Well not really an article on snowskating but the January 2013 issue about why we explore hit a cord with me. Going to get just a tinsy bit scientific here and seeing I’m no scientist you’ll have to cut me some slack. Homo sapiens,(that’s right I’m using the term homo sapiens in a bit about snowskating) explored the planet in a period of about 60,000 years. What makes this remarkable is that other species of upright walkers like Neanderthals lived several hundred thousand years without ever leaving Europe. The national geo article brought up the idea that homo sapiens had a gene in their dna that promoted explorations. The following  from the Nat geo issue is what caught my eye.


“If an urge to explore rises in us innately, perhaps, its foundation lies within our genome. In fact there is a mutation that pops up frequently in such discussions: a variant of a gene called DRD4, which helps control dopamine, a chemical brain messenger important in learning and reward. Researchers have repeatedly tied the variant, known as DRD4-7R and carried by roughly 20 percent of all humans, to curiosity and restlessness. Dozens of human studies have found that 7R makes people more likely to take risks; explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities, and generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.”


So basically there is a certain percent of the population responsible for exploring the fringe. When you first saw a snowskate and thought it looked like fun, while your buddy standing next to you thought that it looked like a shit show, well you can thank genetics. I’m constantly hearing people say that snowskating makes them see their terrain in a new way. It brings back a sense of exploration, turning terrain that you knew by heart on skis or snowboard, into a fresh slate of opportunity. Tonight I’ve promised my daughters that I would strap on skis to show them that I can actually turn. That I grew up skiing is not something that they know, they have only seen me snowskate. It will be fun to ski with them but it will most definelty lack that sense of adventure that I have come to expect whenever I head out on the skate. Bindings just don’t make me want to explore.


jeffanddrewvisithiking National Geographic article on snowskating

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