1. Empire of Ice — GQ Lucas Jackson / Reuters / Reuters Jeanne-Marie Laskas reports from a $500 million man-made island off the coast of Alaska, where oil workers toil in round-the-clock darkness and temperatures around 45 below. Read it at GQ. 2. Remote Control — The Believer Pascal Rondeau / Getty Twenty years later, Sarah Marshall reconsiders one of ice skating's most infamous scandals: the tale of Tonya Harding and the attack against Nancy Kerrigan. Read it at The Believer. 3. Why I Bought House in Detroit for $500 — BuzzFeed News Photograph by Garrett MacLean Drew Philp recounts his first years — and first, heat-less winters — living in an economically depressed Detroit neighborhood. Read it at BuzzFeed News. 4. Snow Fall — New York Times Magazine Washington State Department of Transportation / Via nytimes.com John Branch's Pulitzer Prize-winning deep dive into an avalanche that killed several prominent skiers in Washington State. Read it at the New York Times. 5. Wilderness Women — SB Nation Scott Chesney for SB Nation Eva Holland travels to Talkeetna, Alaska, where women compete — with a wink — to prove they have what it takes to be pioneer wives. Read it at SB Nation. 6. Out in the Great Unknown — Grantland Photo by Jeff Schultz/AlaskaStock Brian Phillips delivers with this riveting, in-depth look at the iconic Iditarod dogsled race. Read it at Grantland. 7. The New Mecca — GQ Photograph by Peter Bialobrzeki for GQ A fantastic George Saunders travelogue about visiting Dubai's enormous indoor ski run, where Arab children for the first time witness snow. Read it at GQ. 8. Aspen and the End of Snow — Men's Journal Flickr / Creative Commons Nathaniel Rich examines what will happen as the iconic ski area runs out of naturally occurring snow. Read it at Men's Journal. 9. Why Is the World's Gayest Sport Stuck in the Closet? — BuzzFeed News Chung Sung-Jun / Getty, Cameron Spencer / Getty, Jared Wickerham / Getty, Claudio Villa / Getty, Jared Wickerham / Getty, Jonathan Daniel / Getty Blair Braverman unpacks the surprisingly homophobic — and ever flamboyant — world of professional men's ice skating. Read it at BuzzFeed News. 10. The Flying Tomato Would Rather You Not Call Him That Anymore — New York Times Magazine Photograph by Finlay MacKay for The New York Times Elizabeth Weil profiles snowboarder Shaun White as he attempts to shed his goofball, bad-boy image for something more professional. Read it at the New York Times Magazine. 11. Death Among the Emperors — Vanity Fair Flickr / Creative Commons Ned Zeman investigates the legendary life and mysterious death of Bruno Zehnder, who froze doing the thing he loved — photographing emperor penguins. Read it at Vanity Fair. 12. The Ice Breaker — New Yorker Illustration by Owen Freeman for the New Yorker A profile of thrilling — and polarizing — Canadian hockey player P.K. Subban by Ben McGrath. Read it at the New Yorker. 13. In New England, Everyone Calls You Dave — This American Life Flickr / Creative Commons A hilarious essay in which David Rakoff, on assignment for a magazine, arrives in a bucolic New Hampshire town on a snowy winter's eve and prepares to hike a mountain — an activity he knows nothing about. Listen to it at This American Life.