A virtual museum on the history of skiing in Switzerland
Pierre Schneider & Luzi
Hitz (†) are passionate
vintage ski collectors who
between them have amassed over 300 pairs of Swiss skis dating from the 1800's.
Pierre has spent many years as a
professional Freestyle/Show skier
& is currently SkiEO of antiqueskishop.com He spends most of his free time restoring and researching vintage ski equipment.
Luzi Hitz* (1930-2019) was
an avid ski collector & a director on the board
of the International Skiing
History Association. He was also the most read ski historian in Switzerland. Many of the articles on this website are from his many years of research.
* Please consult the "News" section.
We have done in depth research with all the resources available to us, including many contributors to whom we are grateful. To the best of our knowledge, the data provided here is accurate.
However, we often find or are given supplementary information which we use to update the data on this website on a continuous basis.
Should you have any additional information or corrections to improve our accuracy in regards to the history of skiing in Switzerland, feel free to contact us.
Donating items or money to this virtual Swiss Ski Museum enables you to provide direct aid for preserving the Swiss history of the sport you love.
All financial donations go towards improving this website which will later be in other languages. We also plan to create a mobile educational display. If you wish to support us through an online donation, simply click the Donate button. If you wish to donate Swiss ski equipment, accessories or literature please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the beginning...
by Luzi Hitz
Although the spiritual roots of “modern” skiing are found in the 19th century in Norway, it was the British, fascinated by the image of the naturally virtuous mountain folk and the alpine scenery—described among others by Jean-Jacques Rousseau—who pioneered alpine sports. They arrived in the Alps in the 18th century and from 1850 to 1865, were the first to have climbed more than 30 Swiss mountain peaks.
As for winter sports, Johannes Badrutt, owner of the Engadiner Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz, was a key figure. In 1864, he told his English summer guests that winter was even more beautiful and that he would pay for their lodging if they didn’t love it. Four aristocratic families came back for Christmas and found the winter wonderful. As a result, the resort welcomed some years later more visitors in winter than in summer. The British liked, besides whiskey and betting, sports and competition. It all started with the “Lake Run” for sledges in 1872, followed by the “Village Run” in 1873, curling in 1880, artistic skating in 1882, the “Cresta” toboggan for sledges in 1885, Canadian snowshoes in 1886, Bandy (the forerunner of ice hockey) in 1887, skeleton in 1888, bobsleigh in 1889, the “Alpina Ski Club” in 1903, the oldest international Christmas jumping in 1904, skijoring in 1906 and the White Turf in 1907.