Volume 32 Number 1 January-February 2020

Featured Articles: 

When MAD Magazine put skiing on its cover, millions bought it. Ski editors were influenced too.

By John Fry

MAD, which ceased publication last year, was a seminal, grungy magazine of American culture during the second half of the 20th century. Its intensely illustrated and caustically written pages skewered the media, education, government agencies, politicians, hippies, psychoanalysts, the sexual revolution and even the lifestyles of its own cynical, adolescent-minded readers.

Jeremy Bloom is a three-time World Champion, two-timeOlympic competitor and the only Olympic skier who also played in the National Football League. 

By Edith Thys Morgan

Seven decades ago, Roger Sylvand and Emile Allais invented a safer new way to get injured skiers off the mountain.

By Thomas Sylvand

During the summer of 2019, Bonneville, the ski-resort town in the French Alps, lost a landmark. The factory Traineau Sylvand (Sylvand Sleds) was torn down to make way for real estate development.

The history of skiing in Zermatt is inextricably linked to the mighty Matterhorn.

By Everett Potter

Is there a more perfect ski resort than Zermatt? Set in a picturesque mountain valley at the base of the Matterhorn, this car-free Swiss village is surrounded by 38 summits above 4,000 meters, offering nearly 125 miles of pistes. It’s linked by lifts and trails to Cervinia in Italy, with another 100 miles of runs. 

Long before the internet, influential newspaper columnists gave us up-to-date dispatches on where to ski, where to stay, and where the snow was best.

By Jeff Blumenfeld


Top exec will step down after five decades at the sport’s governing body.

Gian Franco Kasper, the president of the International Ski Federation (FIS), recently announced that he will step down this spring after 22 years at the helm of the sport’s governing organization. Both an effective and controversial executive, Kasper has held different roles at FIS for nearly 50 years.

Photo at top of page: An effective and controversial leader, Kasper’s reign has been spiked with controversy, often fueled by his off-hand remarks. DPA Picture Alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

ISHA will honor the Swiss Academic Ski Club and the year’s best ski-history books, films and websites in Sun Valley.

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) will present more than a dozen awards at its 27th annual banquet, to be held March 26 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Spence Eccles and Alan Engen at the 2019 Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame ceremony. Eccles won the 2019 Crystal Award for his decades of leadership and support for the Engen Museum.

The Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame, located at the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City, Utah, inducted three new honored members at its annual banquet on September 25, 2019.

James Niehues has published a new coffee-table book that includes more than 200 of his hand-painted trail maps.

Ski artist James Niehues has published a new coffee-table book that includes more than 200 of his hand-painted trail maps, with text by journalist Jason Blevins. With eight geographically themed chapters, the hardcover book is the definitive collection of the art created by Niehues during his 30-year career.

The cover of the November-December 2019 issue of Skiing History—and the accompanying painting of a ski jumper soaring over Salisbury, Connecticut—reminds me of home!

Growing up in northwestern Connecticut, my hero was Roy Sherwood, who competed in the 1956 Cortina Olympics. Roy was the constable on our lake, trying to keep a bunch of delinquents out of trouble. He was a straight shooter and a fair man, and we dedicated the lyrics “Oh Roy, oh Roy, is you the law?” to him. (Long Tall Texan by The Kingsmen, 1963).

Photo: Michael Fleischhacker

January 21–26: 80th Hahnenkamm World Cup Race Week
Kitzbühel, Austria

Farewell to Ski Pioneers: Recent obituaries

It was 1971 and K2 Corp. was just four years old (it was incorporated in 1967). Founder Bill Kirschner and marketing VP Chuck Ferries had just hired a new advertising agency headed by art director Terry Heckler and copywriter Gordon Bowker. No one had seen anything like their K2 ads: no glam skiers, no studio product shots. Instead, to set the brand apart from its European competition, the team went for Americana: barnside advertising, rural filling stations, fast-food franchises and even a goof on Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.


Sun Valley, Idaho

MARCH 25–28, 2020

Skiing History Week is ISHA’s annual gathering, presented in partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Higlights include ...


March 26: ISHA Awards Banquet (Sun Valley Inn)


On the Cover: 

In 1925, this poster by Swiss artist Johann Emil Müller promoted skiing in the Swiss resort town of Crans-Montana . Image courtesy Eric Kellenberger Collection, Classic Posters, Blonay/Switzerland. 


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