What does ski history have to do with backcountry skiing? Simple: everything.
History is what gives our sport context. It is how we justify backcountry skiing to others who might limit our freedoms. History gives us inspiration, ideas, and role models. What came before helps us understand what comes today. And, if nothing else, history is amusing.
While many local ski museums keep the archives, The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is who ties it all together. Their focus covers the gamut of glisse sports, and while their backcountry skiing coverage could be broader, they do pay attention to our sport. More, prior to the rise of ski resorts all skiing was backcountry skiing, so history is almost always relevant to us in some way, and the ISHA does a good job of covering it.
ISHA is a non-profit and always in need of greater financial support. You can give and get something in return by subscribing to Skiing Heritage, their magazine covering all things of skiing history. Terrific gift!
And while we’re on the subject of gifts for that backcountry skier in your life, don’t forget Vintage Ski World, purveyors of all things classic (every skier need a pair of vintage wood boards hanging on their wall). Also, be sure to browse our backcountry skier’s book list here at WildSnow.com.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.