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Archive for ski vacations

The History of Skiing

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that skiing boasts a history over 4,000 years?  Or that the world’s oldest ski found in Russia is around 8,000 years old?  These and other facts about the sport are on display at Oslo’s Ski Museum.  Located at the base of Holmenkollen ski resort’s international ski jump, the museum houses artifacts, ski collections, an action film showcasing Norwegian skiing and an array of information on polar skiing, ski production, disciplines, and ancient history.

Birthplace of Water Skiing

By Linda Tancs

In 1922 Ralph Samuelson invented water skiing in Lake City, Minnesota, rendering the locale the birthplace of the sport.  The city lies along Lake Pepin, the widest portion of the Mississippi River.  As you can imagine, you’ll find some of the best boating in the Midwest there along with plenty of parks for walking, swimming and fishing.  Among its charms it boasts the highest number of 19th century homes for a town this size in Minnesota.  At three miles wide and 21 miles long, the lake is perfectly suited for a scenic cruise on the Pearl of the Lake Paddleboat, a modern day replica of the grand riverboats that traveled the Mississippi River in the 1800s.  Why not top off a visit with stop at the marina building; you’ll find Samuelson’s skis on display there.

The Trembling Mountain

By Linda Tancs

The American Indians named Canada’s Mont Tremblant “Manitou Ewitchi Saga” after Manitou, the god of nature.  Legend has it that Manitou could make the mountains tremble–hence the name “Mont Tremblant” (trembling mountain).  Today the mountain trembles with the roar of skiers and hosts the premier ski resort in eastern North America.  In keeping with the season, there are other outdoor activities, too:  snowmobiling, sleigh riding and ice climbing, for starters.

The Trail to Happiness

By Linda Tancs

Of all the ski destinations in the world, northeastern China might not sound like a natural choice.  Yet the Changbai Mountain region is Asia’s largest ski area.  Bordering Russia and North Korea, the mountain region has a UNESCO nature reserve boasting Siberian tigers and a crater lake, among other attractions.  Now visitors can enjoy the combined luxury of Westin and Sheraton at the mountain’s base, an area rife with ski runs sporting monikers like the Trail to Happiness.  Zen on the slopes?  As American writer Robert Pirsig observed, the only Zen you find on the mountaintop is the Zen you bring there.

Ski Flying Championship in Norway

By Linda Tancs

The Ski Flying World Championship takes place now through Sunday in Vikersund, Norway.  Qualifying rounds begin today; the event ends with team competition and the prize ceremony on Sunday.  Getting there is easy.  Both Oslo Airport Gardermoen and Sandefjor Airport Torp are located approximately 90 minutes from Vikersund.

Crossroads of the West

By Linda Tancs

Salt Lake City, Utah claims to be different by nature.  So what’s so different?  You can join their real-time chat and find out.  Maybe it’s the Great Salt Lake, the largest lake west of the Mississippi, covering 2,100 square miles.  Did you know that only the Dead Sea has a higher salt content than the Great Salt Lake?  Another distinguishing feature of the city is its world-renowned genealogical center.  Located downtown at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, computers at the FamilySearch Center access millions of worldwide records.  Best of all, admission is free.   Of course, there’s also the skiing.  Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort has the longest ski season in Utah (through the month of May).  You want to see it all, don’t you?  Get the Connect Pass and save on 13 of Utah’s best attractions.  It’s what nature intended, after all.

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Fresh Horses

By Linda Tancs

Almost 100 years ago the near-Olympic sport of skijoring was born in the Engadine valley of Switzerland.  Skijoring is the running of thoroughbreds without riders but rather with skiers attached.  The Olympics’ loss is St. Moritz’ gain; it’s there each Sunday in February that the races take place over a 2600 meter course ladened with thick ice.  Known as White Turf, the race is a test of wills between man and beast.  The skier with the highest points is crowned King of the Engadine.

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