Brody Leven isn’t known for taking it easy. He built his career as a professional skier and four-season athlete on gnarly lines in unforgiving snow and punishing projects like running the Grand Teton (in 4 hours, in short shorts) or biking-to-climb three Pacific Northwest volcanoes pulling a trailer laden with 200 pounds of ski mountaineering gear. However, his latest project, another installment of the bike-to-ski journeys he’s dubbed “Pedal to Peaks” was more brutal than expected.

With an eye on Norway’s stunning Lofoten archipelago, Leven assembled a team: adventure filmmaker Joey Schusler and photographer Kt Miller. They planned to ride the length of the peninsula’s only road, one typically flanked by 10-foot snowbanks in the winter, and climb and ski whatever struck their fancy. But when they got there, the road was dry. A low-tide winter had left much of what they set out to explore unskiable, and other mishaps plagued the journey as well.

As they pedaled north, nearly a week passed without any skiing. Miller decided to leave the trip early, after they didn’t get their first day of skiing until two weeks into the three-week journey. Schusler and Leven made the most of the time they had left and learned an important lesson: even those who specialize in sufferfests need a pick-me-up sometimes.

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