Gstaad, Switzerland is considered the most expensive ski resort in the world.
10. The record for the fastest speed while skiing goes to Italian Ivan Origone in 2016. He flew down the slopes on a mountain in France at 255 km/hr or about 158 mph. I’m not sure my car goes that fast!
11. In Norse mythology, Ullr is the god of winter and “Skaði“ (pronounced “Skady”) is the goddess of winter. Actually, she’s the goddess of the wilderness who hunts in the mountains on her skis. Sounds like she might be a bit of a badass.
12. The first ski patrol was organized in Stowe, Vermont, in the 1930’s.
13. The oldest ski ”resort” in the U.S.? That would be Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs. I say “resort” with quotes, because you won’t find anything resort about it. It sits smack in the middle of the City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Really. In fact, it’s actually owned and operated by the City of Steamboat Springs, but it gets overshadowed by the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort.
Where's the name come from? Well, it was founded in 1914 by Norwegian immigrant Carl Howelsen, hence Howelson Hill. What's super cool about Howelson HIll is that it's produced more Olympians than any other ski area in the U.S. - nearly 90! It also has the largest natural ski-jumping complex in North America!
Hope you enjoyed!