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Category: Asia (Page 1 of 10)

Video » Breathtaking – K2 – The World’s Most Dangerous Mountain

American alpinist Adrian Ballinger climbed K2, the “Savage Mountain” in 2019, reaching the summit of the second tallest mountain in the world without supplemental oxygen.

Via YouTube »

“K2 is a savage mountain that tries to kill you.” That is how climber George Bell described the infamous peak after the first American expedition in 1953–forever giving the mountain its nickname–The Savage Mountain. Sixty-six years later, Eddie Bauer mountain guides Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez aim to summit the 8611-meter peak and join a community of explorers fewer in number than those who have been to outer space. Even more incredible, they both will attempt the feat without the use of supplemental oxygen. Every step of the way the team faces hazardous conditions, terrifying setbacks, and crushing misfortunes. But as Ballinger puts it, “I’ll go until the mountain tells me I can’t go anymore.”

UNESCO designates 15 new Geoparks

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) on July 10, 2020 at it’s meeting in Paris, designated 15 new Geoparks. There are now 162 designated sites across 44 countries.

UNESCO said »

These sites of exceptional geological and cultural significance showcase the beauty and diversity of planet Earth. Today 162 sites across the world document our planet’s evolution over 4.6 billion years, unlocking our history preserved in the rock record to learn from the past and support local communities.

More » UNESCO

More » Wikipedia entry for UNESCO Global Geoparks

 

Trailer » ‘The Nepal Traverse’ an adventure film about the first solo paragliding attempt across the length of the Himalayas

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.

The commercialization of Mount Everest

The crowds climbing Everest are spoiling one another’s views and polluting the region. Less than one-third will summit. 4% will die trying.

However the economies of Nepal and Tibet depend on these climbers, contributing some 10% of Nepal’s GDP.

A typical Everest package costs US$66,000 per climber — including $11,000 for government permits, US$14,000 for guides, US$5,000 for sherpas, US$4,000 for oxygen, plus US$1,000 for yaks and porters.

It’s an additional US$70,000 to retrieve your body should you fail trying.

Zachary Crockett, The Hustle »

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.

More » NYTimes (paywall) » After Deadly Jam on Everest, Nepal Delays New Safety Rules

 

Watch » Go Solo – Jenny Tough

Jenny Tough via YouTube »

Travelling solo is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can be scary to start. I did my first solo bike adventure when I was 21, and while I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and broke down (physically, mechanically, emotionally, etc.) a lot, it was one of the most important growth experiences of my adult life.

This December I went to the Nepalese Himalayas on my Shand Bahookie for a solo adventure. It didn’t all go to plan, but I had an amazing time. And it was still an important growth experience. It always is.

More » Jenny Tough

This ramen noodle joint, housed inside a defunct used-car dealership, is Japan’s most surprising Michelin eatery

Nancy Singleton Hachisu via the BBC »

Located in Tottori, Japan’s least-populated prefecture, Hot Air Ramen (formally named Tanreitori Ramen Hot Air) is the brainchild of Katsumi Yoshida, a mechanic and car salesman turned cook. In 2012, Yoshida, an amateur noodle enthusiast, added a tiny kitchen in an alcove of his small used-car dealership, placed some tables in the waiting room and began offering ramen to customers.

In 2015, he scaled down his auto shop and officially opened Hot Air Ramen to the public, so named for the famous hot springs in the area. And then last year, something rather unexpected happened: Hot Air Ramen was designated as a “Bib Gourmand” eatery (which designates a place that serves “exceptional good food at moderate prices”) in the Michelin Guide Kyoto – Osaka + Tottori 2019 edition.

Read the whole article on the BBC »

Oskar Speck, the man who paddled a kayak from Germany to Australia starting in 1932, and Sandy Robson, the woman who recreated the adventure some 80 years later

Justin Housman, writing in The Adventure Journal »

In a span of seven years, he paddled a series of 15-foot kayaks more than 30,000 miles from the Danube River in Europe to the tropical shores of far northern Australia. Even better, when he first set out, he was “merely” planning to paddle to Cyprus for work, with no intention of traveling by kayak to the other side of the world. But the paddling proved irresistible and Speck did not stop once he reached Cyprus.

[…]

Speck was 25 years old when he set out on his incredible journey. He was an unemployed electrician living in Hamburg. Work was scarce and prospects were dim after the 1929 stock market crash ripped through Germany, so Speck decided to seek work in the copper mines of Cyprus. With no other means to get there, and as a proud member of a kayaking club since his youth, Speck decided to paddle his way to, hopefully, a job.

In May, 1932, Speck shoved off from banks of the Danube in a collapsible and very much not seaworthy 15-foot kayak, and began paddling south. He arrived in the Balkans several weeks later and, lulled to boredom by the languid waters of the Danube, Speck made for the Vardar River, where soon fierce rapids dashed his boat nearly to splinters. While awaiting repairs, winter set in and the Vardar froze over, locking Speck in place for months.

Read the whole article in The Adventure Journal »

In November 2016, Western Australian woman Sandy Robson (aged 48), recreated Speck’s adventure, completed in some 5 years, having visited 20 countries and paddled some 23,000 kilometres.

Concern over rise in dark tourism in Syria as war enters ninth year

Travel to Syria is advised against by every western government.

There’s adventure tourism, and then there’s thoughtless and stupid shit like this »

Bethan McKernan »

As President Bashar al-Assad tightens his grip on the remains of the opposition in the north-west, a handful of tour companies and travel bloggers catering to English-language customers have started running bespoke trips to the country to “mingle with locals while also passing destroyed villages”, visit archeological sites “shrouded in a coat of destruction” and “experience the famous cosmopolitan nightlife that has returned to the centre of Damascus”.

[…]

Attempts to reopen Syria for tourism have been met with fierce criticism from some Syrians, however.

Bakri al-Obeid ran a small tourism company in Damascus before Syria’s uprising began in 2011. He left his hometown of Aleppo when the city fell three years ago and now lives in Idlib, which is pounded daily by Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

“What the tourism companies are doing now has just one goal: normalisation with the regime. They are doing this to show the world that Syria is safe and fine and the war is over,” he said.

“[These trips] whitewash the regime and let the world forget the atrocities committed against Syrians. It’s really depressing and painful to see tourists coming to your country from overseas when your house is confiscated by the regime and you can never go back home.”

Read the whole article at The Guardian »

More » Syria Country Profile

Lia Ditton is getting set to row across the Pacific Ocean unassisted—and she’s afraid

Adventure Journal »

Lia Ditton is a 39-year-old licensed sea captain, yachtswoman and solo ocean rower from London. She has racked up over 150,000 miles on the sea and has taken part in some of the most grueling races on earth, such as the OSTAR transatlantic race, the Le Route du Rhum, and the Woodvale challenge. And she’s about to embark on her greatest challenge yet, rowing solo and unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. This is her story.

Three months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I will depart from Choshi, Japan, on a mission to row 5,500 miles alone and unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. Nineteen attempts have been made to row this distance. Two were successful. Both men, both towed to land the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. One person was lost at sea.

If I succeed, I will be the first woman ever to row the North Pacific unsupported and the first person to row land-to-land [ed note: Sarah Outen rowed the North Pacific solo from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, but with a support team, back in 2013].

Read the rest of Lia’s essay at Adventure Journal »

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