The Lift Line

The Lift Line is a blog on the history of skiing. The content is based on ongoing research for my dissertation. It offers a critical history of skiing that attempts to integrate skiing into larger historical trends. It also seeks to reveal the many things skiing can teach us about history more broadly. Read more below.

Latest Posts

From Bombing to Shredding: The development of metal skis may never have happened without the military-industrial complex

Howard Head was an average-sized man with a shiny bald head and ears that stuck out from his head, as though he were pushing them forward to better hear someone. He was also a famous man. At least, his skis and tennis racquets were famous. But sitting in the Archive Center at the National MuseumContinue reading “From Bombing to Shredding: The development of metal skis may never have happened without the military-industrial complex”

Skiing Snodgrass

One ski slid in front of the other. I was touring up Snodgrass in Crested Butte, slowly gaining altitude on a road that was packed solid by ski tracks. Moving up well-trod paths on skis is a unique and underappreciated feeling. It is comparatively easy, and with calmness comes time to think.  It is whileContinue reading “Skiing Snodgrass”

“A mixed blessing”

“the storm that came over the mountains on Saturday night made the last stage of the weekend a bit chaotic.” It disrupted the event, but it also disrupted the result. Wallerson explained hot “the weather was a dominating factor, as the skiers were unable to get the kind of airtime that they wanted for their biggest tricks. That led to a host of wipeouts and subdued runs and kept podium scores lower than normal.”

Making Artificial Snow Natural

In 1968, Ski magazine published a photo essay called “Michigan Winter” by Paul Ryan. Considering the purpose of the essay, his photos were surprisingly sparse of skiers. Instead, Ryan’s camera pulled him towards objects with high contrast. In his eye, dark blacks and browns stood out sharply from the brilliance of fresh sparkling snow. At the same time, the straight lines of trees broke up the otherwise pearly landscape, sectioning off the hill into long and thin sections of white.


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