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Le rêve blanc

Long-term exhibition on display at the Dauphinois Museum

The thought of winter sports evokes escape to untouched wilderness, images of light powder snow and reliving epic conquests amongst friends gathered around the fireplace. Yet expectations and trends have changed to such an extent in the 20th century, is the white dream enough to attract the crowds to ski resorts these days? What’s more, visitor numbers to medium-altitude sites is dependent on snow cover, which has become an unpredictable phenomenon. In mountainous regions, climate change is a concern local stakeholders have been dealing with for a while. What, then, would the average ski resort look like in the 21st century?
Winter sports, a 20th century construct
From the close of the 19th century, mountainous terrain has progressively been shrugging off its austerity, making way for board sports, and attracting ever increasing numbers of visitors. In just a few decades, this terrain has transformed itself into a vast recreational area where good health is touted through advertising. Champions give the younger generations something to dream about and equipment brands have become nothing short of iconic, such as Alphonse Allais’s Rossignol Allais 60s, Jean-Claude Killy’s famous Dynamic VR17s and Régis Rolland’s Apocalypse snowboard.
Skiing for everyone!
The white gold rush gathered impetus in the Sixties. The economic stakes affirmed itself at French national level. This gave rise to the integrated ski resort which, through the Snow Plan, saw support provided to local stakeholders and communities. A hundred and fifty thousand beds were “opened” between 1971 and 1975. On the back of this growth came the necessary innovations, especially in terms of ski lifts, while big names were born: POMA, GMM.
Skiing in summer, pedalling in winter!
More recently, new snow sports trends and a different appreciation for snow and the wilderness have called for change to which the ski resorts need to adapt. New practices, new communities, new networks? Tourism in the digital age, where everyone is free to share their opinion and impressions, is a major revolution.
Ski resorts of the future?
In this regard, climate change, the management of natural resources, the digital age, diversification of ski practices and related leisure activities lead us to ponder the ski resort of the future. A number of filmed testimonies address these questions in the exhibition and outline, each in their own area of expertise, solutions to ensure that the experience of skiing in the Alps always satisfies the White Dream.
Posters, photographs, postcards, documentaries, clothing and skis from all periods - data-images, interactive terminals, films and recent testimonies from mountain stakeholders host the exhibition, inviting visitors to relive the history of winter sports in the Alps.
Entry to the Dauphinois Museum is free for all.
Open every day except for Tuesdays and on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December
from 10am to 6pm from 1 September to 31 May
and from 10am to 7pm from 1 June to 31 August
Dauphinois Museum
30 rue Maurice-Gignoux in Grenoble
Information on +33 (0)4 57 58 89 01
The Dauphinois Museum is one of the Isère Regional Departments’ eleven museums.
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