Surf photographer Ben Thouard spends his days underwater, floating on blue-green Tahitian waves. In a quest to find an original angle for ocean photography, he waits on a weather window for perfect conditions that happen just a few times a year. Sometimes it’s a lot of preparation for nothing. But occasionally, a rare compression of waves on the reef offer a fleeting window to a new and crystal-clear perspective of the place where sea becomes surface.
Bikepacking takes on a whole new meaning when it’s the bike you’re wearing as a backpack. German freeskiers Jochen Mesle and Max Kroneck set out to cycle 1,800 kilometers from their homes in Durbheim, Germany to Nice, France, and ski big lines along the five-week journey. Although the ski resorts are closed for the season, spring comes late to the Austrian Alps. The friends must wait out storms and get creative about carrying 50 kilos of gear across a still-closed mountain pass to finally dip their ski boot-battered feet in the Mediterranean.
North American Premiere
How about attempting the second summit of the most remote mountain on Earth? Without the logistical support of the U.S. government, which sponsored the scientific expedition that marked the only other time human beings have been to the Gothic Range of the Transantarctic Mountains? Or any other support, for that matter? The plan, by design, is ambitious; it requires kite skiing almost 2,000 kilometers round trip, towing gear on sleds, just to reach the highly technical peak, known, menacingly, as The Spectre. The three expedition members battle logistics, distance, wind and no-wind, frostbite, crevasses and wrong turns. “Who’d have thought I’d actually get here one day?” says expedition leader Leo Houlding, as the team closes in on the objective. He can be forgiven for scarcely believing where he finds himself. Who else could ever claim that, “We are the most remote people on Planet Earth right now”?