The first ski lifts at Ruka
In Ruka in the 1940s–1960s, the gear of fell skiers consisted of leather boots and wooden skis. Some of the members of the group Pellists, hikers at Oulanka in summer, liked to go skiing on the fells at Ruka in winter. The first runs down a cleared slope occurred in 1955. A combustion engine-powered ski lift took the skiers half way up the front slope for the first time in 1957.
In the early 1960s, the operating of the Ruka ski lift was transferred from a sports club to a company. In early winter 1960, Osmo Saastamoinen and Lauri Määttä travelled to Austria to get acquainted with the operations of a downhill ski centre and ski school, and the time-honoured Austrian ski lift company Doppelmayr. In autumn 1960, the first 300-metre lift was replaced by a twice as long electric lift, which could be used as a chair lift in summer. This lift served at the front slope until 1970, when it was replaced by a double chair lift. The popularity of downhill skiing grew rapidly, and the long, gentle, and wide Vuosseli slope was opened on the east side of Ruka in 1964.