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Trend Picks of the Year: Snow

The Cool Craze
+ Goodbye, global warming. Hello, global weirding! That's pro skier turned green guru Alison Gannett's name for the kooky effects climate change is having on the world's cold spots.

+ The Russians planted their flag at the true North Pole (under 2.5 miles [4 kilometers] of water); the Northwest Passage was ice free for the first time anyone can remember (take that, Lewis and Clark); and Dutchman Wim Hoff, the self-named Iceman, attempted to climb Mount Everest in nothing but a pair of shorts (he didn't make it).

+ On the slopes the phenomenon of twin-tip skis gained momentum—boarders found you could get more air on two sticks than one.

+ Twenty-eight ski areas offset their entire carbon footprint, while Aspen and Jackson Hole became the first to receive international accreditation for environmental business practices. That assumes the Big Melt won't drive the ski biz permanently downhill.

+ Rosie Stancer had to abandon her solo North Pole expedition because of deteriorating ice; beleaguered, and potentially endangered, polar bears struggled to cope with life in a gigantic Slurpee; and in a massive rounding error, Arctic sea ice shrank about a million square miles (over two million square kilometers) (that's six Californias) more than expected.

+ Future powder buffs might have to adopt Chris Davenport's strategy of striking fast: The Aspenite became the first—and maybe last?—to ski all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) peaks in a calendar year.

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