Thursday, February 26, 2015

Article assignment: "On the Trail With the First Skiers"

On the Trail With the First Skiers - Mark Jenkins

By: Emily Dyck

Rating: ****

“On the Trail With the First Skiers” is certainly a captivating and unique article that includes history, culture and adventure regarding the evolution of skiing. 
The article describes the journey of the author through the Altay Mountains with a group of five men on skis who are tracking a herd of elk. These five men are using the techniques of their ancestors and are practising their cultural beliefs in the realm of skiing and chasing wildlife. The group eventually manages to corner two bucks and catches them but, due to their belief in not killing the wildlife that they catch, they set the bucks free once more. Unfortunately, the bucks were later killed by wolves in the forest.  
This article has surprised me and opened my mind to the history and previous uses for skiing. Nowadays, we ski for sport and entertainment purposes. However, in the past many cultures would ski for much more practical reasons such as hunting and transportation. It amazes me that this ancient culture is still being respected and practised to this extent. As for their ideologies about nature and wildlife, I appreciate their respect for the animals and the environment in which they live. I believe this connects them to the earth that much more and allows for balance between humans and nature, which I find inspiring. 

Jenkins, Mark. On the trail With the First Skiers. National Geographic. December 2013. Website