The Ultimate Ski Test
How do Peak Skis perform on Greenland’s steep backcountry slopes? Peak co-founder Bode Miller and Chris Davenport, Peak’s senior director skiing and product design, found out.
Earlier this year, Bode Miller and Chris Davenport were presented with a unique opportunity: Using a ship floating off the Greenland coast as a basecamp, they’d fly on a helicopter to the surrounding peaks and ski steep lines and dry powder. The week-long trip was being put on by EYOS Expeditions, an outfitter that brings guests to ski in far-flung locales all over the world. Davenport would serve as a guide on the trip, joining Ice Axe founder, Doug Stoup, and Greenland native Arne Hardenberg as the other guides. Both Miller and Davenport jumped at the opportunity. Neither man had skied in Greenland before, and both loved the idea of experiencing the culture and terrain. And, so, in late April, a group of 10 clients and their guides set sail for a week of skiing. Also on board the ship was Dave Steiner, a photographer and producer, who captured the photos below, all of which offer a glimpse into the beautiful scenery and fantastic snow that Miller and Davenport were able to enjoy.
Davenport enjoys light, dry powder on a steep, north-facing pitch overlooking Baffin Straight. “Typical runs were about 2,000 vertical feet,” he says. “And occasionally, runs would go right to the coast.” In this picture, Davenport is skiing on the Peak 104 by Dav, a new ski that will be available for purchase this July.
The group of clients stands in front of a fjord with the three guides—in yellow jackets—from left to right, Stoup, Heneberg, and Davenport. “I was really impressed with Arne,” says Davenport. “He grew up ski racing in Greenland and raced in two Olympics.”
Miller enjoying his peak 110s at 6 o’clock at night—the last run before going back to the ship. “We were high in the Arctic Circle,” says Davenport, “and this time of year, there’s sunlight from about 4:30 in the morning until ten at night. That allows for some really epic shots like this one.”
Greenland holds almost a quarter of the world’s fresh water and is ground-zero for climate change. In this photo, Davenport and Miller peer into a glacier that’s receding due to global warming. “These glaciers are a big indicator of what’s going on,” says Davenport. “It’s pretty scary.”
A view of Nansen Explorer, the ship that was home to the guides and guests for the week. It includes beautiful guest rooms, plenty of storage, and a kitchen, where a chef prepared gourmet meals. The trip began with a flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. From there, the group took a small Dash 8 plane for 30-minute trip to Sisimiut to meet the ship.
A look at Sisimiut, where the group spent a few days, before sailing 18 hours north to Disco Island, where most of the skiing took place.
The group did a stopover in Ilulissat, where Miller spoke for an hour to the local schoolchildren about ski racing and life. “I was surprised that there’s a little ski area here and a race program,” says Davenport. Kids brought racing suits and helmets for Bode to sign.”
Miller slashes a turn on the Greenland mainland.
Davenport carves a perfect line through frost-dried powder. “The cold night sucked the moisture out of snow and there was 8 inches of cold smoke on top of harder snow,” says Davenport. “The stability was excellent and there was hardly any avalanche danger at all, so you could ski with a lot of confidence. And we had hero snow that you could do anything on: Slash, spray, make big turns or little turns.
Après ski included polar plunges. In this case, right off the ship.
Or sometimes off a slab of ice.
The Nansen Explorer sets sail back to Sisimiut at the end of the trip.