A Century ago, hardly a handful of Americans knew a ski from a barrel stave. A few gold-rushing Forty-Niners traveled between their El Dorados on them; and the almost legendary "Snowshoe" Thompson carried the mail by ski up and down the Sierra Nevada. Then they used skis to go places. Today, American skiers are counted in the millions and they have just about reversed things completely. Now they go places to use skis.
And among the most renowned of all the places they travel to is Sun Valley, Idaho. This remarkable recreational complex, which combines the longest continually steep runs in the country with snowbound swimming pools, on Christmas Eve will celebrate its 22nd birthday. Far advanced in age as American ski resorts go, it might even be called venerable. But that is the least of its qualities. In next week's issue, as part of a PREVIEW of the skiing season, Morten Lund explains the many and different reasons why Sun Valley has become a favored and convivial Shangri-La for skiers of all grades—and a place to be, as well as a place to ski.
Lund's familiarity with slopes extends from Canada to the Alps, and his familiarity with skis dates from his earliest childhood. His father, before coming to this country, had been a star on Norway's famed Holmenkollen ski jump. When the Lund family, growing up in Maine, took a winter's stroll, everyone strolled on skis, including 6-year-old Morten.
Since Lund first put them on, skis and ski equipment have continued an advance which has been indispensable to the growth of America's most popular winter sport. Next week's issue brings some notes on equipment prepared by Lund, dealing with some of the latest as well as some of the most lasting developments.
And the PREVIEW will only be a beginning. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S 1958-59 ski program will be conducted in part by Denver University Ski Coach Willy Schaeffler. More skiers probably read (and acted upon) last winter's articles by Schaeffler and Ski Editor Ezra Bowen on the revolutionary shortswing technique than any ski article ever published. Now, for parents who want to start their children (and, for that matter, themselves), Schaeffler and Bowen will present in the December 15th issue the proper way to bring up a skier from the time he first steps into a binding.
From then on, every week in the season, Schaeffler—one of the world's great ski coaches and teachers—will be writing an instructional column in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
See you on the slopes.