Freestyle skiers Jan-Erik Blomberg (Blumi), Jani Nygård and Arto Majava will be our guides for a new skiing travelogue on Extreme Sport Channel. The twist? They venture to places most people don’t realise you can actually ski in. The threesome spend New Year on skis in The Canary Islands, discover snow in Turkey, hike the Atlas mountains in Morocco and discover a world class slope in Greece.
The 18-part Travellers with Skis series will make anyone with a sense of adventure salivate on their couch at the incredible panoramas, hypnotic skiing and adventures of these three Finnish chaps. We catch up with one of the daredevils on screen Jan-Erik Blomberg…
How is Travellers with Skis different from your standard skiing film?
I’d been doing this ski-style magazine shows for ages. I got bored of doing short films, events and interviews and I found a way to evolve it, as I grew the show grew. During the first season, we toured around places that you don’t usually expect to find snow. Places like the Canary Islands, Morocco, Dubai and Lebanon. I wanted to show that side of the world. The core idea is that even though we don’t have the same background or a common language, we can speak through skiing. Also we wanted to show skiing in a way that we are proud of. The skiing has to be of certain level, and we have to go to places to allow us to get to a certain level.
The conditions are different everywhere you go, how dangerous does it get?
The idea is that everyone comes back alive. Usually we are worried about avalanches, but in Morocco we were more worried about sliding down icy faces. We have to consider the different conditions, what kind of snow we get. If it’s wet, how much snow is there. There are a lot of things to think of but we have been doing it for ages, so it comes naturally. When I was in Colorado the conditions were very dangerous, there were a lot of people dying that winter. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, I met some skiers and I told them that the conditions were dangerous, but they didn’t listen and one of them died a few days after in an avalanche. In Lebanon, we learned that the snow wasn’t stable enough to ski, so we went a bit mellower with our skiing, but another group triggered an avalanche and died. You need to use your head. It’s not a bad decision not to go out.
What do you get out of the sport, what keeps you searching out new destinations and coming back for more?
Skiing is beautiful and being in nature is beautiful. It’s not about an adrenaline rush. For me, it’s about exploring who I am. How I relate to nature and these conditions, and it’s about improving my skills.
What did you enjoy most about making this show?
The realisation that I was actually in these places. That’s the beauty of travelling. For this show, sometimes we were in warm places and sometimes we were in cold climates and sometimes we were in both. California, for example, has a beautiful green landscape and snowy mountains.
What’s your advice to people who are inspired by what they see?
Go out and make your dreams come true. But explore the weather patterns first, so you know what kind of conditions you are going into. I hope after watching, people will want to go and experience the world.
Watch Travellers with Skis at 8pm, April 5 on Extreme Sports Channel
Visit the Atlas mountains with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details