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!

Want to read more? You’ve got options!

1. Join ISHA! Your annual print ($49) or digital ($29) membership includes six issues of Skiing History, starting with the current issue. Click here to get started, and select the best option for you under “Print & Digital Membership” or “Annual Auto Renewal.”

2. Sign up for a free six-month digital membership. Read every new issue online—plus back issues to 2009—for free! We’ll be in touch when your free trial membership is about to expire.

To get started, scroll down to “Digital Membership” and select “Six Month — Digital Only Membership.” Add the code FREETRIAL18 to your cart at checkout.

3. Or request a free print copy of the magazine mailed to your home. Sign up for your one-time free trial issue of Skiing History here:

(Due to the high cost of postage, this offer is limited to North American residents only.)