Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
Just when we thought another scene of Karakoram climbing had entered the history books, Austrian Christian Stangl surprised the world with a solo, speed summit of K2 this week. In a single, 70-hour push (with one rest and an emergency bivouac), he went from base camp to peak and back to base camp. Upon returning he told Explorersweb.com: “If mountain climbing were as the last 70 hours here at K2, I would immediately stop.” For more classic meditations on K2 climbing, check out the entire report.
And while the men dominated the mountains, it was the boys who ruled the crags. Fifteen-year-old French wunderkind Enzo Oddo has repeated Chris Sharma’s generation defining route Realization, reports Climbing Magazine. The route is famous for being the first one to unequivocally carry the grade of 5.15a. Climbers have since topped out on harder routes, but it will always be the first, and among the most respected in the world of sport climbing.
Even though Stangl may not agree, many outdoor trekkers find that being in the wild helps them”unwind, sleep better, and lose the nagging feeling to check for a phone in the pocket,” said a New York Times article this week. The story followed a group of neuroscientists as they rafted through perennial adventure destination Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah in an effort to understand what effect escaping from technology has on the human brain. Although the evidence was inconclusive, rumor has it that they are planning a follow up trip to Hawaii, for scientific purposes, of course.
In another instance of combining business with pleasure, teams from three different continents set off from Geneva in what the BBC called the “longest and greenest race of all time.” Dubbed the Zero Race, it is an 80-day affair that pits some of the world's best electric cars against one another. You can follow their globe spanning progress on their blog at: http://www.zero-race.com/en/follow-zero-race-online/
The swimming hole rope swing is an institution of the American summer for children who are lucky enough to live near rivers and lakes. But what if your swimming hole is the Truckee River in California, and you are extreme skier Mike Wilson? You’ve never seen fun quite like this: