Wakeboarding in Alaska

Braving freezing water, huge glacial icebergs, and killer whales, kite surfing master and Mathew McConaughey look-alike Andy Hurdman  does a little wakeboarding while waiting for the wind to pick up. The arctic dry suit he’s wearing looks pretty substantial, but there is no possible way he can feel his face. The video was shot as a teaser for the show Catchin’ Air near the Glacier Islands in Alaska, the full episode can be downloaded at Hydrus Media.

Skijoring Behind a Bentley Continental

Skijoring is a Norwegian winter sport where a skier is pulled by a pair of dogs or horses. This is already borderline ridiculous to begin with, but when you replace the dogs or horses with a $189,900 Bentley Continental GT it takes things to an entirely new level. One part insanely awesome, one part incredibly dumb, Bentley arranged this little stunt for the British car website Auto-Express. The winter tires, 540 horsepower W12 engine, and 4-wheel drive means that the Continental can really haul around the snow covered roads, but traction control and anti-locks breaks are something that the skier has not. Hopefully there weren’t any sudden stops.

[ Via Autoblog]

AETHERstream | Coming To San Francisco

Ever since our successful holiday trip to New York City, we’ve been poring over a map of the US and carefully strategizing our next move. We were in talks with a lot of potential locations all over the country, but we finally found the perfect spot in San Francisco. A new outdoor retail space called Proxy has developed a 2-block park specifically for mobile operations like ours.  Unlike the austere conditions we had in NYC, this time we’ll have 120V wall power, WiFi, and access to a double-decker storage unit. We’re going really be puttin’ on the Ritz! And we’ll be in good company with Smitten Ice Cream, Ritual Coffee Roasters, Biergarten, and Museum Craft Design.   This February, the AETHERstream heads West! Launch date set for Presidents Day Weekend. Stay tuned!

Location – MAP
Proxy in Hayes Valley
432 Octavia Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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VW Autostadt Parking Towers

For those of you that saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (if you haven’t yet, you totally should because there’s some great Aether jackets in it), this is the multi-layered automated parking structure that served as the inspiration for the film’s final fight scene.  There are actually two of these car silos located at the Volkswagen  Autostadt visitor center in Wolfsburg Germany. Each tower is sixteen stories of glass and steal, and serviced by two hydraulically controlled moving platforms. In addition to being a phenomenal tourist draw, the towers function as temporary storage for customers picking up their cars from the factory. Cars coming from the adjacent factory assembly line are carried by conveyor belt through a subterranean tunnel to the base of each tower and then hoisted into a preassigned storage slot.  When customers comes to pick up their car, the automated arm zips up and retrieves it.  This combination of art and engineering will definitely not be coming to Detroit any time soon.

[via Design Boom]

The Trans Darien Expedition – 1960

Much like the Oxford Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition undertaken five years earlier, the Trans Darien Expedition of 1960 pitted another pair of Land Rovers, this time Series 2, against the dense jungles along the border of Panama and Columbia. The region is called the Darien Gap and is widely considered to be the most impassable stretch of land on the planet.  At the time there was no overland route connecting North and South America – all travel had to be accomplished via boat or plane. In 1957 an exploratory committee was assembled to assess the feasibility of constructing a Pan-American Highway that would connect the two continents. To get a better understanding of the terrain the committee commissioned an overland expedition from Panama City to Bogota.

The expedition consisted of two Land Rover Series 2 and a Jeep Willy, and was crewed by Amado Araúz and his wife Reina, Otis Imboden, Richard E. Bevir, Terrence Withfield, Ilse Abashagen and later with José A. Saénz and Bolívar Araúz. The expedition had to hack their way through the thick underbrush, wade through endless miles of mud,  winch their way over mountains, and forge through murky rivers of questionable depth. Some days the company could only manage 5 kilometers of forward progress. In the end, it took a total of 134 days to cover just  500 kilometers, although by all accounts they were the most treacherous 500 kilometers ever crossed. The Trans Darien Expedition was a success, which inspired subsequent crossings by other expeditions, however for a myriad of political and environmental reasons construction of the highway never materialized. Still to this day there is no overland route from North America to South America.

[via IntraTerra]


Dendrite Studios, the producers of the beautifully poetic “Zero Degrees”, have returned with the released of the short film “Parallels”, which explores the relationship between moments created while playing on the mountains. Created in its entirety in just 7 days, the film was shot for the Intersections Competition at the Telus Ski and Board Festival held in Whistler, B.C.  Dendrite uses a delicate mix of private moments with grand action shots to elevate the piece beyond a typical highlight reel. A visual montage of shapes in motion that brings winter sports slightly into the abstract.

Rotor Concept

So this accessory may only be for the brave of heart or very well insured, but Rotor Concept has developed a quad-prop remote controlled helicopter that turns your standard DSLR into a unmanned spy drone. Capable of carrying a 3 lbs payload for a 15 minute flight, the Heli 2 gives even amateur photographers the ability to capture breath-taking aerial imagery. It is designed with a built-in safety mode – if RC connection is lost or the battery runs low the helicopter will automatically land itself. Currently there isn’t a way to adjust the focus of a shot mid-flight, but it could still be good fun for sweeping landscape shots.

Life Cycle: 365 Days In The Life Of A Bike In NYC

Last year branding firm Red Peak partnered with Hudson Urban Bicycles for a unique urban experiment that put New Yorker’s scruples to the test.  On the first of January 2011 they chained a fully loaded bike, complete with basket, lights, water bottle and more, on a busy street in Soho. Every day for the next 365 days they took a picture of the bike and watched as it slowly disappeared before their eyes. At first it was only small pieces that vanished, but it wasn’t long before the entire bike was stripped.  The projected was called Life-Cycle: 365 Days In The Life Of A Bike In NYC and the photos were used to make a daily calendar.

To be honest, we’re impressed the bike lasted as long as it did. Leave your bike locked outside in some parts of LA and it’ll be gone by morning. Lot of blank pages in that version of the calendar.

Zero Degrees

This video was included in Gear Patrol’s list of 11 Incredible Adventure Films a while ago, but it’s definitely worth checking out for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Filmed along the Coast Mountains in British Columbia during 26 consecutive days in February, “Zero Degrees” explores people’s relationship with winter both above and below the frost line.  For outdoor enthusiasts living in the Pacific Northwest, learning to appreciate water in all it’s forms is a necessity. From the ocean to the air, to the tops of the mountains, through the rivers and streams, and then back to the sea. Winter has an incredibly dynamic range, and is best appreciate when enjoyed as a whole.

Timbersled Snowbike

Half dirt bike, half snowmobile, Timbersled brings the thrill of off-road motorcycling to the snowy winter landscape. The Mountain Horse conversion kit comes with all the parts needed to attach onto most major dirt bikes. Roughly 200 lbs lighter than a traditional snowmobile, the Snowbike allows for much greater maneuverability and control.   As the video above shows, Snowbikes can slalom between trees with ease and bound up some seriously steep inclines. Although personally, if I never have to hear that M.I.A. song again in my life it will be too soon!