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Sliding, Gliding and Soaring: A history of skiing in Revelstoke, British Columbia




Well actually I started skiing immediately after we came to Revelstoke. Actually, the first skis I got were for 25 cents. And they are an old, old pair of homemade skis with straps just on the toes. Somebody in town that I bought them off or my parents bought it off someone. They didn't have the money to buy good skis and that sort of thing. And I started with those, did my own waxing with paraffin wax; I'd melt it and put the iron on and melt it into the wood and skied with that. Eventually, I was able to get a little better pair of skis which had steel toe plates but still leather bindings around the back with a kind of a cinch that you tightened up which made controlling the skis a little better. One of the things we did, we used different types of wax for different snow conditions. As a matter of fact, the first time I went up Mt. Revelstoke, I didn't have what they have today now, is skins. And I just waxed and I had perfect conditions and I was able to go all the way up with this red wax we called in those days. Later on we thought, well this waxing, you have to do it often and it depends on the snow conditions. So then, we didn't have the money to buy skins so we made our own contraption. They were made out of light rope, and we tied it criss-cross, along the back half of the skis and tied it on in front of the harness. And we slid it on, and could slide it off again. And it worked great, there was no doubt about it. And then later on, we were able to buy better ski skins, as they called it. The best skins were seal skins but they were expensive, but then they came out with artificial, nylon-type of skins that they use now, I suppose more than anything else. But the skins became the thing that we used for our hiking and climbing.


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