Entrance to the Arctic: Skiing Hard in Svalbard

Cold weather? Check. Big couloirs? Check. Brotherly love? Double check.

When Thor and Stein Retzlaff visited Svalbard, Norway, for the first time, they probably didn’t know that one visit would lead to this adventure. In the short film “Area 11,” the Retzlaff brothers brave freezing negative temperatures to ski some of the craziest couloirs of all time.

“Svalbard is an incredibly unique environment,” said Thor Retzlaff. “It is the northernmost island of Norway, and then you leave from there for North Pole expeditions.”

But in order to ski there, the team has to learn how to survive the harsh polar climate of Norway. “It’s vast … it’s one of those places you step into and you become very small,” said the other Retzlaff brother.

Think they can tolerate a full 2 weeks in the chilling arctic backcountry? Watch to find out.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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