Skiing the Planet

"Mongolia is kind of close, right?" Story about an attempt to ski everywhere in the world where there's snow. And in some places where there isn't. On and off-piste skiing on all continents, skiing into craters of live volcanoes, climbing, photography, and travel.

The blog about skiing around the world. The most recent blog articles can be found here:

This web site list some selected blog entries below. There is also a full list, services "approved by the Planetskier", and a world map that shows where the Planetskier has skied in.

See also the Planetskier blog articles about caving, climbing, cycling, flying, swimming, and saunas.

Dead Cat Margarine
Dead cats were blended into margarine and fed to humans. We're going to a secret, abandoned tunnel to meet the ghosts of the cats. But it won't be easy to get there.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017
Undisclosed Finnish location, Finland


Urban exploration (Tunnels); Caving (Man-made)

Skiing with a drone
A few weeks ago I got a present from my IETF friends: a Mavic Pro drone. Thank you! We've already played a lot with it, me, Olli, Janne, and many of our friends, with everyone having loads of fun with the device!
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017
Peuramaa, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland; Sahara, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing; Equipment; Flying

Wisconsin
Welcome to the US, the land of lawyers and liability wavers! I had to sign a long liability waiver for just getting the ski pass for the day. Not seen that for mere tickets, though it is of course standard for hiring guides and the like.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017
Granite Peak, Wisconsin, USA


Skiing

The Korkberget Files
I want to take you to a special place. Janne and I have spent there over 20 days by now. And every day of exploration rewards us with more finds. It is nearby. An old friend. But did we know all of its secrets before? I certainly didn't. Caves in Finland are small. What if I told you about a complex system of caves, with hundreds of meters of tunnels and fifty entrances, including one that you can drive a boat in?
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

December 2016
Korkberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving

Yongpyong. Not Pyongyang.
Fortune favours the unprepared, as long as you pick the destination in the right Korea. I didn't know where I was going, or even if there'd be snow, but suddenly I was at the 2018 winter olympics village. Country #53.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

November 2016
Yongpyong, South Korea


Skiing (Outdoor,Snow,Grass)

Breithorn, 4164m
Third time's a charm! I finally managed to ski down from Breithorn. Two failed attempts... and what a wonderful third one, with a high speed ski run down. So much fun to pass the climbers on a long trek, me going at 80 km/h while screaming from the top of my lungs as I passed them :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2016
Breithorn, Zermatt, Switzerland


Skiing; Climbing

Srsly, Smearing Caves with Vaseline???!!
We had a disturbing visit to a cave today. Somebody had not only blocked access to this cave, but also smeared vaseline all over the cave, spread broken glass, and so on. Sigh.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2016
Mätikän luola, Masku, Finland


Caving

Anti-Gravity Lift Towers
The Swiss are clever innovators. The latest example of this that I saw were the lift towers in Saas Fee. Floating in mid-air, not standing on ground like regular towers. Anti-gravity in action!
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2016
Saas Fee, Switzerland


Skiing; Caving (Ice)

Bruxelles Ski de Plastique
Brussels has run out. They do not have enough for themselves, let alone for Greece. The Eurocrisis is getting worse. We're out of snow.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2016
Yeti Ski, Brussels, Belgium


Skiing (Outdoor,Plastic)

Paraguay on Miniskis
Have skis, can carry snow, will ski anything. First descent of Paraguay's highest mountain, Cerro Tres Kandu.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2016
Cerro Tres Kandu, Paraguay


Climbing; Skiing

Broken Ribs
I had an accident on a horse, skiing an ancient volcano in Africa. As people do. Broken ribs and a horseshoe-shaped bruise on my side. But I did manage to ski the remaining ski areas in Morocco. And ski down with the broken ribs.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

March 2016
Michlifen, Ifrane, Morocco; Jbel Habri, Ifrane, Morocco


Skiing; Climbing; Riding

Cave Skiing
I like caves and skiing, of course, but it is rare that the two mix. But in Cervinia there's small cave that you can ski through. If you dare.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2016
Cervinia, Italy


Skiing; Caving

Skiing Africa... by Mule
Avalanche pack, check. Skis, check. Mule, check. I am sitting on a mule, on my way to the ski slopes in Oukaïmeden in the Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2015
Oukaïmeden, Morocco


Skiing; Climbing

Bad Snow Year in Africa
Grass. Sun. Lonely wilderness. 4x4 transport. You would expect to find those in Africa. And I did. But I also found mountains, a ski area, olympic athletes, and snow. And the highest bar in South Africa. I'm in Tiffindell, South Africa's only ski area that re-opened this year, after being closed for a couple of years.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

July 2013
Tiffindel, South Africa

Mythbusting
Midsummer. Getting desperate with no snow around. But no matter. I will turn to doing something I have wanted to do for a while: testing skiing on dry ice. There's a claim in the Internet that dry ice isn't slippery. I want to know if that is true. So in Mythbusters style I have built a small test slope. I plan to put some dry ice on it and see if it I can ski it.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2013
Tampere and Kauniainen, Finland

