What: Pedal-Powered Skiing in Arctic Norway slideshow
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Neptune Mountaineering, 633 S. Broadway
Cost: Free show; donations for raffle support the Winter Wildlands Alliance
Brian Mohr and Emily Johnson met in Boulder in the ’90s and started skiing and shooting photographs together in the Colorado backcountry. Since then, they’ve traveled the world, skiing and shooting photos for magazines like Ski, Skiing, Powder and more.
The University of Colorado alums are back in Boulder on Thursday night to present a slideshow at Neptune Mountaineering on their bicycle-driven skiing journey through Arctic Norway. The presentation is free, but donations for a raffle (for prizes like backpacks and jackets) will go to the Winter Wildlands Alliance.
The husband-and-wife team had been to Norway before and wanted to go back to explore more, Mohr said. But the effects of global warming they’ve seen in the Arctic gave them pause about transportation.
“We vowed if we were going to go back to the Arctic and go skiing, we were going to be completely self-sufficient and get around on bicycles if we had to,” Mohr said.
Northern Norway is perfect for pedal-powered skiing, he said.
“The coastal plain is almost entirely flat,” he said. “You’re hardly ever pedaling more than 300 or 400 feet on your bike.”
Johnson said that one of the best things about traveling by bicycle is that you’re traveling at a human pace, so it’s easier to meet locals.
“We were pulling our skis by bicycle,” she said, “and that opened doors for meeting people.”
She said one of her favorite memories from the trip was sitting on a dock in a wood-fired hot tub that was so steamy they’d jump in the ocean to cool off. But a storm they endured provided powerful memories, too.
One evening the two took a coastal steamer north to move quickly to a new skiing destination. Getting off the boat at 11 p.m., they still had several miles to ride the bikes, skis and camping gear in tow, before they could camp.
The roads were a sheet of ice, she said.
She wiped out on an icy bridge around midnight, and around 1 a.m., they pushed their bikes through three feet of snow.
The next day, they awoke to crystal-clear skies, climbed one of the tallest mountains in the area and skied amazing powder from the storm.
Despite having pushed a bike through snow, Mohr said traveling by bike gave them more freedom and mobility than if they’d had to wait for a bus, or even drive a car.
“Often we’d spontaneously finish the day and pack up camp and roll down the road to a new spot” to ski, he said.
He said the Norway trip proved to them that it’s possible to have big adventures right out your back door.
“It’s really awesome when you can leave your car at home and spend your day adventuring.”