Tuesday, February 28, 2012

winter reading

Recommended reading (and watching) to get you in mood for snow, ice and sub-zero temps:

  • Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places, by Bill Streever
  • Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, by Berndt Heinrich
  • The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Two in the Far North, by Margaret Murie
  • Tracking and the Art of Seeing, by Paul Rezendes
  • The Stars, the Snow, the Fire, by John Haines
  • Wandering Through Winter, by Edwin Way Teale
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing
  • BBC's Planet Earth: Ice Worlds
  • BBC's Human Planet: the Arctic
  • Encounters at the End of the World, a Warner Herzog film
Addendum: I would be remiss not to include Farley Mowat, Robert Service,  Jack London or Barry Lopez. The list goes on and on.

Telescopes atop Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawaii and one of the best star-watching sites in the world. About 13,800 feet of the mountain rises above the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, but measured from its base on the ocean floor, Mauna Kea in its entirety stands more than 33,000 feet -- 4,000 feet higher than Mount Everest. Adam and I hitchhiked to the summit, slid down the volcanic slopes on our boogie boards, then spent the night camped on the beach, with the snowcapped peak in the distance. Ancient Hawaiians held contests in which men would race nearly 14,000 feet to the top of the mountain, grab a handful of snow, and try to make it back to sea level before the snow had melted. Altitude sickness? What altitude sickness?

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