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Border Crossing: Notes from Afar

Border Crossing: Notes from Afar

[ January 12, 2011 - 5:46pm ]
Snow in Hawaii
Dek: 
Yes, you read correctly. It snowed in 49 states this week— Hawaii included.

Ever think it only snows in cold places, like Alaska, Colorado, and Montana? Nope. It snows on tropical islands too.

According to HawaiiNewsNow, Florida is now the only state without snow. The Big Island received a dusting of snow on Mauna Kea, a nearly 14,000 foot dormant volcano. If you measure from the mountain's oceanic base, it's taller than Everest. Makes sense it gets cold every now and then.

[ September 17, 2010 - 5:21pm ]
bd astral 40
Dek: 
The perfect pack for weekend adventures, even if you're camping inside.

Screw getting in to shape. To really get ready for ski season what you need to do is start dialing your weekend couch surfing routine. The one piece of gear you’re actually going to need this winter? A backpack. Because when you’re sleeping in other people’s living rooms it’s considered polite to keep all your crap contained.

[ May 26, 2010 - 12:17pm ]
Winter on Winter: Go South
Dek: 
Typically, the best advice for finding uncharted ski terrain is to "go west." But as columnist Tom Winter describes, at this time of year, the best advice is to "go south." He offers tips on where to ski in Chile and Argentina.

When Horace Greeley said, “Go West, young man,” he was referring to the vast opportunities that a relatively unexplored region offered enterprising and energetic Americans. And while he wasn’t talking about skiing, he might as well have been, because back in the mid 1800s, there were ample opportunities for first descents on all the West’s classic lines. Well, today the West has been pretty much skied out when it comes to first descents and the pristine high alpine meadows have been turned into planned ski “villages” complete with Starbucks and sushi.

[ May 19, 2010 - 10:46am ]
Dek: 
A month ago, I was in Iceland skiing on dormant volcanoes while the Eyjafjallajökull volcano was erupting and blowing enough smoke and ash to shut down all of Europe's airports. The volcano is burping more ash now, and American filmmaker Sean Stiegemeier flew in to capture this incredible time lapse of the volcano. Check out the video here.

A month ago, I was in Iceland skiing on dormant volcanoes on the northern part of the island while the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on the southern tip of Iceland was erupting and blowing enough smoke and ash to shut down all of Europe's airports. The volcano is burping more ash now, and American filmmaker Sean Stiegemeier flew in to capture this incredible time lapse of the volcano. Check out the video here.

[ May 10, 2010 - 1:20pm ]
Dek: 
If you're missing winter, this will cheer you up: A European film crew heads out to get footage. Here's their edit.

If you're missing winter, this will cheer you up: A European film crew heads out to get footage. Here's their edit.

[ April 22, 2010 - 3:34pm ]
Leyti Seck
Dek: 
Our sport's appeal extends beyond countries with wintry climates. Here's a compilation of Olympic athletes from nations that barely—or never—see a snowflake.

We found this old blog post on mentalfloss.com. It's always exciting to see skiers from warm places really givin' 'er. But not all these guys are actually from warm places—maybe they have some parental connection to another country that doesn't normally host Winter Olympic athlete contingents and therefore a chance to compete at the highest level. Whatever, excuses can be made about anything. Just nice to see these guys sharing the passion.

[ April 20, 2010 - 9:56am ]
Iceland Powder
Dek: 
After the erupting volcano, the muddy, impassable roads, and the pouring rain and avalanched couloir, finally, there is the powder. Several days into our ski-touring trip to Iceland, we are rewarded with sunshine and soft snow.

We wake up in our farmhouse—a guest house with 15 bunkbeds, a stone and wood kitchen table, and no shower—and at long last, there are blue skies. We’ve survived the erupting volcano. We’ve survived the muddy roads that were undriveable.

[ April 19, 2010 - 11:00pm ]
Iceland storm skiing
Dek: 
After getting shut down by an erupting volcano on Iceland’s south shore, we headed north on our ski-touring expedition to find some clear air and ski-able peaks. Instead, we found pouring rain and an avalanching couloir.

First it was an erupting volcano that shut us down on our ski trip in Iceland. Then it was a muddy, impassable road. Plan B ensued and we headed north instead. After a six-hour drive, our group of 12—including European and American journalists and representatives from Polartec and Black Diamond—arrived at our farmhouse near the town of Dalvík, on Iceland’s north coast.

[ April 18, 2010 - 9:15am ]
Iceland Volcano
Dek: 
I set out on a ski-touring trip to Iceland—and the day I arrived, a massive volcano on Iceland’s southern shore erupted, spewing enough ash and smoke to close all the airports in northern Europe. Would we get to ski? And would we ever be able to fly out?

The last time I posted, I was waiting in the Denver airport getting ready to board a flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, for a ski-touring trip to test gear with Black Diamond Equipment and a group of American and European journalists.

[ April 13, 2010 - 12:37pm ]
Iceland Map
Dek: 
Is there skiing in Iceland? Yes. How good is it? I have no clue, but I'm about to find out. I'm boarding a flight to Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city, to climb and ski some of the island's biggest volcanoes. Hopefully none of them erupt while we're skiing them. Check back for more updates.

I'm waiting to board a flight to Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city. I'm with three fellow U.S. journalists and some folks from Black Diamond Equipment, who are providing us with gear to test for this trip. Our mission: To climb and ski some of the biggest volcanoes in Iceland. My bags are stuffed with all the latest ski-touring gear from Black Diamond: lightweight skis, AT boots and bindings, crampons, an ice ax, shovel, probe, head lamp, couloir harness, and more.