Skiing on the Equator
Headache. Nausea. I have them, but high winds and icy rain are the main culprits for the failure to reach the glacier. No one in the refuge dares to venture higher. The estimated 80 km/h winds would be dangerous on that initial steep rock climb. Particularly with skis on the backpack acting as sails.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)
(Svenskt artikeln)

June 2013
Cayembe, Ecuador

June Snow Report
June 2nd. Sunny, temperature 25 degrees Celsius. I should be able to find some skiing, right? But the Grani slope seems all too green. Perhaps I should try skiing in Sahara? But I find only sand. But then my luck turned...
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2013
Kauniainen, Finland

Bird Poo
"It is bird poo". I'm looking at the ski area webcam and there is a spot of white on the green. My friend does not believe I'm seeing snow, and she is a local here in Virginia. But I think it is worth a shot, particularly since I have nothing to do on Saturday morning, having completed the week's meetings and heading back to Europe in the evening.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

May 2013
Wintergreen, Virginia, USA

Inverted Heliski
Gotta love the French. Masters of bureaucratic directives. Or circumventing them. Take heliski, for instance. Heliski is illegal in France. But here we are, spending a day with skis and helicopters. For only 60€, to boot. It turns out that it is illegal to use a helicopter to take us to a mountain. But there is nothing that prevents using one take us from a mountain.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2013
Alpe d'Huez, France

Skiing in Aland
It is mid April and the sun is shining. Is there still some snow left somewhere? There is, at Aland! The Aland islands between Sweden and Finland are known for their sunny summers and flat landscape. I took a boat there to investigate if there'd be any skiing.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2013
Germundo Alpin, Aland, Finland

Denmark
Sunshine, snow, skislope, grill, loud Schlager music... Clearly, I must be in ... Denmark. This is a yet another one of my quick Sunday trips, this time to collect my 35th country.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

March 2013
Hedeland Skibakken, Copenhagen, Denmark

Riders of the Lost Ash
Sunshine. Waves. Jungle. +35C. Weekend alone on a tropical island, with nothing else to do than to listen to the wind and sea. And walk on black sand, or tease the two-meter lizards away from my tent. Wait. Black sand? Giant lizards? What kind of story is this?
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

March 2013
Krakatau, Indonesia

Vuokatti
This sunday's random ski trip almost went to Denmark or Hungary. But we ended up going to Vuokatti instead. I knew where I wanted to go, as soon as ski area closures, flight availability, wife's non-negotiable requirements, and teenager's changing opinions became clear :-)
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2013
Vuokatti, Finland

Church Visit
Christmas is a good time to visit a church. I was dressed up and late from a dinner on Christmas eve. But not so late that I wouldn't have time for some quiet meditation. And a quick ski run.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

December 2012
Helsinki, Finland

Peuramaa vs. Chamonix
This is the burning question everyone has. Should you spend your ski vacation in Peuramaa or Chamonix? The Planetskier is here to answer this difficult question once and for all.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

December 2012
Chamonix, France

Seasons in Kauniainen
My local hill may soon be opening, as they predicted over a foot of snow today. It has not yet arrived, but lets hope it will. Anyone want to join for a pre-season ski run this evening? Bring your old skis... could be grassy or even rocky.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

November 2012
Kauniainen, Finland

A Night in the Cockpit of a 747
We lost all the instruments. The engines are not responding. I shout mayday to the radio, but the radio is silent. I curse my decision to ever enter the cockpit of this rusty 747-200. This night is going to end badly. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I decide that it is time to exit the cockpit, run down the stairs, and ... order a drink from the steward.
Full story

October 2012
Arlanda, Sweden

A night in the cockpit of a 747 from The Planetskier on Vimeo.


Carrying Skis to 17,000 ft
I don't know where to start. Skiing at 17,000 ft? Ice climbing? A night in a tent at 5 kilometers? No acclimatization? The close call with tragedy?
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

May 2012
Cordillera Real, Bolivia

Skiing at 17,000 ft in Bolivia from The Planetskier on Vimeo.


Zoetermeer
Amsterdam. Such a nice place to go skiing.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

September 2012
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, what a nice place to go skiing! from The Planetskier on Vimeo.


Ski Trip to London
I'm on a ski trip to London. To the site of the 2012 winter Olympics. To the shades of the Tower of London, the highest peak in the country. To the powder fields of Paddington and the couloirs off the Big Ben... Dream on. But I am on a ski trip to London.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

September 2012
London, UK

Volcan Copahue
So close, yet so far. I wanted so much to ski down from Volcán Copahue (2953 meters), but despite trying very hard it was not going to happen.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2012
Caviahue, Argentina

Plastic Ice
This ski area is so hot that it melts your skis. Water would help, and also make the skiing faster. But their sprinkler system is being replaced, and this also happens to be the only day on our vacation when it does not rain.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

