kottke.org posts about skiing

The skiing line of the yearDec 09 2014

This is the craziest thing I've ever seen anyone do on skis: Cody Townsend skiing down a super steep face in a space between two rock walls no wider than a supermarket aisle. Powder Magazine called it "The Line of the Year".

They forgot to put "Batshit Crazy" before the word "Line". (via devour)

A view from a ski jumpJan 13 2014

Ride along with Anders Jacobsen as he takes flight off the end of a ski jump in Lillehammer, Norway.

Very nice, but this fourth grader's first time on a bigger ramp is by far my favorite ski jump video of all time.

Climate change slows skiing downDec 13 2012

Climate change, already on the hook for potentially killing spaghetti, will have a big impact on downhill skiing and snowboarding in the United States.

Under certain warming forecasts, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a 100-day season by 2039, according to a study to be published next year by Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

By then, no ski area in Connecticut or Massachusetts is likely to be economically viable, Mr. Scott said. Only 7 of 18 resorts in New Hampshire and 8 of 14 in Maine will be. New York's 36 ski areas, most of them in the western part of the state, will have shrunk to 9.

Nine-year-old ski jumper screws up courageMar 16 2012

This video shows a fourth grader trying a bigger ski jump for the first time. If you're a parent, I defy you to not tear up at least once while viewing. Oh, and the audio is essential.

#cryingatwork (via devour)

Blog skisFeb 22 2012

Atomic sells a ski called the Blog.

The Blog is ideal for freeskiers who refuse to compromise on airs and tricks in the backcountry.

(via meg)

Street skiingNov 27 2011

This is like street skating except with alpine skis down hilly city terrain. Includes jumps over hung laundry & parked cars, railslides down stairs, etc. Crazy.

(thx to @gnuhaus for the better embed)

Update: The skier in this video, JP Auclair, was killed in a Chilean avalanche while working on a film project. (thx, david)

Big wave skiing?Feb 08 2011

Watch as Chuck Patterson skis (not surfs, skis) the Jaws surf break in Maui.

And for some reason, he's using poles!

SolipskierAug 24 2010

Uh oh, this one is going to be a big timesink. Timetub? Timelake? Anyway, try out Solipskier and feel the rest of your day slipping away. My top so far: 18.7 million...I got a lot better once I tried it on the iPad. (via waxy)

History of freestyle aerial skiingMar 19 2010

From the early 80s, a video history of freestyle aerial acrobatic skiing.

Note the smooth-skiing gent in the first minute and the almost aggressive lack of helmets.

Skiing down Mount EverestFeb 22 2010

Forty years ago, Yuichiro Miura skied down Mount Everest.

"When I planned to ski Everest, the first thing I faced was 'How can I return alive?'" he recalls. "All the preparation and training was based on this question. But the more I prepared, I knew the chance of survival was very slim. Nobody in the world had done this before, so I told myself that I must face death. Otherwise, I am not eligible."

Miura's exploits were the subject of The Man Who Skied Down Everest, which won the Oscar for best documentary.

Skiing the Air Force MemorialDec 21 2009

There was so much snow in the DC area this weekend that Rob Story decided to make fresh tracks down the slope of the Air Force Memorial.

Amazing avalanche rescue videoOct 02 2009

A skier with a video camera on his helmet gets caught in an avalanche and then, four and a half minutes later, gets rescued. The good stuff starts around one minute in.

This was a decent sized avalanche. 1,500 feet the dude fell in a little over 20 seconds. The crown was about 1 - 1.5m. The chute that he got sucked through to the skier's right was flanked on either side by cliff bands that were about 30m tall. He luckily didn't break any bones and obviously didn't hit anything on the run out.

I had always assumed -- and this is likely based almost entirely on an episode of The Simpsons -- that you had options when buried by an avalanche...like digging yourself out or at least being able to move. Not so says the Utah Avalanche Center FAQ:

It doesn't matter which way is up. You can't dig yourself out of avalanche debris. It's like you are buried in concrete. Your friends must dig you out.

The FAQ contains a story by the director of the UAC about surviving an avalanche of his own; he confirms the concrete-like hardness of post-avalanche snow.

But after a long while, after I was about to pass out from lack of air, the avalanche began to slow down and the tumbling finally stopped. I was on the surface and I could breathe again. But as I bobbed along on the soft, moving blanket of snow, which had slowed from about 50 miles per hour to around 30, I discovered that my body was quite a bit denser than avalanche debris and it tended to sink if it wasn't swimming hard. [...] Eventually, the swimming worked, and when the avalanche finally came to a stop I found myself buried only to my waist, breathing hard, very wet and very cold.

I remembered from the avalanche books that debris instantly sets up like concrete as soon as it comes to a stop but its one of those facts that you don't entirely believe. But sure enough, everything below the snow surface was like a body cast. Barehanded, (the first thing an avalanche does is rip off your hat and mittens) I chipped away at the rock-hard snow with my shovel for a good 5 minutes before I could finally work my legs free.

Burton is offering a $5000 prize for theDec 28 2007

Burton is offering a $5000 prize for the best snowboarding video taken at one of the three remaining US ski areas (Alta, Taos, Deer Valley, Mad River Glen) that don't allow snowboarding. The intro video is the perfect explanation for why these four areas don't allow snowboards.

