This March, former NCAA Nordic Ski Champion Reid Pletcher decided to embark on an epic adventure around the globe. Starting in Sochi, Russia as a Paralympic ski guide for his close friend Jake Adicoff, Reid rollerbladed 800 miles through Europe, bouldered in Moab, Utah, built igloos on top of the Rocky Mountains, and hiked through the jungles of Peru. We asked Reid to take a GoPro camera along on his travels. Here is Part 2 of the TernPro Adventure Series with Reid Pletcher:
Following the Rhine eventually took me to Basel, Switzerland where I had to take public transport to Lucerne to avoid more dirt roads and dangerous traffic, but the skating from there was by far the best of the trip! Beside a few dirt roads and hiking over mountains (to avoid the freeway tunnels) Lucerne to Milan was full of stunning crystal clear lakes, impressive skylines, hanging glaciers, and remarkable towns with an unbelievable history.
The main running/hiking scene in the middle of this video was one of the most challenging parts of the 800 miles. I had been moving efficiently past the mountain lakes, working my way toward Gothard Pass (planned to hike over), came around a blind corner on a steep decent that ended in a gravel ditch. The next 3 hours after that aggressive stop included running down a thinning dirt road onto a single track, walking through the forest until the trail disappeared, then hiking for almost 2 hours straight up the mountain to try and get back into the real world of bike paths and pavement. This was easily the most exhausting part of the journey. And to make things worse, after a short lunch and nap, I skated into another grassy field and realized that I had made a wrong turn 5 hours earlier. As stubborn as I am and not wanting to retrace my whole day’s travels I switched to running shoes AGAIN and just ran for 2 more hours through the backcountry of Altdorf, Switzerland.
I eventually made it to Milan the following day and gave in to another public transportation day through Italy as this stretch of the skate had been alluding me for months. The bike paths from Milan to Siena pretty much disappeared and I decided that long distances, heavy traffic, and exhausted Reid were a bad combination. This allowed me to get to Florence, Italy for a quick street performance (to try and cover my costs but a rain storm stopped that plan almost immediately). And I finally walked out of Florence and decided to do the last 60 miles as a midnight skate to avoid traffic and more chaos. And this allowed me to skate on open roads from 12AM to 6AM to get to Siena, Italy for some much needed R&R!
Check out Part 1 of the TernPro Adventure Series with Reid Pletcher HERE.
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Reid Pletcher was born and raised in the small town of Sun Valley, Idaho, where he found his passion for conquering epic challenges. He learned to unicycle up mountains, juggle fire, crochet hats, play the guitar, complete a rubrics cube in under a minutes time, ice climb, kayak down class-V rapids, and telemark ski. With his talent and drive, Reid became wildly successful in competitive sports. In 2008 Pletcher became the youngest American male skier ever to qualify for a professional World Cup in Nordic Skiing. In 2011, he was the NCAA Champion in the 20-kilometer classic race. Reid is currently traveling the world conquering life, and will be featured in the TernPro Adventure Series.