Traveling Light

Thursday, September 7, 2006
Yahoo has a wonderful travel blog, that I just discovered, called Traveling Light. It's written by Rolf Potts, who wrote the book Vegabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel Some recent articles that may be of interest, and certainly are to me, include this one on Patagonia and this one about a writer who traveled through the remote Siberian region of the Lena River. Interesting stuff, and I'll most likely be updating on future articles that strike my fancy as well. :)

Kilimanjaro: The Roof of Africa!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

A friend of mine forwarded this image to me today. She received it from her friend who actually took it while visiting Moshi, in Tanzania, recently. It's a great shot of Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, overlooking the village. It's just such an awesome picture on so many levels.

I've written in other posts how my next big adventure is to go to Africa, climb Kilimanjaro, and go on safari. But as I sit here in my office. eying that picture, that day can't come soon enough. It simply looks amazing, and I can't wait until the day that I can visit it in person.

Top 7: Himalayan Treks

Tuesday, September 5, 2006
The latest issue of online magazine Adventure Journey is up, and that brings us another edition of their Top 7 lists. This time it's the Top 7 Himalayan Treks, with such classics as trekking to Annapurna and Everest Base Camp. But you'll also find some lesser known treks such as trekking to the Kingdom of Mustang and Nanga Parbat, which is number one on the list. They all sound amazing. I think I've added another seven items to my life to-do list. :)

Everest: Alpine Style, which is your one stop source for all news related to the tallest mountain on the planet, has posted this article today about a trio of Spaniards who are attempting to summit Everest in the Fall, alpine style, via the Hornbein Couloir. The three are already on the mountain, and have been acclimatizing in prepartaion for a mid to late September summit attempt. They report that the mountain is deserted, which is not uncommon this time of year, following the monsoon season, when there are layers of snow everywhere. On top of that, the route they have chosen, along the north face, is seldom used, which adds to their isolation.

It'll be interesting to follow their attempt and see if they are successful. The cold and snow on Everest this time of year are huge hurdles to overcome, and climbing alpine style means going in unsupported, carrying your own gear. On top of that, they will attempt the summit without supplemental oxygen, which will only add to the challenge.

Outdoor Adventure in Japan

Our old friends over at Outside Magazine have published another great article. This one is called Land of the Rising Fun and it takes a look at all the great outdoor activities to do in Japan, including some awesome climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking, all of which sound great to me. Most of us think about the hustling and bustling city of Tokyo when we think about Japan, but the country also has some great hidden outdoor gems. This article should give you some things to do the next time you visit, and want to get away from the big city.

Adventure Racers Descend on Quebec!

The Raid is now just a little over four days away, and the best adventure racers in the world are arriving in Quebec in preparation for the 1000 km+ expedition length race. Leading up to the race Check Point Zero has posted this article that gives a little insight into the area in which the race is being held, and what the racers can expect over the coming days.

The Raid is the last major race of this length of the year, so a lot of teams will be gunning for the win. It also has roots that date back to the early days of adventure racing, which makes it a special event as well. There will be some great teams competing in the event, but it's hard to bet against Team Nike who just cointue to roll along, winning major event after major event. I'm sure there will be some other great teams pushing them every step of the way, but with their experience and skill, they seam nearly unbeatable at times, unless they make a mistake on their own.

Update: Sleep Monsters has a news brief about the trail that will be used in the Raid. It seems that it was "made famous" by fur trappers, who orginally used it as a trade route. The trail will wind through "dense forests, across majestic lakes, along sheer cliffs and a fabulous fjord" over it's course, and challenge the 26 teams competing in the event on many different levels. