Skiing was not a vacation sport till a hundred years ago. Till the mid nineteenth century it was an age old method of transportation in winter in the snow covered regions of north Europe and Asia. Today many vacation resorts have a museum as a shrine to skiing heritage. Next time you are on skiing vacation and a snowstorm keeps you off the slopes, you should check out the local museum and learn about the history of skiing.
Stowe was the birthplace of skiing in America and the Vermont Ski Museum there is housed in the Old Town Hall built in 1818. It records the hundred year history of skiing in Vermont with a large collection of Vermont skiing memorabilia and historical artifacts. The next time you are on a skiing vacation in Colorado take time to visit the Colorado Ski Museum / Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame at the Vail Transportation Center that has wonderful historical artifacts from Colorado’s rich skiing and snowboard heritage. The New England Ski Museum in Franconia NH is one of four USSA-recognized ski museums in the United States and the only one in the East. It exhibits of skiing memorabilia change yearly.
Many ski vacation resorts in Europe have excellent ski or Alpine museums worth visiting when you are not skiing. Austria boasts of several fine ones at St. Anton, Kitzbuhel and in Murzzuschlag, on the way to Graz, where there is a truly fine display of early skiing regalia. Zermatt in Switzerland has a charming Alpine Museum with an important display of early mostly home-built skis and poles. Lausanne is the site of the splendid world-class Olympic Museum where a fair amount of space is devoted to skiing. Albertville was the host city for the 1992 Winter Games and the old city hall exhibits a fine tribute to Olympic, local and French skiing. The Musee Dauphinois in Grenoble has one of the best collections of ski regalia in the world. Briancon to the southeast of Grenoble is delightful, ancient, hillside walled city with a ski museum and ski hall of fame.