In the year since the New Zealand Covid-19 lockdown ended in late April 2020 I completed 72 hikes (“tramps” in the NZ vernacular), and fifteen shorter walks. Of the 72 hikes 68 were new to me (I had done one before, and I repeated just three). I will explain how I came to do so many walks in a moment. But first, and in order to show off a bit, I will regale you with a few statistics:
» 68,500m (~225,000ft) of ascent and descent
» Almost 900km (~550mi) of walking
» On 64 of these hikes I climbed to a peak or other high point, ranging between 445m and 2333m high, and averaging 1000m of ascent and descent each time
» 58 of these high points were named peaks over 1000m of elevation, so I incidentally completed the 52 Peaks Challenge
» All of these tramps were on New Zealand’s South Island, and completed as day-walks; I did all but three of them with my wife Sophia (& she did an overnighter I didn’t do)
What do people live for?
Average age, 81.
This ad, for a bank, is based on a true story.
In May 2, 2014, Angela Maxwell started her walk around the world – alone – with the aim of seeking a deeper connection to the world. On December 16, 2020, six and one-half years and 20,000 miles later, she brought that connection back home.
As she prepared, Maxwell found a whole world of women explorers to embolden her. She fell in love with the writing and slow travel style of Robyn Davidson, who traversed Australia with camels. She learned about long-distance walker Ffyona Campbell; and read up on Rosie Swale-Pope, who hitchhiked from Europe to Nepal, sailed around the world, crossed Chile on horseback and, at age 59, began jogging around the world.
Once she made the decision to go, Maxwell sold all her belongings and organised the necessary gear. She packed a cart with 50kg of camping equipment, dehydrated food, a military-grade water filter and four seasons of clothing. Maxwell left her hometown of Bend, Oregon, on 2 May 2014 and headed into an adventure so grand it was probably best she didn’t know exactly what was waiting for her along the track.
When I first connected with Maxwell over Skype in June 2018, she was already nearly four years into her journey, having walked more than 12,500 miles in 12 countries on three continents. Curious, I asked her what kind of person it takes to walk around the world. Her face gleaming, she quipped, “a stubborn one”. She then added, “It’s probably a combination of ambition, a little stubbornness and a pinch of passion – not for hiking as a sport, but for self-discovery and adventure.”
Watch Angela Maxwell’s inspirational 2018 Tedx talk at Tedx University of Edinburgh. She was still walking at the time of this talk.
Angela’s web site » She Walks The Earth
Here is a bit of the story and behind the scenes of the making of Her Way. Her Way is released last month and can be viewed here .
Separated by a total of 47,483km plus 19 hours of time difference across 3 different continents during a global pandemic is how the production team of the #SalomonWMN short documentary “Her Way” despite all odds managed to bring this project to life.
Directed by Caroline Brouckaert and Kirsten Gerber
Executive producers Loïc Bailliard, Sofia Ahnebrink, and Greg Fell
Produced by Kirsten Gerber
Edited by Andrew King and Caroline Brouckaert.
Gisele Bruhwiler moved to Tofino when the now renowned Canadian surf town was nothing more than a small fishing village. Since then, she has raised an entire family of pro-surfers, but did so the old way, showing them how to sail and live off the land. Despite speaking a different language and being generations apart, Gisele and her grandson Kalum share an unconditional love for the ocean and this primitive lifestyle that’s been lost with changing times.
The New York City to Paris flight took place 94 years ago.
In the early morning of Friday, May 20, 1927, Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island. His monoplane was loaded with 450 U.S. gallons (1,704 liters) of fuel that was strained repeatedly to avoid fuel line blockage. The fully loaded aircraft weighed 5,135 lb (2,329 kg), with takeoff hampered by a muddy, rain-soaked runway. Lindbergh’s monoplane was powered by a J-5C Wright Whirlwind radial engine and gained speed very slowly during its 7:52 a.m. takeoff, but cleared telephone lines at the far end of the field “by about twenty feet [six meters] with a fair reserve of flying speed”.
Over the next 33+1⁄2 hours, Lindbergh and the Spirit faced many challenges, which included skimming over storm clouds at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) and wave tops at as low as 10 ft (3.0 m). The aircraft fought icing, flew blind through fog for several hours, and Lindbergh navigated only by dead reckoning (he was not proficient at navigating by the sun and stars and he rejected radio navigation gear as heavy and unreliable). He was fortunate that the winds over the Atlantic cancelled each other out, giving him zero wind drift—and thus accurate navigation during the long flight over featureless ocean. He landed at Le Bourget Aerodrome at 10:22 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.The airfield was not marked on his map and Lindbergh knew only that it was some seven miles northeast of the city; he initially mistook it for some large industrial complex because of the bright lights spreading out in all directions—in fact the headlights of tens of thousands of spectators’ cars caught in “the largest traffic jam in Paris history” in their attempt to be present for Lindbergh’s landing.
Everest is a documentary film about the struggles involved in climbing Mount Everest, It was released to IMAX theatres in March 1998.
The 45-minute documentary is narrated by Irish actor Liam Neeson and was filmed entirely in IMAX. It includes a description of the training required in order to climb the 29,029 feet to the summit of Mount Everest and the challenges faced during the ascent, such as avalanches, blizzards, and oxygen deprivation. The film centers on a team led by Ed Viesturs and Everest director David Breashears; among their number are Spanish climber Araceli Segarra, and Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of the pioneering Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay.
Everest was in production at the mountain during the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which another group of climbers became trapped by a blizzard near the summit. The film includes footage of these events, as the IMAX team assist Beck Weathers and other survivors.
First released in 1998, Everest became the highest grossing giant screen documentary of all time. It is being re-released in IMAX theatres in 2021. If you have the opportunity, go see it on the big screen. In the meantime, you can view it below »
From March 2016 until April 2019, in the early days of electric vehicles, and before there was much EV infrastructure, anywhere, Weibe Wakker drove a borrowed electric vehicle from the Netherlands to New Zealand. He accomplished his 100,450 kilometres (62,417 miles) road adventure by asking people to donate some of their electricity.
via The Next Web »
According to Wakker, the first three factors to consider before every journey are distance, charging stations, and charging speed. It goes without saying that these will vary based on your destination and electric car model, so make sure to crunch the numbers carefully.
“When you’re on a road trip, it’s about finding the right mix between convenience, having fun, and getting to your destination,” the Dutchman told SHIFT.
One way to combine fun with convenience, Wakker shares, is to plan charging stops around landmarks, museums, and other popular tourist attractions. In fact, he would often pick sightseeing spots depending on whether there are charging stations nearby. That way, he can go explore the surrounding area while his car is getting juiced up.
Here is a 2019 video of his achievement »
How do you choose your next adventure when there are so many options available?
Wizarding up ideas for adventures is one of my favourite things to do. I find it enjoyable, exciting, but also easy. If I was a specialist I would need to search for something higher, harder and faster within my niche every time I wanted a new challenge. But because I am a generalist, I make the next adventure more challenging by making it differently challenging to previous projects. It is an important part of keeping adventure fresh for me.
I am surprised how often people tell me that they really want to do an adventure but don’t know what to do. Hopefully this walk-through of the way I come up with ideas might get your own adventure cogs whirring…
- Cycling round the world
- The Marathon des Sables
- The South Pole
- The Arctic Ocean
- Rowing the Atlantic
As part of his 3-year African expedition, Dan Grec highlights his travels through the jungles of Gabon.
After reaching the gates, Grec learns that entrance to Lopé National Park was USD$500 per day (Aug 2017). So instead he finds an ex-guide and goes in search of gorillas on his own. He later finds elephants in and near Loango National Park.