Skiing to the Poles

The critical role of skis in 130 years of Arctic exploration and adventure.

By Jeff Blumenfeld

Throughout the modern era of polar exploration, skis have played an invaluable role in propelling explorers forward -- sometimes with dogsled teams, sometimes without, and more recently with kites to glide across the polar regions at speeds averaging 7 mph. Modern-day polar explorers including Eric Larsen, Paul Schurke, Will Steger and Richard Weber all continue to use skis today, taking a page right out of history. Were it not for skis, reaching the North and South poles in the early 1900s might have been delayed until years later.

To read the rest of this story, see the November-December 2017 issue of Skiing History magazine. To read the digital edition online, you must be a member of ISHA. Not a member? Join today!