Lilienfeld, Austria

Visit Austria! That’s the word from Barry ZeVan, who would like all NASJA members to consider the following.

A must-add for your bucket list

I’ve been telling every NASJA member (for years) to put the village of Lilienfeld, Austria, on their “bucket list”. The museum there, and the first hills on which people skied with wide skis and bear-trap bindings, instead of telemarking, are truly shrines to our sport. I produced a television ski special there in the mid-1980s that aired on several stations in the U.S., including here in the Twin Cities, and also, at an annual USSWA conference at Lake Louise, Alberta, composed the words for the plaque that’s housed in the museum stating the USSWA (which it was then) acknowledged the importance of Lilienfeld and Mathias Zdarsky as the father of Alpine skiing and slalom racing, piggybacking on Sir Arnold Lunn’s earlier recognition of Zdarsky, also housed in the museum, but couched in more modern terminology. Our then USSWA National President, Ben Rinaldo, okayed my verbiage at 11 p.m. that night at the Chateau Lake Louise.

I’ve attached scans of what’s happening there this year, thanks to my dear friend Heinz Eppensteiner in Lilienfeld, Chairman of the Zdarsky Ski Museum in Lilienfeld, sending me hard copies and a CD a couple weeks ago, and who asked me to share the information with the entire NASJA membership. Their website is Be certain to scroll down and read every page and see every picture on the site. I hope, before I die, at least some NASJA members will consider taking a special trip there. It’s a thrill to do what I was privileged to do: To actually herring-bone up the first hill Zdarsky taught young people from Vienna how to ski (free of charge) on wide skis, to ski down that hill and to be at the bottom of which he’s buried, is like being part of history, even though 100-plus years later. The site and the ATTACHED scan tells a lot of it.

I hope even some of our members from each region will at least inquire regarding making special trips there, either as individuals or in a group. It’s a “magic” place, and I wish my suggestion several times over the years had borne fruit, but since that didn’t happen, I hope at least some members will elect to have the experience before they no longer can. It’s only a 45 minute drive west of Vienna, almost completely on four-lane divided Autobahn.

[Click on each of the following images to enlarge. And then use the Control/+ key combination to enlarge some more.]


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