This spring, as most of us shed our shells for t-shirts, a few hundred sunlight-deficient skiers at the top and bottom of the world are scratching for whatever skiing they can get.
Researchers at McMurdo Station, a U.S. research base in Antarctica, make their final turns of the season on the nearby Scott Base Ski Field as they prepare for six months of 24—7 darkness. Meanwhile, enlistees at the U.S. Air Force base in Thule, Greenland, are emerging from constant night to carve slopes that most of us wouldn't explore in a Sno-Cat. Below, a look at the ski scene in the farthest reaches of the globe, as compared to that of Vail—which you should never again take for granted. —Brian Schott