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A characteristic feature of telemark skiing was the release of the foot: the shoe was attached to the ski only with the tips of the toes.
The ski — which is in the collection of the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums — is a special type of telemark ski, because of the innovation that the creator of a new type of binding, Bilgeri...

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A characteristic feature of telemark skiing was the release of the foot: the shoe was attached to the ski only with the tips of the toes.
The ski — which is in the collection of the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums — is a special type of telemark ski, because of the innovation that the creator of a new type of binding, Bilgeri, used. With his invention, he achieved a synthesis of the development of Norwegian skiing (telemark) and alpine skiing (in which the shoe is attached with the entire foot to the surface of the ski). The constructor improved the existing bindings of the telemark ski, by securing the extension nuts and adjusting the side shoe holders. Thanks to this, you could stem in descent (ride on skis turned away from the straight direction, which made the ski produce drag) and — most importantly — perform ski stunts. Bilgeri’s bindings were widely used, among others, in the Austrian, French, Italian, and Swiss armies. In Poland, it was introduced in 1919 in the High Mountain Company (a formation established in 1919, within the Polish Highland Brigade). 

Elaborated by the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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How skis were hidden during the war

At the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts in Piwniczna Zdrój, you can find a pair of skis which might appear akin to fence boards to a shrewd eye. They are straight and do not feature tapered tips, characteristic of skis.

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At the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts in Piwniczna Zdrój, you can find a pair of skis which might appear akin to fence boards to a shrewd eye. They are straight and do not feature tapered tips, characteristic of skis.
During World War II, the Germans confiscated skis and boards longer than 150 cm. According to them, they were dangerous because they enabled couriers to make the crossing through the mountains. Although having skis was forbidden, residents of mountain towns, including the folks of Piwniczna, skilfully circumvented this ban − they carved skis, but not quite skis, which could be said to be just ordinary planks if need be. Sometimes a piece of metal was temporarily attached to the planks, which could serve as a fastening.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, 
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland.

 

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“Telemark” ski from 1919

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