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Border Crossing: Notes from Afar

Border Crossing: Notes from Afar

[ March 26, 2010 - 3:13pm ]
It's Friday. We know you're probably wasting the afternoon surfing the web at work. Carry on and watch this stop motion video by Karim Rejeb to properly waste your boss's time.

[ February 9, 2010 - 7:42pm ]
Couldn't throw down for a ticket to Vancouver? Now you can ski Whistler virtually from your laptop, courtesy of Google's street-view snowmobile

Using Google Maps' street-view feature, I just noticed that my neighbor Stan had left his garage door open—or at least he had on the day Google's Orwellian street-view vehicle rolled through our 'hood. That I can almost look into Stan's garage from my computer scares and fascinates me simultaneously. Now Google has something for those of us who like to mix a little skiing with our voyeurism: the street-view snowmobile. That's right. Google has unleashed a snowmobile mounted with multidirectional cameras onto the slopes of Whistler.

[ February 3, 2010 - 11:23am ]
1970s Sportscaster Parka
Where to find the best old school Chamonix posters.

Are you looking for just the right pair of vintage wooden skis to adorn the wall space over your fireplace? Okay, maybe not. But in case you are, there’s a treasure for everyone waiting on a few vintage ski websites. If you’re looking for outerwear so old it’s new again, peruse for vests, sweaters, ski pants, and coats for both men and women. Head to to score the rainbow Sportscaster park ($46) pictured here.

[ January 27, 2010 - 7:06pm ]
My favorite ski-film segment has to be the following gem from Blizzard of AAHHHs.

I'm not exactly sure why I love this segment so much. It's the bit about Telluride from the Blizzard of AAHHHs, Greg Stump's 1988 classic. It's an intoxicatingly odd blend of the Awesome (bump skiing in Club A outfits, Alpha Blondy tunes, Zudnik the Wonder Dog) and the Uncomfortably Awkward (Rasta Stevie's barely intelligible ranting). Now that I think of it, though, Rasta's ranting qualifies as awesome, too, in its own special way.

[ January 23, 2010 - 10:08pm ]
Freeride World Tour, Russia
When you travel from the U.S. to Russia, the best way to get adapted to the new time zone might just be to ski all day and skip lunch and afternoon naps. Freeride World Tour judge Tom Winter checks in from Krasaya Polyana, Russia, the venue for the first competition on the big-mountain tour.

Jet lag is unavoidable for athletes who travel to Sochi for the Freeride World Tour’s Nissan Russian Adventure. In fact, it’s an unavoidable byproduct of the FWT’s global reach. After all, the events span the planet, and it’s a long way from Krasnaya Polyana to Squaw Valley. So, while this judge didn’t come all the way from Squaw, a good 30-plus hours of travel from Denver’s International Airport to the hotel nestled beneath the crags of Caucus Mountains, did take a toll.

[ January 15, 2010 - 6:29pm ]
The ultimate slip-'em-on-at-your-tailgate-while-cracking-a-beer-at-the-end-of-a-great-day-skiing shoes.
[ November 20, 2009 - 5:54pm ]

Tabular iceberg near Half Moon Island, South Shetlands

With his last update from the Southern Hemisphere, Sam Bass signs out.

Yesterday I awoke to expedition leader Laurie Dexter’s Scottish lilt announcing through my in-cabin speaker that Cape Horn lay directly off the bow. I rushed to the deck, bleary-eyed, and got to see one of the most storied spots on earth—a place I’d heard about my entire life, and where nearly 30,000 sailors died. Fortunately, the sea was calm as can be and I was able to take in the moment peacefully. In fact, our entire recrossing of the Drake was about as placid as it gets.

[ November 18, 2009 - 12:50pm ]

On location with WME cinematographer Tom Day near
Livingston I

The last day of skiing, a rager on board the ship, and crossing back over the Drake Passage.

We’ve had a highly unusual stretch of weather since leaving Ushuaia at the trip’s outset. It has been sunny and blue for most, if not all, of every day we’ve been on snow. Temperatures have been in the 25-55 range—quite warm. In fact, the only prolonged overcast stretch I can remember is the one no-ski day we had while steaming from Weincke Island to Eduardo Frei base in Maxwell Harbor on King George Island to offload the injured guy.

[ November 17, 2009 - 12:54pm ]
Climbing to Ski in Antarctica
Steep couloirs, lap after lap of skiing, and a white-tablecloth lunch of fish and chips. Sam Bass gives us a ski report from Antarctica.

Here’s the thing about tagging along with a Warren Miller shoot. If you’re there to observe how it works, you don’t get to ski very much. Don’t get me wrong. Watching Tom and Colin work is fun. These guys work extremely hard. And the athletes are skiing a lot of cinematically beautiful shots over and over, but with all of the setting up of shots and waiting for the right lighting, there isn’t much time left over for a longer climb and ski or multiple yo-yo laps.

[ November 16, 2009 - 7:16pm ]
The master Tom Day
After the Zodiac ride and the fornicating penguins, there is a day of skiing and shooting with the Warren Miller cameramen and a team of athletes. Sam Bass checks in from the south pole.

On Wednesday night, we anchored in the lovely crescent-shaped harbor of Half Moon Island, home to a large chinstrap penguin rookery. In the yellow light of evening, I boarded a Zodiac with the Warren Miller film crew and sped among icebergs, observing Tom and Colin as they filmed the athletes scoping tomorrow’s lines.