Your daily outdoor news bulletin for December 16th, the day a group of white men dressed as Native Americans boarded a foreign vessel and chucked some boxes overboard in 1773. This hilarious prank became known as the Boston Tea Party.

Ski Porn Evolution

Lots of action, thin-to-nonexistent plot, zero character development, repetitive camera angles, formulaic procedure, predictable ending. They call it ski porn for a reason. Or, at least they used to. The modern era of accessibility, whether it be the internet, POV and HD cameras, time, or whatever, has opened the action sports video game to anyone and everyone with a smartphone. One quick glance around the internet reveals the bevy of amateur action that trumps the professionally made videos of 20, 10, even five years ago. The pros have worked hard to stay ahead of the game and over the past couple of seasons, production companies like Sherpa Cinemas and Sweetgrass have changed the concept of the traditional ski movie, injecting more style, more story, and more authenticity into the platform.

Everyone has picked up on the change, and the need to change, including the New York Times, in a well-written piece on the industry and where the standard is heading.

True History of Skiing

The birthplace of skiing is certainly under dispute as several nations claim to be the epicenter of epic, but there is now evidence that China may have been the first on the shred scene. Deep in Northwest China, the Tuvan people have been shredding for the past 4,000 years, according to this compelling NPR report.┬áThat isn’t the most interesting part of the story however; the most interesting part is the what they used their skis for. Long planks of red spruce with horse hair nailed to the bottom got them where they wanted to go, which is just uphill from elk. Once in position, they would launch downhill in pursuit of the animals, “chasing” them down the snow covered slope where they would eventually lasso them around the antlers and neck. Then they would hang on. That’s it, that’s the whole hunt. Eventually the toll of running full out through chest deep snow dragging a human Yeti cowboy would be too much and the elk would collapse from exhaustion. At which point the elk would become human Yeti cowboy food. At least in the old days. These days they ┬ájust let the elk go, at least when NPR reporters are around. Also: NEVER HEARD OF FROSTBITE?!?!!?! Get outta here.

There is also a link to the very cool National Geographic story that the NPR piece is based on.

Good News, Bad News for Team USA

First, the bad news. Two of the biggest names in U.S., and world, skiing dropped goose eggs this weekend on the World Cup circuit. At the tour stop in Val d’Isere, France, both Ted Ligety and Bode Miller failed to make the finals of either the giant slalom or the slalom. Ligety fell after taking a gate too wide in qualifying and skidded out, the first time in five years he has not qualified for the final of a World Cup race. He has already won a couple of GS races this season, so this may be just an anomaly. Bode Miller “tripped over his skis” at the end of his qualifying GS run and fell, also not making the finals. Both racers chalked it up to difficult conditions and a difficult course.

In women’s ski news, Lindsey Vonn come in fifth a couple of weekends ago at Lake Louis, Canada, her first competition since re-injuring her knee. She will not race a full schedule leading up to Sochi as the Olympics is her main concern.

On a positive note, the U.S. Bobsled Team is catching fire at just the right time. They swept the World Cup podium each of the past two weeks.