The Nepal Traverse is a documentary style adventure film about the first solo paragliding attempt across the length of the Nepal Himalayas, starting at the Far-West of Nepal on the Indian border, between February and March 2020.
The film captures the vast remoteness and natural beauty of the Nepali Himalayas, as Steven Mackintosh, the solo paraglider pilot overcome the challenges of paragliding alone and unsupported, but never far from the generous hospitality of the local people.
Steve is raising funds through a GoFundMe page to complete the film.
On his GoFundMe page Steve writes »
… because of challenging weather conditions and the impending Covid-19 restrictions I was unable to complete the entire journey and finished at a half-way point in Pokhara. Fortunately, I have captured enough film rushes to be able to complete the film. Depending on permitted travel being allowed, I am still hoping to attempt to complete the solo journey to the Eastern border. If this can be undertaken then additional film footage would be included within the final film.
Growing up in a traditional Nepalese village wasn’t easy. Mira faced a life of long-term struggle, working in the home and raising a family. However, Mira is anything but traditional. Instead, she chose to follow her own path and is doing all she can to chase her dreams to become a professional runner. From Nepalese stereotypes to being kicked out of the Army, Mira found running as a way of escapism.
Homeless and broke in Kathmandu, with only a pair of broken trainers, Mira had nothing to lose when she entered the Himalayan Outdoor 50k Festival. What Mira didn’t realise was that the first 50k she would ever run, would change her life forever. “In the last 10km I was feeling not okay. I thought, I have to do something in this race. As I ran, I realised I’ve been doing this all my life. I finished 1st place. I gained confidence that I was able to do this sport”.
The Himalayan News posted a photo that showed Mount Everest for the first time in decades from the Kathmandu Valley, 123 miles away due to cleaner air, a side benefit of the lockdown that restricted public movement and ban on all commercial and industrial activities.
While mourning her late husband, Sarah Hornby craved an opportunity to connect with him through his biggest passion. Her goal was simple. She would attempt all 10 routes he created while researching his Bikepacking in the Canadian Rockies guidebook, in a single year. As she pedaled, her story transformed. From sadness and loss to a profound celebration of both his life and her own unique journey, she was choosing to live.
The guidebook Bikepacking the Canadian Rockies, which had been due in 2019, is now scheduled for release in 2022.
This passion took on a new life when I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in my abdomen five years ago. After a painful surgery and treatment, I made the decision—while still recovering in a hospital bed—to apply to run the Marathon de Sables, a 155.5-mile ultramarathon through the Sahara Desert, starting in Ouarzazate, Morocco. I moved to Morocco to train and live in a tent among other female athletes from around the world, and ended up being the 16th female to cross the finish line after five days.
Adventure to me is about being idle. That doesn’t mean you have to go on a huge expensive expedition—you can simply just set up camp in the wild close to home for the weekend. It’s about getting outdoors and disconnecting from the pressures of mundane life.
But I wasn’t going to give up. In November 2019, I strapped on my skis and made my second attempt. This time around, for the first 500 miles, I was skiing at world-record pace. Then an injury, one they call polar thigh, set in. (The motion of skiing into a headwind or tailwind can compress your legwear, and if there you don’t have enough insulation or any cold air gets trapped, you can suffer from polar thigh.) For me, it started as these small clusters of ulcers on my leg, which continued to get bigger and bigger over time.
It was a 6am start on the shores of the Black Sea. Bikes loaded, all 258 riders were ready to set off and follow their carefully plotted GPS routes towards victory and the Atlantic Ocean.
This was the scene at the Transcontinental Race (TCR) start line in late July 2019. An ultra-endurance, self-supported and self-navigated bike race across Europe, the 2019 edition took in 4,000km (2,485 miles) between Burgas on Bulgaria’s coast and Brest in north-west France.
That’s around 600km longer than a typical Tour de France, which takes place over three weeks including two rest days. The winner, 24-year-old German Fiona Kolbinger, completed the TCR in just over 10 days.
When Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first reached the summit of Everest in 1953, mountaineering was a sport reserved for alpine clubs, national expeditions, and scientific pursuits.
For decades, the governments of Nepal and Tibet (which share access to Everest) denied access to most foreign climbers. Throughout the 1980s, access was limited to one Everest permit per season.
But in the early 1990s, everything changed.
Realizing that there was a business opportunity in leading Western adventure seekers up Everest, climbers like Rob Hall (Adventure Consultants) and Scott Fischer (Mountain Madness) convinced Nepalese officials to expand foreign access. John Krakauer’s 1997 bestseller Into Thin Air, which chronicled the death of 8 climbers (including Hall and Fischer) on one of these early expeditions, only further stoked demand.
In 2019, there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals globally – and, given that the planet only holds 7.7 billion humans, this figure alone suggests that a lot of us are travelling. The World Tourism Organization reports two major motivations for this – “travel to change”: the quest for local experiences, authenticity, transformation and “travel to show”: the desire for Instagramable moments and destinations.
I think both trends are fuelled by curiosity about the unknown, the unfamiliar. Humans have always looked for new experiences, ways to live, things to show to others. Travel magazines are strewn with articles about visiting “overlooked” and “unknown” places – and this curiosity has a long history.
Throughout his Antarctic explorations, Apsley Cherry-Garrard yearns for “unknown” places. Mary Kingsley describes the “sheer good pleasure” of canoeing down an “unknown” West Africanriver by moonlight, and delights in places “not down” on maps. A character in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness describes how “inviting” the “blank spaces on the earth” seem and tells us about his hankering for “the biggest, the most blank”.
Philosophy can also be about exploring the unknown. In one of his groundbreaking books on idealism, 18th-century Irish philosopher George Berkeley likened his investigations to a “long Voyage”, involving difficult travel across “wild Mazes of Philosophy”. Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume offers similar reflections halfway through his most radical sceptical work A Treatise of Human Nature.
Travels on a ‘boundless ocean’: Scottish philosopher David Hume.
He imagines himself as a sailor who has struck shallow water, narrowly escaping shipwreck. Safety tempts him to remain perched on the rocks, rather than venturing out onto “that boundless ocean, which runs out into immensity”. Yet Hume decides he will put out to sea again, in the same “leaky weather-beaten vessel”. Continue reading
Last year was the third year in a row Canada has broken records in its own tourism industry, Canada’s national marketing organization Destination Canada says, which saw an estimated $104.9 billion generated in tourism expenditures (a 2.3 per cent increase from 2018).
These numbers are up from 2018, which welcomed 21.13 million travellers to Canada and contributed $102.5 billion to the economy.
“The record number of arrivals shows once more that tourism is a strong and sustainable sector that benefits business and communities, large and small, across Canada,” Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Mélanie Joly said in a statement. “By working together, we are inspiring travellers to visit more parts of the country in all four seasons, to experience Canada’s diversity and inclusivity, to taste its culinary delicacies and to discover its Indigenous peoples.”
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety. With that said, the vast majority of people are good. Recognize the fear mongers. Be properly informed. Be aware of your surroundings. Be respectful — you are a guest in their country. Don’t attract unnecessary attention — you probably already stand out enough.
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