Skiing back then

A ghostly mist has settled itself over the lake. Now and then you can see apparitions of the hardy – and brave – folk who are out on the lake, skiing in the slush or skating on the  lake. The snowracers race like bullets over the snow. Everyone is bundled up in hats, gloves and bulky coats.

Cue music. Cue twirling swirling colours. We go back to the turn of the 19th century. Travel back in time more than one hundred years ago …

… to this: Australia!


The start of girls' snowshoe race, Kiandra - Australia

I’m captivated by these hardy pioneers! They look as if they are going off to church – not about to start a race. In the cold snow.

Apparently, round the end of the 1800s, skis were called snowshoes in Australia. One of the oldest ski clubs in the world was started in Kiandra and still exists today.

No gloves, long skirts and hats. I like to think that, although physically confined by their clothing, their spirits were free as they raced down the hill at exhilarating speeds.

Did you know that Flickr: The Commons is a place where institutes can upload their old photos and save them for posterity? This photo is part of the Powerhouse Collection.

12 thoughts on “Skiing back then

  1. You can put a lady in a dress, but you can’t contain her. I love that image, it reminds me of those Victorian women travelers who took off to all different exotic locales around the world. Corsets are not for minds.


  2. The length of those skis amazing, I assume that they were Telemark skiers? because of the long pole..may be

    I hope that had their Long Johns on underneath.


  3. I just returned from a day of skiing. I didn’t wear a skirt, but I did wear a cute hat. It amazes me those girls got down the hill on those skis, and those shoe/boots! True athletes!


  4. The vintage photo looked cute. One reason why I dont like to travel in winter, need to bring so much stuff…lol P.S. We dont have winter here so I dont have much winter clothes or boots.


  5. People ski in Australia every winter. And they use snow chains on their tyres. As Aussie winter is the Northern hemisphere summer, you can probably ski somewhere in the world all year round!


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