The team monitored the ice patch for the next seven years, hoping that the melting ice would reveal the ski\’s missing partner. Their patience paid off; in September, they spotted the second ski just 16 feet (5 meters) from the spot where the first one was found.
“The new ski is even better preserved than the first one!” Lars Pilø, a glacial archaeologist and the editor of the Secrets of the Ice website, wrote in the post. “It is an unbelievable find.”
Getting the second Iron Age ski to the lab for analysis was not an easy task. After satellite data suggested substantial ice melt at the ski-discovery spot on the mountain, the team hiked up and found the second ski on Sept. 20. But they didn\’t have the right tools to safely free it from the ice, so they left it there. Then, an autumn storm complicated the recovery effort by dumping a lot of snow, burying the ski again.
When the researchers returned on Sept. 26, they were ready — carrying ice axes, gas cookers and packing materials they could wrap the ski in for the hike back. After a three-hour hike, they finally found the ski under 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow, thanks to their GPS tracker. Brushing off the snow was easy enough, but the ice had an “iron grip” on the ski, so the team used ice picks and lukewarm water heated on gas cookers to free the ski, Pilø wrote in the post.