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Leather to plastic, skiing history.

Long wooden skis--cumbersome planks up to 12 feet long, with leather straps to hold boots--were a typical sight in snowy Sierra mining camps during the gold rush. Since then, wood and leather have given way to lightweight fiberglass and plastics.

To appreciate current ski gear and conditions, take a break from the slopes and visit the Auburn Ski Club's Western America SkiSport Museum. Built in 1969 and recently expanded to 6,500 square feet, it houses a large collection of skis, boots, clothing, photographs, and other memorabilia from the early California gold camps to the latest Olympic races.

Unique to the museum is a collection of ski films dating back to 1919. You can ask to see any of them in the theater. New this winter are displays of medals, ski gear, pictures, and historic accounts of the 10th Mountain Division--American soldiers who fought on skis in World War II--and the U.S. Ski Team.

The museum is 20 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe; from I-80, take the Boreal Ridge ski area exit. Admission is free. November through May, hours are noon to 4 Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 to 5 weekends. For hours the rest of the year, call (916) 426-3313.
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Title Annotation:Western American SkiSport Museum, Lake Tahoe
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1985
Words:201
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