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:

Click here for the main site. There is also a full list, an off-piste guide, services "approved by the Planetskier", and a map.

The third part of the list of all blog articles is below. The list began in part 1 and part 2 and continues in part 4.

Ullahau
Marcus Larsson may have saved Gotland from becoming the Sahara of the Baltic Sea. But he also greatly reduced the sand dune skiing opportunities in Ullahau. But I am going ahead anyway, will I find some skiing?
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2013
Ullahau, Gotland, Sweden


Skiing (Outdoor,Sand)

Count
A friend asked what countries I have skied in. Since I have not counted in a while, it is time for a status report.
Full story
August 2013
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

The Biking Tourist
Heat wave. Nine day work week with only two hours of free time. Berlin. Summer! Skiing is highly unlikely this week, but fortunately I have a backup sport: biking.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2013
Berlin wall, Berlin, Germany


Biking

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


Skiing; Climbing; Afterski

Miracle in Johannesburg
Miracles are rare, but I experienced two today. First, my ankle has been in bad shape, almost unbearable to walk on. As I landed in Johannesburg this morning, it had completely healed! Maybe it was the 12 hour flight in coach, unable to move? It took me fifteen minutes to realise that something was different -- the pain was gone.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

July 2013
Johannesburg, South Africa


Travel

Sheep Skiing
The girl at the sheep farm gate is from Qatar. Most tourists here seemed to be from Middle East, so I ask her why she had come to Austria: "Because it is so cool, and the weather is nice." We are standing in cold rain, but I guess she prefers a change to the weather at home. But come to think of it, I too prefer cold and rainy.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

July 2013
Kaprun, Austria


Skiing; Sauna; Swimming (Indoor)

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
Tampereen jäähalli, Tampere, Finland; House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing (Outdoor,Other-substances)

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


Skiing; Climbing

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
Kauniaisten jäähalli, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing (Outdoor,Imported-snow)

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


Skiing

Dublin
There is great skiing in Ireland. Even in the summer. Really. It is Sunday and I'm spending the afternoon with Matt Campbell from the Ski Club of Ireland. We are in the outskirts of Dublin, sampling different qualities of fake plastic snow in the club's ski hill. I like the hard, brushy surface better than the soft, white beginner's surface. The white plastic feels like packed powder, but somehow I find the surface a bit too soft. I can understand that the beginners like it though, the 40 cm of padding under the surface will ease the falls.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

May 2013
Ski Club of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland


Skiing (Outdoor,Plastic)

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; Sauna; Flying

Season Is NOT Over
The skiing season is not over at all, not even here in the Helsinki region. Grani and Swinghill were still operating today, and Grani will run a couple of more days in the coming week. And in the other ski areas you can always hike up. And the weather is excellent. Get up, get out, get up, and come down!
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2013
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland; Swinghill, Espoo, Finland; Peuramaa, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Mankkaan lumenkaatopaikka, Mankkaa, Espoo, Finland


Skiing

Druskininkai
Country number 36 is Lithuania. I visited Snow Arena in southern Lithuania, near the border to Poland and Belarus. Snow Arena is a unique indoor-outdoor ski center, something that I have not seen before anywhere. The indoor ski hall operates throughout the year, but during the winter they open an exit from the top of the structure. An elevated "bridge" carries the upper part of the outdoor slope, which then continues along the natural terrain.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2013
Druskininkai, Lithuania


Skiing (Indoor,Snow)

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


Skiing; Sauna

Yellow Snow
I always wanted to ski on yellow snow. Well, not really. But it always seemed that those fun half pipes were forbidden for skiers, so I was glad to find an empty half pipe in Tahko last Sunday. With no one to tell me that skiers were not welcome. Even if it was a yellow half pipe.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2013
Tahko, Finland


Skiing; Sauna

Search
I am searching for a destination that I can fly to and back next Sunday, no Visa required for entry, there is snow left, and I have not been there before. This is surprisingly difficult.
Full story

April 2013
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

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


Skiing

NOBODY Expects the Spanish Off-Piste
Who would have thought there is incredible off-piste skiing in Spain? Let alone at La Molina, a beginner's ski area that we thought we had already scouted last year. It turns that that the second lift takes you to some interesting terrain. Including some hairy routes where falling is not a good idea.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

March 2013
La Molina, Catalonia, Spain; Grandvalira, Andorra


Skiing

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
Anak Krakatau, Indonesia


Snowboarding (Ash,Rock,Sand); Climbing

Raisio by Snowboard
Vuokatti, Flagstaff, and Raisio: my last three Sundays. I'm definitely on a path to visit the major cities in the world. And it is a grey, rainy day. Snow is heavy, the landscape is flat, and industrial Raisio will not be winning any beauty contests any time soon.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2013
Raisio, Finland; Samppalinnan vuori, Turku, Finland; Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Snowboarding; Climbing

Flagstaff, Arizona
Skiing and pine trees in Arizona? Oh yes. I spent the day following Ben, the ski patrol guy, and Kyle, a base jumper on his off day, through beautiful, dense forests on the steep hills of the Arizona Snowbowl ski area.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2013
Snowbowl, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA


Skiing

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


Skiing

Black in Liechtenstein
Innovation. Desire to do something new is not enough, you also need an opportunity and a catalyst. This time the opportunity was returning from a ski trip in Austria, with a flight leaving late in the day. And the catalyst was finishing the excess alcohol we had in the cabin. Suddenly I found myself staring at the Google Maps screen. The route via Liechtenstein would be almost the same length as going straight back to the airport in Munich. Why not?
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

January 2013
Malbun, Liechtenstein; Baden-Württemberg, Germany


Skiing

Underground Skiing
Does anyone remember the arcade game where you stood on skis? I loved that game, and one of the interesting tracks in the game goes through a cave. Ever since playing the game I have wanted to experience skiing underground. This week I was visiting Alpe d'Huez, France, and my wish was fulfilled. The "Le Tunnel" slope begins with a 200 meter tunnel through the mountain. And then continues as the most difficult black run the ski area has to offer.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

January 2013
Alpe d'Huez, France; Val d'Isere, France


Skiing; Caving

Go back to part 1 or part 2 or continue reading from part 4.