Photo of the Month – March: Arctic Lava

We call this image “Arctic Lava”. It was early May few years back, and the midnight sun was hovering above a 5000 yr old lava flow in western Iceland, less than one hundred miles from the Arctic Circle. We were in the region working in partnership with Iceland Tourism, exploring opportunities for backcountry skiing and adventure tourism, while investigating the development of a future national park on the Hornstrandir Peninsula – a place that could some day become Iceland and Europe’s largest protected wild area.

Camera Info: Canon 5D, 200mm, ISO 160, 1/125, f5.6

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SKI’s 2011 Best Photos of the Year

One of our images – captured while skiing along Iceland’s southern coast and in view of the mighty Vatnajokull glacier – was recently selected as one of SKI Magazine’s 2011 Best Photos of the Year. You can take a peek at the image online here and below. What a sweet day of skiing that was above the wild north Atlantic!

If you are interested in a print of the image(s) within this post or within our growing selection of fine-art photography, please contact us or take a look at our Print Gallery or Print Pricing pages, for more ideas and info. Thanks!

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Our Photo, "Ski to Sea", Wins an Award

We were honored last week to receive the grand-prize Juror’s Choice Award for the submission of our image, “Ski to Sea“, to the latest juried photography exhibit at the Vermont Photo Space in Essex Junction, VT. Jurors Corey Rich and Justin Gural also selected two other images of ours (see below) for display at the exhibit, which will be open through Nov. 4, 2011. Also, check out this post about the exhibit on – a site that Justin edits.

We captured “Ski to Sea” a few years ago during a month-long, self-guided backcountry skiing adventure through the wilds of western Iceland. We were immersed in Iceland’s Westfjords region, skiing from the heights of the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and en route to our floating basecamp, Aurora, on the ocean waters below. The skier is our friend, Ken Lucas, from Hood River, Oregon. The Aurora is a 60′ sloop that is owned and operated by our friends Siggi and Runar of Iceland’s Borea Adventures. Their boat is available throughout the spring and summer as a wind-powered basecamp for skiers, hikers, paddlers and nature lovers interested in exploring Iceland’s Westfjords, East Greenland and beyond. We spent several days sailing and skiing with them before continuing on to explore Iceland’s abundance of unskied mountains – on assignment for several outdoor and skiing publications and working in partnership with Iceland’s Westfjords Tourism office. It was our fourth trip to the region.

The Vermont Photo Space is a relatively new exhibit space for the greater Burlington, VT area, and owner Ken Signorello is pouring some great energy into a monthly rotation of exhibits showcasing an impressive variety of photography from Vermont and beyond. The current exhibit featuring our images, Natural Playground, will be open through Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Viewers can cast votes for a People’s Choice award either at the gallery or online HERE.

**Most of our images are available as fine-art photographic prints in a variety of sizes and formats. Please contact us or take a look at our Print Pricing page, for more info. We greatly appreciate your interest in our work. Thanks for checking out our blog, too! – Brian and Emily

“Midnight Ski Camp”

“Iceland Fissure”

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Iceland Photo in Outside Magazine

We’re happy to report that one of our favorite images was recently selected for publication in the “Exposure” section of Outside Magazine’s June 2010 issue (page 10) – which is on newstands now. It’s an image that Emily and I captured while searching for an underground hot spring in the Myvatn geothermal area in north central Iceland last spring. Emily crawled down into this fissure to sniff out the spring, and we enjoyed some incredible time in its soothing, hot waters before heading out for an early evening ski tour on a nearby volcano. (Look below for an image taken inside the underground hot spring.)

Says Amy Silverman, Outside’s Associate Photo Editor, “When I’m looking for images that work for the Exposure section, one of the most popular sections of the magazine, I don’t know exactly what will work until I see it and it clicks. Brian and Emily sent me some of their work from Iceland and, when I saw the image we ended up using, I knew immediately that it would make a great Exposure. It was the shot that made me stop and say, “Wow! That’s amazing!!” It’s a beautiful photo but more than that it’s something you rarely see.”

There’s also a great story, penned by Patrick Symmes, in Outside’s June issue about the controversy surrounding the proposed damming of Chilean Patagonia’s Rio Baker Valley – a region which we have explored on our bikes, feet and skis over the years.  Here’s a page on our website dedicated to our experiences in Patagonia’s Rio Baker region….LINK.

Two Upcoming Iceland Slideshows w/ Mike Libecki in Alta, Utah

As part of world class explorer and climber Mike Libecki’s evening celebration of mountain adventure, we will present a shortened version of our multi-media slideshow, “Off Piste in Iceland”, this coming Weds and Thurs, Jan 27 & 28, starting at 7pm each night, at Our Lady of our Snows in Alta, Utah. Our Iceland segment will highlight 10 years of backcountry skiing adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice. The event is a free event hosted by Alta Community Enrichment.

Spring!…Bike to Ski, White Mtns, Gaspe, Iceland

Spring is finally giving Old Man Winter a break, while giving us the chance to enjoy some longer and warmer days close to home, in Quebec´s Gaspe, and now, way up here in northern Iceland…where we now sit under the light of midnight to bring you this update. In early April, we and our good friend and mountain partner Brennan Severance snuck away on a last minute assignment and an unforgettable ski traverse of the western Monts Chic Chocs on Quebec´s Gaspe Peninsula… Our fifth trip to the region, we spent over a week ski touring from a remote location in the Matane Wildlife Reserve into the heart of legendary Parc Nacional de la Gaspesie. We spotted over a dozen caribou, experienced an incredible variety of weather and snow conditions, and we discovered some of the most enjoyable tree skiing of our lives. The first image below is just a quick sneak peek of our time on the Gaspe.

Both before and after our time in the Gaspe, we stayed busy wrapping up several winter season writing and photo projects, including more documentation of the northeast´s original down mountain ski trails cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. A few days spent biking to ski in our local Green Mountains, long days spent ski mountaineering in the Dacks´and White Mountains, and even some gardening at home top the list of recent memories.

Now, up here in Iceland, we are here with a group of wonderful Vermonters that we assembled for a week of ski touring with our friend and mountain guide, Jokull Bergmann, who has been hard at work developing backcountry skiing here in northern Iceland for approx. ten years. When we first came to Iceland in 1999, backcountry skiers were about as common as avocado trees around here… Today, it appears that dozens of groups of skiers are making their way to Iceland each spring to experience this island´s truly world class skiing. Snowline is still down to sea level where we are, and to say the least, it is nice to be back. After a week with our group of Vermonters, we will spend a few days traversing a remote coastal range we´ve had our eyes on for some time, while doing some scouting for some future group skiing adventures up here.