Three-quarters of Greenland is covered in an ice sheet—making it the ultimate location for a combo mission of skiing and science. Last April, Salomon Freeski TV sent a team of eight—Pierre Muller, Anthony Bonello, Chris Rubens, Kalen Thorien, Mike Douglas, Simon Thomson, Bruno Long, and Alun Hubbard—on just such a mission. Very little went according to plan. There were flights delayed by weather, difficult glacier crossings, and bulletproof snow.
The team’s objective was to camp at the base of 11,099-foot Mont Forel, one of the highest peaks in Greenland. It was a two-leg journey, and the trek from Camp 1 to Camp 2 was the more arduous because they had to pull sleds full of gear. “We moved so slow. Any little incline felt like the steepest hill ever,” says Long, the trip photographer. “But it was the most spectacular place any of us had ever been.”
From Camp 2, picking a line to ski down proved equally tough because of huge patches of blue ice and exposed rock. But the challenges, like tethering themselves together to prepare for crevasses whenever they left camp, made for some of the best memories, Long says. “We couldn’t have had a better crew.”
The team helped Hubbard, a glaciologist, collect ice cores. And from the start, the effects of climate change were obvious—temperatures were far higher than expected. “When you see what’s actually happening, it really puts things into perspective,” Long says. The episode drops November 15.