The History of Telemark Skiing In North America - Old Photos of Ski-Runners
I wrote up a small article on the history of telemark skiing in North America based on Vivian Caulfeild's 1914 book “How to Ski and How Not To" for the webzine Free Heel Granola. The book is the third book to be published in English on skiing. The other two that were published slightly earlier also contain a bunch of old cool photos, which I have extracted and published below. Telemark skiing has come a long, long way since these early pioneers. However, what I like about these old photos is that just like running, although the technology has radically changed over the last 100 years, the technique and style are still pretty much the same. Also, I really like that early on skiing, and specifically telemark skiing was referred to as "ski-running" and a skier was a "ski-runner." You see, 100 years ago skiing was not just about going downhill. It was about “running” across hills, climbing snow-covered mountains, exploring powder filled valleys, and enjoying peaceful winter days in the woods. The downhill aspect of our sport was only one component; the uphill was just as important. A good skier was a “runner” who could handle the most difficult terrain and snow conditions, both on the downhill as well as the uphill. In the spirit of these early ski-runners, I went out this morning and skied 8 miles, 1,200' gain in 1:15. Still plenty of rocks out, but stuff is slowly getting covered - let the ski-running season begin!
E.C. Richardson's "Ski-Running" (1905)
W.R. Rickmer's "Ski-ing for Beginners and Mountaineers" (1910)