July 2012
Edinburgh, UK

Midnight Sun at Riksgransen
Many of my friends are regulars at Riksgränsen. But I had never been to this place that calls itself "Sweden's most legendary ski area". The legends are true. It is an amazing place. For starters, we were there in midsummer, skiing at midnight. In bright sunshine! The ski area is far above the arctic circle, and for about two months in the summer the sun does not set.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012
Riksgränsen, Sweden

Venice. Fail.
It is the first time this has happened to me, honestly. I am embarrassed. I failed to find skiing on a trip.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012
Venice, Italy

Ice Climbing in Espoo. In June.
It is Sunday, +10 degrees, raining heavily, and it is the middle of summer in southern Finland. What should I do? Go ice climbing in Espoo, obviously.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012
Mankkaa, Finland

Two Feet High
We went to Matinkylä, southern Espoo today. One of the largest shopping malls in Finland, Iso Omena ("Big Apple") is located in Matinkylä. But they are also known as the site of M2, a mountain with icy slopes even in the middle of the summer. The steep slopes of M2 rise a whopping two feet above the surrounding landscape, scaring skiers and mountaineers alike. Indeed, very few climbers have climbed it.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012
Matinkyla, Finland

Bolivia Is Kind of Close
I have finished my meeting in Washington DC and more work awaits me next week in California. But first things first. There's a weekend in between, and what better way to spend the weekend than to fly 16,000 kilometers to Bolivia?
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

May 2012
Cordillera Real, Bolivia

Hero or Bonehead?
While the opinions were split among the spectators that came to talk to me afterwards ("are you the guy who skied that?"), I think the answer is definitely "bonehead". This was just too dangerous. I need to go back to skiing safer slopes.
Full story

April 2012
Kaprun, Austria

Spring in Chamonix
Chamonix is arguably one of the best ski destinations in the world. If not the best. But can you ski in there in early April, when the rest of France sports sunshine and temperatures nearing +20 degrees?
Full story

April 2012
Chamonix, France

Velo avec des Skis
Bike to train station with skis on your back, take the TGV, go skiing. That's what I did in Paris.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

March 2012
Amneville, France

Six Pictures
Everyone has probably seen the Facebook meme on six pictures for what your friends think you do, what you think you, and what you really do. I wanted to make one for skiing.
Full story

March 2012
Val Thorens, France and Vallnord, Andorra

Two More Countries
I'm heading out today for a two day trip to collect Spain and Andorra. But many countries left. It still feels like the planet has an unending supply of unexplored ski destinations.
Full story

February 2012
La Molina, Spain and Vallnord, Andorra

Peuramaa II
I've written about Peuramaa and its playground before. But I noticed something new. What strikes me about these visits is the darkness.
Full story

February 2012
Peuramaa, Kirkkonummi, Finland

Moominworld Cliffs
If I have to spend eight days per year in Moominland, it is clear that I need to come up with something interesting to do there. How about skiing down the President's Cliff? Fifteen meters of near vertical rock. Too bad I forgot my ice axes, because the return was even tricker.
Full story

February 2012
Moominworld, Naantali, Finland

Out of Bounds in Les Arcs
I was more worried about falling on that vertical wall than the police catching me, but both were real concerns. And then I caused an avalanche. This is a story about my four day trip to Les Arcs, France.
Full story

February 2012
Les Arcs, France

Russian Ski Stars
I climbed a mountain, and found a ski movie actress from Russia on the top!
Full story

January 2012
Courchevel, France

Magnifique Apres-Ski!
The best after-ski in the world? Could be. Who would have thought we'd find this in France?
Full story

January 2012
Val Thorens, France

Fortress Islands
Saturday evening's exercise.
Full story

January 2012
Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland

Slope Infinity
Skiing in Hong Kong? An infinitely long ski slope? Skis that melt? Ski challenges indoors?
Full story

November 2011
Slope Infinity, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Skiing the Highest Pass in South Africa
Falling in the no-fall zone and other interesting stories. Summary of my 156 000 kilometer ski year.
Full story

August 2011
Sani Pass, South Africa

Africa. Snow. AK-47s.
I'm glad to be back home in Finland. It was so damn cold in Africa!
Full story

August 2011
Afriski, Lesotho

Horseback Skiing in the Himalayas
No problem. I had never ridden a horse before, so practicing riding on steep, rocky paths at 3 to 4 kms while carrying ski gear and taking photos sounded like a fun thing to do.
Full story

June 2011
Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh, India



Priorities
Landed in Delhi for some customer meetings. But first things first, Himalaya is kind of close. Sharing a taxi with my skis for the next 600 kilometers. Lets see if I'll find snow.
Full story

June 2011
Delhi, India

Dog Finds Slovenia's Last Snow
Dogs that climb. Dragging skis to top of mountains on our backs. Skiing Slovenia's last traces of snow. Meeting with the guy who skied down from the seven summits.
Full story

May 2011
Češka Koča hut, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia



Skiing Kauniainen at 3AM
May, 2011. Its 3AM and I'm about to ski on the local hill in Kauniainen.
Full story

May 2011
Kauniainen, Finland