A Pair of Skis with Seal Skins

Chur, around 1900

Coming from Norway, modern ski sport also reached the Alpine region in the 1890s. The skis were mostly made of ash wood, the binding of sea cane and leather straps. Seal skins stuck on the underside of skis served as climbing aid on ski tours.

This type of sport was made popular by the army who equipped their mountain troupes with skis, starting in 1911. In the 1920s there were already over 100 Swiss ski clubs with about 7000 members. However, the expansion into a mass sport only started with the building of a corresponding tourist infrastructure: the first ski lift was built in Davos in 1934.