Following Colin O’Brady’s claim to have completed the first unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica, the polar adventure world came together to point out the inaccuracies of the 33-year old American’s highly publicised and inaccurate claims. They then set about to develop a standard of definitions relating to polar travel.
Ash Routen, Explorersweb »
So in the wake of the O’Brady saga, veteran polar guide Eric Philips, along with other senior members of the polar community, decided that standardization was overdue in the polar world. Over the past two years, they developed The Polar Expeditions Classification Scheme (PECS), which was launched earlier this week.
The European Space Agency takes us over the Galápagos Islands – a volcanic archipelago situated some 1000 km west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
More information is available from the European Space Agency.
PIEPS and Black Diamond have announced a voluntary product recall of their DSP avalanche transceivers.
Recently, PIEPS, the European producer of the avalanche safety device, and Black Diamond, its North American distributor, came under fire with concerns the DSP avalanche transceiver beacon could inadvertently switch from “send” to “search” mode, rendering the device useless to the wearer should they be caught up in an avalanche.
From the PIEPS website »
PIEPS has conducted extensive evaluations of the safety and performance of the affected products, including internal and third-party testing. The results conclude that the products comply with international standards, are properly designed, and perform as intended.
Nevertheless, PIEPS has recently developed a hardcase carrying system to be used with the DSP PRO, DSP PRO ICE and DSP SPORT that the transceivers can only be used when set and locked in the “send” position.
More information about the product safety recall program can be found at both the PIEPS and Black Diamond websites.
Both PIEPS and Black Diamond also announced the recalls on Instagram.
Ruth Wiggins, The Guardian »
Our last hike was through Altai Tavan Bogd national park to Malchin Uul, a sacred mountain. Tavan Bogd means Five Saints and refers to the highest peaks there: a tantalising curtain of rock behind the huge and graceful Potanin glacier, on the border with Russia and China. At 4,050 metres, Malchin is the baby of the five; the only one that can be climbed without specialist equipment, its bewitching curves covered in scree from the fracturing of the weather.
Traditionally in Mongolia, mountain guides are male but as our trip progressed Oyunaa became determined to climb. Especially when told by guides we met along the way that the mountain didn’t want her because she was a girl; that she would bring bad luck. Oyunaa was having none of it.
French skipper Clarisse Crémer sailed around the world, alone on her sailboat, non-stop, without assistance, racing against other sailors across turbulent seas. The Vendée Globe race is often called the Everest of the seas.
The 31-year-old says her main goal was simply to complete the challenge, but in doing so in only 87 days, she smashed the previous women’s record by seven days.
It was her first time entering the competition, after six years of training.
Source » France24
Clarisse Cremer broke the women’s record for the Vendee Globe round-the-world race when she completed the solo event in just over 87 days.
The 31-year-old French skipper finished the race in 87 days 2 hours and 24 minutes, smashing Ellen MacArthur’s previous mark of 94 days and 4 hours set in the 2000-01 race.
“I’m so happy to be here. It’s a big relief, we were stressed until the end,” she said on the race website. “I’m happy to have succeeded and to be back with my team. This welcome is incredible, I feel like I am dreaming.
“There were times when I wished I had pushed harder on the machine, but the goal was to finish.”
Source » France 24
Lake Titicaca, which borders both Bolivia and Peru, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in South America.
The video is brought to us by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Covering an area of around 8300 sq km, Lake Titicaca lies on the high Andes plateau and straddles the border between Peru (to the west) and Bolivia (to the east). It is considered the highest major body of navigable water in the world, as it sits at an elevation of 3800 m above sea level.
More information is available from the ESA.
Reuters is reporting that China has unveiled its ambitions to extend President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming. The Chinese are calling it the Polar Silk Road.
“China hopes to work with all parties to build a ‘Polar Silk Road’ through developing the Arctic shipping routes,” the paper, issued by the State Council Information Office, said.
China, despite being a non-Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.
Among its increasing interests in the region is its major stake in Russia’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project which is expected to supply China with four million tonnes of LNG a year, according to the state-run China Daily.
Shipping through the Northern Sea Route would shave almost 20 days off the regular time using the traditional route through the Suez Canal, the newspaper reported last month. COSCO Shipping has also previously sailed vessels through the Arctic’s northeast passage.
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Related » The People’s Congress in Beijing formally announced it will construct the “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic, despite not being an Arctic nation