When most people are booking a ski holiday, they are only thinking about the fun skiing adventures in the Swiss Alps. However, there is much more to skiing than just fun or even the Swiss Alps. Have you ever asked yourself how skiing came about? How long has it been in existence? Which are the details about skiing that are not common knowledge? Well, if you have asked any of these questions, today I have some answers for you.

While taking a break in a great location called Chalet Cygnet in the 4 Valleys area, I came across interesting and weird facts about skiing and the Swiss Alps that you will definitely love to know. Below is a look at some of these facts:

  1. Skiing started in Norway and not in Switzerland

Today, skiing is synonymous with the Swiss Alps, and I bet if you asked people where it all began, most would tell you Switzerland. But that is not the case. In fact, the word “ski” comes from a Norwegian word, skíð, which translates into “a piece of wood”. It is believed that skiing was an ancient activity  in Norway, going as far back as thousands of years ago.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced skiing into the Swiss Alps after he came back from a ski trip to Norway. He believed that Switzerland had the perfect terrain for skiing and thus brought back with him some skis.

  1. Skiing is one of the fastest sports

Speed skiingIf you are into extreme adventure activities, skiing is right up your alley. It is one of the fastest sports in the world and the fastest non-motorized sport. In fact, skiing is even faster than some motorized sports, and it is even possible to ski at faster speeds than those of road cars. In 2006, Simone Origone, a speed skier, set a world record of 156.2 miles per hour. This is extremely fast compared to road cars, which can only go up to a maximum of approximately 120 miles per hour.

  1. Skiing has a patron saint

Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about skiing is that there is a patron saint of skiers, and his name is St. Bernard of Montjux. After spending over four decades in the Alps Mountain doing missionary work, St. Bernard was proclaimed a saint by Pope Pius XI, which made him the patron and protector of all skiers.

  1. It might be possible to ski on the moon one day

Another one of the weird facts about skiing; lunar skiing might be a possibility. This was an observation that was made  Astronaut Harrison Schmitt, while on a NASA mission to the moon. According to Schmitt, the moon’s surface had a good terrain for skiing, and the technique could come in handy while moving around on the surface of the moon. What this also means is that lunar ski holidays might also become a thing in the future.

  1. Skiing is one of the earliest modes of transportation

Ski soldiersToday, skiing is both a leisure sport as well as a commercial activity. But it didn’t use to be that way. As already mentioned above, skiing is believed to have been an ancient activity, where it was used for transportation. This mode of transportation was used up until recently in the 20th century, where ski soldiers during the 1st and 2nd World Wars.