10 People That Made Winter Famous
At WinterReview we love Winter and everything that comes along with it. We see the beauty and adventure that the season holds and we embrace it. We know that you love Winter too, but we think we’ve found a list of 10 people that have embraced Winter more than the rest of us. WinterReviewer Madison Dragna has scoured the web to bring us our latest top ten. These famous people have plowed the way for Winter adventure seekers, skiers and even snowboarders. Beanies off to these brave pioneers. Who can you think of that has braved the cold as a champion of Winter to make it the amazing season that it is today?
Winter influences writers, artists, inventors, and innovators. Winter lovers are driven by the beauty of Earth’s coldest but most beautiful climates. A winter lover finds numerous roles as an athlete, artist, explorer, or even a fashionista. Every winter lover shares the common interest of the love of winter, snow, ice, cold, chill, freeze, powder, sludge, snowflakes, low temperatures, and crisp cool air. The winter lovers below share these common interests but have found a niche in that love to become influential winter aficionados, record breakers, and risk takers.
1. Roald Amundsen: First to Reach the South Pole
- July 16, 1872 – June 18, 1928
Roald Amundsen was a Norwegian polar explorer and most widely known as the first person to reach the southernmost tip of the Earth, the South Pole, on December 14, 1911. Amundsen reached the South Pole only 34 days before the American explorer, Robert Falcon Scott. The South Pole boasts colder weather than the North Pole. Even in midsummer (January), the temperatures on the South Pole average -15F (-25.9C).
Click HERE for the current weather conditions on the South Pole.
2. Mathias Zdarsky: Father of Alpine Skiing
- February 25, 1856 – June 20, 1940
Mathias might not have been the first to ski down a slope but he pioneered the ski, developing the steel binding known as the Lilienfeld ski and binding. Being a man of many talents, he was mostly referred to as an eccentric Austrian. He not only influenced skiing with the creation of the binding; he was also the founder of the first slalom competition in 1905.
3. Eddie Bauer: Inventor of the Quilted Goose Down Jacket
- October 19, 1899 – April 18, 1986
Surprisingly, before clothing, goose down was only popular for pillows or bedding. Any clothes with down goose feathers would simply clump or fall to the bottom of the garment. Eddie Bauer was struck with inspiration during a stroke of hypothermia while fly-fishing in Washington state in the mid-1930s. He knew his wool jacket wasn’t enough for the chilly winter days. After his trip, he started to search for warmer alternatives to wool. In 1940 he patented the first quilted goose down jacket. The quilted down jacket allowed for less clumping and no drifting to the bottom. Nowadays the down jacket is a winter ensemble staple. Eddie Bauer is still a leading name in winter outerwear.
4. Peter Aschauer: Inventor of the Avalanche Airbag
Peter Achauer patented the avalanche airbag in the 1980s. Ever since then, the technology has improved ten-fold and has saved numerous lives (97% survival rate based on 250 avalanche incidences). His avalanche airbag is referred to as Backpack ABS. Aschauer’s ABS backpacks come in a variety of models targeted for either the free-rider or snowmobiler.
Check out the ABS website HERE.
5. Vern Wicklund, Harvey Burgeson, Gunnar Burgeson: Patented the First Snowboard
Alright I know this is three people but together these three relatives patented the first snowboard in 1939 while living in the snowy surroundings of Minnesota. They claimed their device as a sled (referred to as a ‘bunker’) with a rope for holding, a stick for stabilization, and a strap for the back foot with the intent to stand while riding. In 1965 the first marketed snowboard was created by Sherman Poppen in Michigan. Poppen’s board was referred to as a ‘Snurfer.’ The modern snowboard did not come into play until the ‘80s.
6. Helen Thayer: First Woman to Travel Solo to North Pole
- 1937 – Present
Well, she wasn’t exactly alone. Thayer made her journey in 1988 (at the age of 50!) with a dog named Charlie. She pulled a 160 pound supply sled for 27 days while facing grueling below freezing temperatures. Ever since her incredible trek, she has accomplished numerous long distance adventures. She is proof that life doesn’t stop when you reach a certain age.
7. Lewis Pugh: First Person to Complete a Long Distance Swim at the North Pole
- December 5, 1969 – Present
If being a pioneer for swimming in the North Pole’s chilly waters isn’t considered loving winter than what is? In 2007, Pugh endured 0.62 miles (1 km) in water temperatures ranging from 29F to 32F (-1.7C – 0C). This Brit conducted his incredible stunt to highlight the melting of the Artic sea ice. He uses his love for adventure and swimming to highlight important environmental issues.
8. Sir Edmund Hillary: First to Summit Mt. Everest
- July 20, 1919 – January 11, 2008
This list would not be complete without New Zealander, Edmund Hillary. Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first to summit Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953. Mt. Everest’s summit rises to 29,029 feet making this peak the tallest in the world. After his famous summit, Hillary continued his life of exploration by visiting such places as the North Pole and South Pole.
9. Richard Bass: First to Climb the Seven Summits
- 1929 – Present
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. The first to complete all seven was American Richard Bass. He completed the summits with the most challenging, Mt. Everest, on April 30, 1985. There is much controversy about his accomplishment because the list of the Seven Summits is not actually seven but eight. This controversy derives from the issue of the highest peak on the Australian mainland versus the highest peak on the Australian continent (which includes New Guinea and proves to have a higher peak than the Australian mainland). Either way, Richard Bass found his winter love of peak bagging and proudly owns the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah, USA.
10. Felicity Aston: First Woman to Cross Antarctica Alone
- 1978 – Present
Not only was Aston the first woman to cross Antarctica alone but also the first person to ski alone using only personal muscle strength in 2012. Her journey took her 59 days trespassing 1,084 miles. Aston has become a great influence for women adventurers by leading or contributing to numerous all-women treks and races.