Dr. Pilet shows members of the Todtnau Ski Club how to ski
Dr. Pilet shows members of the Todtnau Ski Club how to ski

Black Forest skiing history

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What would the Black Forest be without winter sports. Many people come from far away, for example to go skiing or cross-country skiing in the Black Forest. But how did winter sports develop in the Black Forest and what is its history?

Important events in history:

In February 1891, the French consul Dr. R. Pilet started skiing on the Feldberg for the first time. On February 08.02.1891th, 10 he entered the guest book of the Hotel Feldberger Hof with the following words: “With Norwegian snowshoes on the Feldberg.” This sentence is considered to be the birth of skiing in all of Central Europe. He had taken the Höllentalbahn to Titisee and from there undertook the XNUMX-kilometer ascent to the Feldbergerhof on skis.

Foundation of the oldest German ski club

In December of the same year the Ski Club Todtnau founded by six men. Since Todtnau lies in a deep valley and the town was also very wealthy due to mining, the people there were happy to try out extravagant things. The ski club still exists today and was the oldest in Germany. Although the ski club was founded in Munich in 1890, it was dissolved again a short time later. Fritz Breuer, the chairman of the Todtnau ski club, quickly wrote instructions for snowshoeing and sold it for one mark.
 

 

Skiing was not only promoted as a means of transportation, but above all as fun. At the beginning, skiing was only aimed at a small target group, because the sport was not for poor people, but only for the elite class. The Ski Club Todtnau also played an important role in the establishment of the German Ski Association in 1905. 1550 members of the association came from the Black Forest alone. For comparison, just 208 came from Bavaria.
 

Women in winter sports

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1895 women members of the Todtnau Ski Club

If you take another look at history, winter sports were not actually intended for women, but on the Feldberg people campaigned for emancipation very early on. The current regulations were suspended and as early as 1897 there were photos from the archive showing women on skis.

 

Ernst Köpfer has the ski production patented

To name even more important dates in history, the year 1892 should not be missing. Ernst Köpfer was the first to have the manufacture of skis patented. The manufacture of skis in the Black Forest was thus secured.

 

Founding of the Black Forest Ski Club

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Membership card from the Black Forest Ski Club (Todtnau local group) from 1896.

Another year that should not be missing when going through the history of winter sports is the year 1895 in which the Ski Club Freiburg is founded and together with the Ski Club Todtnau forms the Ski Club Black Forest. This is the first national association in the history of Central Europe.

 

First ski lift in Schollach

In 1908, the construction of the first ski lift in Germany shows another important point in the history of winter sports in the Black Forest. In a small town called Schollach, Robert Winterhalter was already looking for a way to transport his grain to the mill and then back to the house more easily. Its construction was then extended to the transportation of people. Since many people came to Schollach because of the good air, but suffered from asthma or anemia, for example, he wanted to make the strenuous and arduous ascent easier for them. As the lift gained popularity, at times it earned more than any other person in all of Schollach combined.

 

First ski championships on the Feldberg

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Start of the Feldberg tower run

Ski championships were held on Feldberg for the first time in 1900. Women were soon allowed to take part, too, but still in skirts. Another important point in history is the construction of the ski jump, the Max-Egon-Schanze. Until 1936 it served as a jumping hill for the traditional Easter jumping.

In 1974 the first ski marathon takes place on the Feldberg with 1175 participants.

The story of winter sports in the Black Forest or Feldberg naturally includes many more events. The most important and perhaps the most important are listed here only once.

As history shows, important decisions for winter sports throughout Germany were made in the Black Forest. However, it can be observed that in the 20th century skiing increasingly shifted to the Alps. Competitions in Nordic disciplines such as cross-country skiing or ski jumping were held on the Feldberg. Alpine skiing, however, was further developed and raised in the Alps. Especially since the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, skiers have preferred the more spectacular mountains in the Alps. Perhaps this development would have been different if the Olympic Winter Games had taken place on Feldberg.

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