Objects Database

Ski poles

Accession Number


Object Name

Ski poles




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Pair of cane ski poles with cane and leather baskets, aluminium and metal tips and leather hand straps.


pine, leather, metal


126 (l) x 6( circumference ) cms

Number Of Objects

1 pair

Inscription Description

Label attached reads "NAPIER FAMILY SISTER JANE'S STICKS c.1959 USED IN SCOTLAND 1959 - 1960 (may be older)"


light brown


The modern day skier might be surprised to learn that two ski sticks are a fairly recent idea - skis have been around for thousands of years, two sticks only becoming the norm just over 100 years ago. Skiing as a sport didn't really begin until the 1860's and at that time a single pole was the norm being used to 'pole' along on the flat, ride upon to check the speed when going downhill and to 'swing' on when doing turns. Although the Finns had been using two poles for a long time the Norwegians actually banned them in some of their early competitions.
By around 1910 two sticks were becoming the norm and Scottish Ski Club Journals from that era ran articles on how to make them. Hazel and ash was the timber of choice in the early days; this was gradually replaced with cane as it became more commercially available. The sticks themselves were quite straightforward though the snow baskets were often mini-masterpieces.
Glass fibre, plastic,aluminium and carbon fibre were some of the materials that brought us into the twenty first century - better in many ways but somewhat lacking in character!

Used by Napier Family and Andrew Napier has given us a note on his families early ski trips.

"In 1956, on completion of my father's time in Germany and his promotion to Brigadier, Scotland, with its skiable mountains and tradition of music, was the family's choice of new home. All but my youngest brother had already skied in Germany, Bavaria and the Alps. Curiously, on arrival, my father first took my mother, elder brother and sister to ski for three days near Helvelyn in preference to Scotland. They met no other skiers.
The first Scottish excursion was around 1958, when a reduced family party based themselves for six days in the Rothiemurchus Hut. They got further up the sides of the Lairig Ghru each day, leaving their skis at the snow line. On the last day, they skied down the Coire Cas headwall, surprising half a dozen skiers, the first they had seen.
My twin sister and 1 enjoyed our first Scottish skiing high on Glas Maol on the remnants of a cornice. In all our subsequent family excursions, I recall no more mean a patch.

Acquisition Method

passed on from Scottish Ski Club

Acquisition Date



SSC - Napier Family Collection

Condition Check Date


Normal Location


Current Location



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



Go Back

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Back to top