The Hardangervidda – a mountain plateau in southern Norway – has long served as training ground for polar explorers like Nansen and Amundsen, who tested their gear and gumption there before venturing to even more remote, frostbitten lands. Wannabe explorers ourselves, my friend Riley and I spent a couple weeks traversing the plateau in mid-winter in 2010: skiing through the short days, shivering through the long nights, and mapping wilderness from the inside out.

You can read "The Contours of Cold," an essay based on this journey, in CutBank (issue #77). Also reprinted in Drunken Boat and cited in Best American Essays 2013.