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

How Much is a Life Worth?

On the night of February 13, 1885, the whole mountain ran. The papers reported that a mile-long avalanche raced down the mountain above the town of Alta, upturning trees and boulders, producing hurricane-force winds, and burying three-fifths of the diminutive mining town the three men would travel from. In the dead of night, the townspeople…

Why do skiers find the cold so sexy?

Barely clothed women cover ski advertisements. But looking through a collection of old marketing materials, this ad for the Catskills from the early 1950s caught my eye. My first thought: “her butt must be so frostbitten.” In it, the woman sat almost entirely naked. Decked out in high heels, white gloves, and a suggestive fur…

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 while…


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