If you are an avid skier or even a fan of watching the sport, you might be wondering where skiing came from in the first place. Skiing as we know it today is a relatively modern invention, but its history goes back farther than you may think.

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Dean Buescher enjoys all aspects of the nature-infused, outdoor lifestyle – from camping and grilling to fishing and skiing. Today he shares the history of one of his favorite sports.

People began both cross-country and alpine skiing for recreational purposes in the mid-1800s. However, people would have to walk on foot all the way up the hill or mountain in order to ski back down it. The chair lift wasn’t invented until the 1930s, which made the sport much more accessible and popular. 

Thousands of years earlier, skiing was used as a method of transportation by people who lived in snowy regions. Archaeologists have found evidence of skiing in areas of China and northern Russia from five thousand years ago.
Historically, skiing has also been used for military purposes in northern regions, and troops of skiers fought in both world wars.