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.
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
Wade Davis, writing in The Walrus »
The true and original explorers, men and women who actually went where no humans had been, were those who walked out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, embarking on a journey that, over 2,500 generations, roughly 40,000 years, carried the human spirit to every corner of the habitable world.
Since then, terrestrial exploration has rarely been divorced from power and conquest. Searching for a passage to the Indies, Jacques Cartier is said to have discovered the Saint Lawrence River in 1534, though the valley was clearly settled at the time, the waters offshore crowded with the Basque fleet, fishermen with no interest whatsoever in flaunting the location of their discoveries: a cod fishery that would feed Europe for three centuries.
History heralds Francisco de Orellana as the first to travel the length of the Amazon (1541), a journey documented by his companion and scribe, Gaspar de Carvajal, who wrote of fleets of native canoes and riverbanks dense with settlements, home to just some of the 10 million people then living in the basin. …
Read the whole essay at The Walrus »
The excellent Mark Horrell looks at recent scientific research on success and death rates on the world’s highest mountain »
Once a year (except this year, obviously), there is an Everest feeding frenzy as traditional and social media sink their teeth into the latest Everest season, producing an avalanche of opinion about how overcrowded and easy Everest is to climb these days.
Barring a few lone voices, such as the excellent Alan Arnette whose annual Everest coverage has become the unrivalled source of contemporary Everest history and commentary, rarely does anyone delve into the data to try to connect opinion with reality.
Which is why I was very excited to see a paper entitled Mountaineers on Mount Everest: Effects of age, sex, experience, and crowding on rates of success and death published on the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE last week. …
Here are some of the things we now understand better »
- Summit success is becoming more likely
- Women are more likely to summit and less likely to die
- Success rates plummet after age 40
- Previous experience at high altitude counts
- Experience matters less now than it used to
- Everest is becoming safer
Climb higher into the Mark Horrel’s post.
Confused by the 2016 federal election results, Rickey Gates decides to run cross country in an attempt to get to know better the people of his own country.
From Salomon TV via YouTube»
In a time of uncertain politics and a crescendo of differences, American Ultra-Runner Rickey Gates sets off on foot across America. In the midst of the 2016 National Elections, which saw Republican candidate Donald Trump win the presidential elections, Gates realised that the America he knew wasn’t necessarily the America that was. Intrigued and curious, Gates decides to head out and see for himself in order to try understand and empathise with his fellow Americans. Starting out on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina, Gates journey takes him 5 months and nearly 3700 Miles to the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco, California. What begins as a search for the true America, during a period of political turmoil, ultimately becomes a story of identity as Gates begins to find clarity and meaning in his own life.
Key Findings »
» Canada’s wide network of trails can help revitalize local communities’ economies and support their overall well-being. They offer outdoor tourism, recreation, and transportation space that can be used while respecting new physical distancing requirements.
» Trails provide various economic benefits. Their construction and maintenance increases income and employment in the region where the trail is built and across the country through indirect and induced impacts. Trails attract tourists and local visitors, whose spending in turn leads to other economic impacts. Trails also support local businesses and increase property values around the trail.
» Trails as green infrastructure systems provide many of the benefits of grey infrastructure, such as transportation corridors and outdoor facilities, while having additional advantages of storm-water retention, flood control, carbon reduction, pollution reduction, and preservation of natural ecosystems.
» Trails offer a relatively safe activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence from within and outside Canada indicates trail usage is increasing because it is naturally physically distanced and seen by many as safe.
» By providing safe spaces for users to enjoy physical activity and recreation, trails help to improve not only physical but also mental health. The fact that nature and physical activity have been found to improve mental health has important implications for today’s high levels of pandemic-driven mental stress.
» Evidence also shows that increased physical activity among Canadians could lead to a reduction in many chronic conditions. In Canada, 44 per cent of adults over age 20 have at least one chronic disease. Trails, therefore, could play a significant role to play in improving the health of Canadians and reducing medical costs.
Note » This Conference Board of Canada report was completed with support from Trans Canada Trail.