On the trail of the first skiers – PART 3

More than 5,000 years ago, when mammoths still roamed the northern hemisphere, the Tuvans, a tribe of hunters, carved mankind’s first skis. At least that is what ski historians such as John Allen from Plymouth State University report. These stone-age skiers carved out a living in the Altai mountain range, which stretches from Siberia to Mongolia and China. And, according to recent reports, they have never stopped skiing since. Schorsch Schichl, my Austrian mountain guide, and I planned to seek out our Asian skiing ancestors and — if possible — ski with them. Having covered thousands of miles by car, on foot and on skis, we did meet Tuvans, sure enough, many of them in Siberia and more in western Mongolia. Alas, none of them had ever skied.This last part of our quest to find the world’s oldest skiers — this time venturing into the Chinese part of the Altai…Continue Reading