Speed Riding

Three figures stand atop the north face of Mont Blanc du Tacul above an array of skiers, ant-like, peppering the Bossons Glacier below. Skier’s left of the standard route, they eye a seemingly impossible line—a hanging face truncated by monstrous seracs, replete with airy exposure. The face is not only convoluted, but it is also discontinuous. […]

Hùynh Family

The U.S. Air Force cargo plane from Saigon was packed with row after row of refugees. It was April 1975 and the South Vietnamese capital was about to fall to the North Vietnamese Army, largely ending the Vietnam War. On the plane, sisters Cúc Kim Hùynh, then 16, and Liên Kim Hùynh, then 18, their parents […]

New Jersey

Pass through the sliding doors at the end of the concrete parking garage. Ignore the construction signs for the Mrs. Fields cookie store and drop into the human current as it ebbs from one ghastly lit shop to the next. Avoid the fuzzy mechanical animals (and the line at Starbucks) and make your way across the […]


Every once in a while, the question comes up: Is Spokane a ski town? A few miles west of the Idaho border and nestled on the western edge of the Northern Rockies, Washington state’s second-largest city is about as far from Seattle as you can get geographically and culturally, but it’s within 90 minutes of a […]

Las Vegas

We were somewhere around Vegas on the edge of the desert when the storm began to take hold. Angry clouds concealed the 11,289-foot summit of Lee Peak above Las Vegas’ local ski hill, Lee Canyon. As we pull into the lot, though, the whiteout breaks long enough to give us a glimpse of the top. It […]

French Pyrenees

“Ah, putain!” Bouncing the expletive off his front windshield, Guillaume Arrieta shakes his head and bears down on the steering wheel. Until this point, the 30-year-old photographer has been all smiles, almost alarmingly optimistic considering the midwinter drought that has decimated snowpacks across Europe. But now something has changed, and as our van rises and falls […]

Beartooth Basin

High on the steeps above us, a skier catches an edge in the summer slush. He rag-dolls before belly sliding a good hundred feet, losing skis, poles and goggles along the way. Cheers erupt from the lift line as the man stands, shakes the snow from his sodden hoodie and takes a bow. We’re at 10,900 […]

Resort Expansion

North of Duluth, MN, near Lake Superior, a group of obsessive backcountry skiers has been planning the Midwest’s first backcountry ski area and a hut-to-hut ski-touring route along the North Shore. Rory Scoles, the founder of Superior Highlands Backcountry, a local nonprofit, says hacking around outside in the winter is core to the culture there. They’re […]


I never thought that a Japanese winter could be all ours. Gathered around a bonfire the night before my wedding, the idea seemed far-fetched, at best. I had been based in Japan for a few years, ski guiding in the bountiful mountains of Hokkaido, far from my home mountains in New Zealand. Yukka had been an […]


It’s 3:15 a.m. and I’m awakened by a primal, don’t-freeze-to-death instinct. I check my phone. Still four hours till the alarm. Damn. I’m tired, but I don’t want to sleep. I don’t think I can. I want to get moving. The northern winter nights are always long, but this week they’ve felt exceptionally long—a 30-degrees-below-zero kind […]


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