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Wednesday August 9, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Watch 2 Swiss gems with 1950s ski-instruction & witness the rescue of 222 passengers from a train stuck in deep snow at Donner Pass. NEW


If you're into vintage snow sports videos the three 1950s films below are a must-watch.

The first two include some gems on Swiss ski-instruction from 1953 and 1952.

The last film below highlights the dramatic 1952 rescue of 222 passengers stranded on a train stuck in deep snow at Donner Pass in California's Sierra Mountains.

The winter of 1952 was, at the time, one of the worst California had experienced for over 50 years.

It reminds us at PlanetSKI of the epic 2017 winter that is only now finally concluding in California's Sierra Mountains - after a very long and snow filled winter, the ski area of Mammoth Mountain finally closed on Sunday 6th August.

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Sit back and enjoy the three videos - they're worth some time ......

1950's Vintage Videos1950's Vintage Videos - Swiss Scene
















Glückliche Jugend im Schnee is a charming compilation of black and white footage, sepia shots and some colour footage of winter sports in Switzerland at that time.

It's slightly longer than most films we feature on PlanetSKI but it highlights some great skiing footage from 1953.

Early sections include sporting shots of tobogganing, a game of ice hockey, and ice skating outdoors with some of the girls wearing twee-knitted bonnet-style hats.

Then the skiing footage begins from 4:15 with a ski lesson in progress; a great warm up session on skis at 7:38; young chidren waxing their skis at 9:49 in readiness for a ski racing through an obstacle course; some T-bar shanigans continue at 13:45; followed by some adult skiing; ending in what we all love best - skiing in powder snow.

Check out some of the great looking clothing they wore and the kit they used, including ski poles with enormous baskets.


An Instruction Film on how to ski - by Joseph Dahinden:

This 1952 film is a gem and it's one that many ski instructors might enjoy.

It offers a charming insight into the style of ski instruction at the time.

We especially love the warm-up sequence at the start - it's almost ballet on snow!

There are some beautifully choreographed 'ski lessons', especially the fabulous kick-turn sequence featured at 4:30.

We wonder what all you ski instructors out there are thinking?

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1952 - American Passenger Train rescued from snowstorm:

On 13 January 1952 the Southern Pacific Railroad "City of San Francisco" luxury passenger train was marooned high up at the Donner Pass at 2,151m (that's 7,057 feet).

The train was en route from Chicago to San Francisco when it got stranded in the deep snow.

After being marooned for days, 222 passengers and crew members were rescued from the snowbound train high in the blizzard swept Californian Sierra Mountains.

They were the worst snow storms and blizzards California had experienced for over 50 years.

Some snow depths at the time were reported to be over 6 metres deep, and the roofs of some cars were burried more than 3m under the snow.

Watch the video for more facts on the stranded passenger train, and the huge rescue and dig-out operation that took place.


See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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