CMH Bullock Helicopter

In the run-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, we wanted to take a little look back at some skiing and snowboarding milestones and trends during the past 6 decades…

1)  1952 -1961 – Ski’s Together!


Ahh, the original ‘legs firmly together and wiggle the hips’ manoeuvre takes the ski world by storm in the 1950’s.  Epitomised by the Norwegian Olympic gold medallist Stein Eriksen (above), this was the classic ski look of the era, the dying remnants of which can still be spotted even now in the Austrian Alps…

2)  1961 -1971 – The Birth of Heli Sking


Finally the penny dropped!   Rather than get up at the crack of dawn, wait in a crowded lift line or hike for hours to find that powder skiing paradise the visionary Austrian mountaineer Hans Gmoser had a better idea.  In 1965 he set up CMH Heli Skiing and began using helicopters to transport skiers high into the Bugaboo Mountains of British Columbia for quick and effortless access to some of the most incredible deep powder snow on the planet.  Genius.

3)  1972-1981 – Rock the Establishment


As any skier worth their salt knows ‘nobody ever got hurt in the air’.  And this is certainly the approach our friends in the 1970s took.  Suddenly big air and throwing crazy shapes off ludicrously big jumps became the norm and of course, this was probably the only time in history when mogul skiing was cool…

On top of that, there was a new kid in town…Snowboarding.  Born of the free-ride surfer movement, these guys didn’t play by the rules, in fact they strived to be different!  Below is snowboarding legend Ted Shred aka Blake Barrymore strutting his stuff, riding on one of the first Burton snowboards at CMH Monashees in the early 80\’s.

4)  1982-1991 – Ski Fashion Hits a Peak

The 80s has got to be all about ski fashion.  Unquestionably the ultimate glory days of ski wear with Lycra, day-glow and of course the ‘all-in-one’ all competing for centre stage.   And if you didn’t have a bum bag, well, you were just an amateur.  As ever, trusty Debrett\’s representing the Great British ski fashion of the period…


5)  1992-2001 – Extreme Skiing

During those heady days where the world economy was booming, bankers were our friends and Easyjet arrived on the scene, suddenly skiing became gloriously un-stuffy and accessible to the masses.  But with more people (or ‘punters’ as seasonaiires like to refer to you and me) clogging up the mainstream there was a big movement to get extreme – the scarier the better…

Here’s Doug Combs the master, winning the 1992 World Extreme Skiing Competition in Valdez, Alaska.

6)  2002-present – The Turning Tables


Who would have thought it?!  The latest decade has seen the mountain tech and fashion turned on its head… We’ve got skiers dressing like snowboarders (I sound like my dad, but I do wonder how their trousers stay up), skis looking like surf boards, and the majority of people in the terrain parks are sporting two planks not one.  Whatever is going on one thing is clear.  Skiing has become cool again…phew!

Keen for a taste of off piste or heli skiing? Email us – it need not be so extreme or be dressed so baggily…


4 thoughts on “Skiing & Snowboarding during the Queen’s 60 year reign”

  1. Haha this is great! I’m surprised by just how many people still ski like in the 60’s, and even more by how many still wear the same lycra all-in-one outfits they did in the 80’s!

  2. Great article, funny collection of photos :p Do you remember the Snurfer? It wasn’t for the big slopes but was awesome in the backyard. My uncle used it as a teen in the 70’s and said it was a blast. Pretty sure he wore some of those goofy neon yellow all in one outfits too.

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