Adventure in 60 Seconds: Last Week in Exploration
Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
The annals of modern history are filled with the names of English people who were willing to put themselves through a lot of hardship and danger in the name of adventure. But what about their northern cousins, the Scots? Any Jacobite worth his tartan will tell you that a Scot is twice as strong and three times as brave as anyone born south of Hadrian’s Wall. A concerned Scottish reader noticed this and passed us a link to Mark Beaumont, one Scot who’s not about to be upstaged by the English, or anyone else. Last year he broke the record for cycling around the world by doing it in a leg cramp-inducing 276 days and now he is back to his old tricks with a solo ride down the entire length of the American Cordillera which stretches from Alaska to Argentina. Also, just to make sure he gets enough exercise, he has already climbed Mt. McKinley and will take a stab at Aconcagua to finish things off with style if/when he reaches Argentina in February, 2010. Follow his blogs and his tweets on his BBC page.
Whereas rivalry is often a driving factor behind adventure sports, it was the spirit of international camaraderie that buoyed the Woodvale Works Team to victory in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race last Thursday. By rowing between western Australia and Mauritius in 58 days 15 hours and 8 minutes, the team composed of eight Brits, three Americans, and one Belgian, managed to knock six days off the previous route record, as well as establish a slew of “firsts”. Among them, the first parapalegic (Angela Madsen) to row across the Indian Ocean (indianoceanrowingrace09.com)
While the Woodvale Works Team popped open bottles, one of the other rowers in the in Indian Ocean, Sarah Outen, was getting popped out of her boat. According to her blog, she was bilging out her boat in heavy seas when the entire vessel was rolled by a large swell. Luckily, she was wearing a life line that kept her from being swept away and was able to climb back aboard, shaken, but unhurt save for a mildly sprained wrist. As she nears the final third of her trip, she remains strong and in good spirits. Still, click over to her blog and send a her a message when you get the chance–capsizing in the Indian Ocean is deserves a kind thought or two.
Not everyone was dodging large swells last week. A group of Australian surfers took an hour ride to an open ocean big wave spot off the coast of southern Australia and lucked into some beastly breakers. Take a deep breath and check out the photos on Surfline.
Speaking of large waves, the Amazon River is home to what is arguably considered the largest tidal bore in the world–the Pororoca. That, however, is the last thing Ed Stafford and his guide, Cho Sanchez River are worried about as they continue their quest to walk the length of the river. In order to get around an un-crossable section near the Brazil/Colombia border, they are going to have to leave the river and hike inland – a move that will cut off their aquatic lifeline and expose them to food shortages and natives who have not had as much contact with the outside world. Let’s hope, for Ed’s sake, that Cho knows what he’s doing.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
In Pakistan, currently home to some of the un-friendliest natives in
the world, the Taliban, climbers now are less worried about people, and
more about the mountains they are beginning to climb. Firstly,
ADVENTURE is sad to report that Italian skier Michelle Fait perished in a fall while skiing down the southeast Spur of K2. He and Swedish partner Fredrik Ericsson were to attempt K2 without supplementary oxygen and then perform a ski descent, reports explorersweb.com.
One man who is no stranger to loss on that mountain is Russian, Serguey Bogolomov
who was part of a failed attempt on the mountain that cost the lives of
four of his fellow climbers in 2006. He’s back in Islamabad, according
to explorersweb, to attempt the mountain for the fourth time. (k2climb.net).
Finally, one woman who has not gotten much press regarding her
attempt to become the first woman to climb all fourteen 8000’ers is
Korean Oh Eun-Sun. However, with a strong showing in the
Himalaya, she is now in the Karakoram attempting Nanga Parbat. If she
summits, a chopper will be waiting for her at base camp to whisk her
directly to the Gasherburns. Success on these two peeks could catapult
her past Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Edurne Pasában in the race, not that anyone is keeping track. (k2climb.net).