The History OF Southern Spanish SkiING
Today the Sierra Nevada ski resort is a thriving centre of activity, but little over a century or so ago, it was nothing more than an isolated area within the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
According to official sources at Cetursa, the organisation that runs the ski station, the idea of building a resort in the area was first suggested in the late 19th century by the Spanish consul in Helsinki, Angel Ganivet, who came from Granada.
Living in a ski-loving, snow-filled culture inspired this diplomat and writer to suggest that a "Finnish Granada" should be created, so that people could enjoy similar sporting fun in his own nearby mountains.
In 1898 a group was formed called "Diez Amigos Limited" (Ten Friends Limited), made up of writers and artists who wanted to go mountain climbing. Renamed Sociedad Sierra Nevada (Sierra Nevada Society), they built the first mountain refuge in 1912, and skiing in Sierra Nevada started. Not long after, in 1914, Spain’s National Sport Week was celebrated there. This event marked the beginning of a long history of important competitions which have contributed to the ski station’s present-day prestige.
These are the main events since Sierra Nevada made its first big splash in the sports scene:
1914 - National Sports Week
1932 - Hispano Andorrano Competition
1940 - Spanish Alpine Championships
1941 - National Alpine Ski Trials
1943 - National Alpine Ski Trials
1945 - National Alpine Ski Trials
1956 - International Sports Week (through 1966)
1975 - European Women’s Alpine Ski Cup
1976 - VII Eurosport Alpine Ski Trophy
1977 - Men’s and Women’s World Alpine Ski Finals Cup
1986 - International Ardilla Children’s Alpine Trophy (to 1992)
1990 - Men’s and Women’s World Alpine Ski Finals Cup
1993 - Men’s World Alpine Ski Finals Cup
1994 - Women’s World Alpine Ski Finals Cup
1996 - World Alpine Ski Championships
1998 - European Men’s Alpine Cup
1999 - World Alpine Final Cup
2003 - Women’s World Cup
2004 - European Alpine Ski Final Cup
2005 - Nokia World Snowboard FIS Cup
2006 - World Ski Cross Cup
2007 - Women’s World Alpine Ski Cup
2008 - World Ski Cross Cup
2009 - European Ski Cross Cup
2010 - World Freestyle Cup
2012 - World Junior Snowboarding Chanmpionships
2013 - Freestyle and Snowboard Cup Superfinal
2014 - World School Championships
2015 - Winter University Championships
All in all, Sierra Nevada has gone from strength to strength, with rave reports for its excellent facilities and top-notch organisation. In fact, the Vice-President of the International Cyclists Union, Agostino Omini, was so happy after the World Biking Championships in 2000 that he said, “Sierra Nevada is one of the most well-prepared stations I’ve seen yet. I hope this Organisation is an example for future Championship events in other countries” (1).
(1) - Dossier de Prensa, Sierra Nevada, Temporada 2007-2008, sección Historia, Cetursa