Interesting Ski Facts
If your chairlift chat is running dry – remember a few of these interesting ski facts to entertain your chairlift companions.
- Archaeologists have discovered ancient cave drawings showing people skiing dating back to 4000BC
- The most common types of wild animals in the Alps are:
Mouflon – a subspecies group of wild sheep.
Chamois – a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe.
Wild boar – are very common in the Alps, especially at lower altitudes under 2000m
Wolves – were hunted out of the Hautes Alpes in the 1930s. From the 1990s they have started to re-establish themselves here coming over the border from Italy
Marmots – are large ground squirrels that live in burrows in mountainous areas and hibernate during winter.
- It takes most fit and healthy people 2 days to climb Mont Blanc. Kilian Jornet Burgada is the current holder of the Mont Blanc speed record on foot. On 11 July 2013 he set the new record of 4 hours 57 minutes 34 seconds for the fastest ascent & descent on foot from Chamonix.
- There are about 1 million British people who go skiing each year. France is the most popular country to visit with 34.8% of British skiers heading to the French Alps.
- The first snowboard was called the Snurfer and was launched in 1965. There were no bindings and you steered with a with a rope attached to the front of the board.
- Australia has 16 commercial ski resorts
- The word ‘Ski’ is derived from the Norwegian word ‘skíð’ which means a split piece of wood.
- An Italian speed skier called Simone Origone holds the World speed record having reached 252.4km per hour. However perhaps more impressive is Australian Michael Milton who is an amputee and reached 213.65km per hour on one leg.
- Stefan Kraft hold the record for the longest ski jump 253.5 meters
- Several people have skied from the summit of Mount Everest including Norwegian explorer Tormod Granheim who climbed to the top in one day and then skied down the North face.
- There are several ski resorts located on the side of volcanoes. Mt Etna in Italy is an active volcano reaching 3340m are there is a Gondala taking skiers up to 2500m.
- Niseco United in Japan has 70km of ski slopes an incredible snow record and several hot springs created by the volcanic activity.
- Fred Syversen hold the record for the biggest cliff drop on skies – 107m that’s 352 feet. He jumped the cliff by mistake while filming a movie, but lived to tell the tale.
- In European ski resorts the average annual snowfall is about 7 meters. A good year will see about 10m of snow and a poor year as little as 3m of snowfall.