Many people when asked to guess might think that skiing has been around maybe a few hundred years, possibly even a few thousand, probably as a mode of transport when travelling or even hunting, for those living in snowy cold climates.
But it’s probably as old as 22,000 years in its most primitive form, in the Stone-Age era at the peak of the last ice age. Cave drawings dating from this era indicate an early group of Homo sapiens known as the Cro-Magnon man first used skis, sledges and snowshoes when crossing frozen marshland hunting reindeer and elk in the tundra at the edge of the ice sheet that once covered most of North America, and spread across Europe as low down as central France.
Over the next ten thousand years or so, ancient skis and snowshoes spread across the Eurasian Arctic regions, and by 6,000 years ago, was well established. The earliest preserved ski-relic fragments we have discovered to date come from a site in Yorkshire dating from approximately 10,000 years ago, and further ski fragments as old as 8,000 years in Northern Russia.
To put this into context, the wheel was only invented around 5,500 years ago. Skiing has been around a really, really long time!