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First skiers in the High Tatras

THIS PICTURESQUE colourised postcard dating back to the beginning of the 20th century shows a group of skiers on the frozen Popradské pleso in the High Tatras. It is notable that all the women have a stationary pose while most of the men attempt to make a dynamic impression, indicating that people at that time thought that having their photograph taken was a serious matter.

THIS PICTURESQUE colourised postcard dating back to the beginning of the 20th century shows a group of skiers on the frozen Popradské pleso in the High Tatras. It is notable that all the women have a stationary pose while most of the men attempt to make a dynamic impression, indicating that people at that time thought that having their photograph taken was a serious matter.

It is also interesting that some of the skiers were leaning on just one ski pole – this was a popular skiing style then. The first ski training organised in 1907 for guests at Tatranská Polianka by Dr Michal Guhr featured the one-pole method. Guhr was one of the biggest promoters of skiing in the High Tatras. In its first years, skiing in the region gained enthusiasts as it was part of the organised daily routine at sanatoriums and the sport was considered part of the treatment .

But even 100 ago people aspired to conquer more demanding slopes on skis. The first recorded alpine skiing was on January 13, 1903, by Karol Jordán from Budapest and Karol English from Krakow. These two daredevil skiers took on Krížne hill in Liptovské Kopy.

The first club to pursue organised sport skiing in the High Tatras was from Budapest. This club organised the first ski competition in 1911 in Tatranská Polianka.

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