The NY Times covers Mad River Glen,Feb 12 2007

The NY Times covers Mad River Glen, a quirky ski area in Vermont that has the only operating single-seat chair lift in the country, doesn't allow snowboarders, and doesn't groom (that often) or make (that much) snow. "Occasionally, snowboarders will hike to the top from a nearby road and ride down. If they tackle the tough terrain with crisp, accomplished turns, the Mad River Glen regulars will loudly applaud at the bottom. If the boarders aren't very good, the abuse is just as loud. People will come out hooting and hollering from the lodge." I've skiied there a few times; here's some photos of the mountain and some videos I took. (thx, tien)

Ben Saunders points up towards the twoNov 16 2006

Ben Saunders points up towards the two craziest people in the world, Francois Bon and Antoine Montant, and their speedflying videos, in which videos they half-ski half-parachute down a rocky mountain. "Undoubtedly the most hardcore thing I've seen for a long time."

The Captain of Design himself points usMar 02 2006

The Captain of Design himself points us to the ski trail maps of James Nieuhues. Nieuhues is a prolific fellow...he's done paintings for most of the large ski resorts in the western US.

Gold medal winning mogulist Dale Begg-Smith, describedFeb 16 2006

Gold medal winning mogulist Dale Begg-Smith, described during the Olympic telecast as a successful entrepreneur, was actually a bigwig at a spyware company. Business aside, his final run wasn't good enough to warrant the gold. (via /.)

Skiing videosFeb 13 2006

I did some skiing last week up in Vermont and took some videos with my phone on the slopes. The quality isn't great, but hopefully you'll get the gist.

A short clip of me skiing through the trees:

Riding the chair lift:

And one of me skiing behind Meg:

The motion in the last one reminds me of Quake...like I'm chasing after her with a railgun or something.

Skiing the online slopesFeb 07 2006

Since I've been skiing a little bit recently (for the first time in years), I decided to check out what was happening online in the skiing world. Specifically I wondered if there were any ski blogs out there and if the many ski magazines offer online archives of their content.

Just like every other topic under the sun, skiing is well covered in blog land; no chance for fresh tracks here. A couple of quick searches uncovered blogs about backcountry skiing, New England skiing, ski adventures from around the country, skiing products and fashion, Colorado skiing, an attempt to ski 120 days of powder, Euro-centric skiing, and even a skiing videoblog.

Most of the skiing blogs I found focus on their respective author's adventures on the slopes. If someone wanted to start a skiing meta-blog (blogging not just skiing adventures but other skiing-related topics and pointing to other people's adventures), would there be enough good information out there to point to? The magazine racks of ski country convenience stores are filled with all kinds of periodicals about skiing...how much of that content is online? From what I can tell, the skiing magazines do offer content on their sites, but not necessarily from the pages of their print magazines. Both SKI Magazine and Skiing Magazine have archived print articles on their sites, but only from June 2005 and earlier. Both have other resources like forums, skiing news, resort details, videos, and online-only features. Neither site is organized particularly well for quick information perusal and retrieval. Skipressworld offers PDF versions of their entire print magazine online, including the current issue. Powder magazine has some online archives as well as online-only features like videos and message boards.

And so on...Google News is currently featuring over 10,000 articles about skiing (although much of that is due to the impending Winter Olympics), Flickr has thousands of skiing photos, and nearly all the ski areas an resorts have web sites on which you can check the current conditions, the lines at the chairlift via webcams, and trail maps. Killington is even doing podcasts.

So there's lots of skiing info out there. I know there must be a few skiers among the kottke.org readership...what are your favorite skiing sites and resources online?

Skiing at Mad RiverJan 06 2006

Over the holidays, Meg and I went up to Vermont skiing. I skied quite a bit when I was in middle/high school (on the small hills of northwestern WI and east central MN), but I'd only strapped on the boards a couple times since graduating from college. Meg's family has skied at Mad River Glen for years, so that's where we went. After three straight days of hitting the slopes, my back got a little wonky, so on the 4th day I brought the camera along to document a run down the mountain:

Mad River

There are a few photos of Waitsfield (the town closest to Mad River) and the surrouding area at the beginning of the set, but most are from the mountain, including some of the best winter views I've ever witnessed. The snow covering the trees, the fog at the top of the hill...it looked almost magical. At one point, I was alone on the mountain with my camera, engulfed in fog, no one within 200 yards. With no wind and all the snow & fog muffling the sound, when I stopped breathing, I couldn't hear anything at all.

There's a new indoor skiing area inDec 06 2005

There's a new indoor skiing area in Dubai the size of 3 football (soccer) fields. Photos here and official site here. Dubai is the new Las Vegas.

Tim Gasparak captured JJ Thomas catching sameOct 03 2005

Tim Gasparak captured JJ Thomas catching same air over the streets of San Francisco on a snowboard. SF recently played host to extreme skiers and snowboarders flying down Fillmore Street on several tons of trucked-in snow. Tim's got more photos of the event on Flickr.

One of San Francisco's steepest streets willAug 22 2005

One of San Francisco's steepest streets will be closed later this month...for ski jumping. They're hauling in 200 tons of snow and a bunch of skiers. I'm sure this will be a much Flickred event.

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