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Good To Know: The Joys of Mud

As the spring corn melts off the mountains and the late-season skiers and snowboarders begrudgingly return to Earth and pack away their snow gear, the formerly snow-covered towns of the country enter into the oft-cursed mud season. It’s the time of the year where the snow has melted away any dreams of a few final turns in the ski season, a time when it’s too wet to hike or bike on the trails because they’re carpeted in cloying, momentum-sapping, boot-sucking mud.

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Good To Know: The Art of Pond Skimming

Spring has officially arrived–the snow is beginning to melt and leaves are budding on the trees. This means your local ski resort is getting ready to hold its annual festival to welcome spring, and the pond skimming event is the usual highlight–a group of crazy people attempting to ski or ride across a 100-plus-foot-long, icy-cold pond.

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Travel: Spring Skiing in Sweden

When you declare you are headed to ski in Sweden, most people assume you really meant to say Switzerland. Because Sweden doesn’t really have any mountains, right?

Wrong. Not only do they have some serious mountains, but they also have fewer crowds during peak ski seasons (save for Christmas, naturally), locally-sourced and artfully prepared organic food, killer après, Swedish saunas, and friendly people. In other words, all the ingredients for the perfect ski holiday–save that no one else knows about it.

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Good To Know: Cold Is Hot

Through some good fortune and hard work, we found ourselves at the famous Mii Gullo Spa at Fjällnäs, the oldest mountain resort in Sweden. The crescent-shaped hot pool looks out over the frozen Lake Malmagen, bordered by the mountains of west Hörjedalen rolling towards Norway. We gazed through the steam rising from the hot water to the post-card-perfect view, but our real attention was at the gaping 20 x 15 foot hole carved out of the ice below. Who among us would be brave enough to take the icy plunge?

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Press Play: Adrenaline Rush

There is nothing better than watching people being hardcore to get you amped up to head outside or plan your next adventure. Here are some of our favorite badass adventurers caught on film:

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Good To Know: Indoor Climbing

While outdoor climbing is still more about adventure and communing with nature, indoors it’s more akin to community interaction and an unbeatable workout. And sometimes the weather doesn’t make outdoor climbing an option worth considering–if you’ve sweat through the unrelenting sun at Smith Rock in mid-summer, or dealt with suddenly slippery hand-holds thanks to a rainstorm that dropped mid-pitch, you know the truth of which you speak. Sure…it makes for a good story. But really, it’s kind of miserable–and dangerous.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for owning it at your local gym.

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How To: Run Your First Ultra

One of Columbia’s Omniten, Heidi Kumm inspires us all to get out of the bed in the morning. From her home in Colorado, she trains like a demon and regularly runs ultra trail races. We recently caught up with her to find out how she got into the sport and to get some advice for those of you looking to run your first ultra. 

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Travel: Spring Break Alternatives Part II

You may return more weary than well-rested, but at least your time away won’t be lost in a fog of hangovers and regrets. Here are a few to whet your appetite for what’s truly possible.

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Travel: Spring Break Alternatives Part I

Sure…spring break in Daytona or at some ski resort in the Rocky Mountains holds some appeal. But it’s also just so…predictable. Instead, why don’t you use this much-needed respite from the real world to challenge yourself, to do something unpredictable and memorable, to conquer an adventure and test your toughness. 

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How To: Hide From Fish

Camouflage works for hunters for why not fisherman? New for spring, Solar Camo™, or sun-activated camouflage, will help anglers blend into their surroundings in order to catch more fish. We caught up with Columbia’s Director of Global Innovation, Jeff Mergy, to find out more about this new technology.

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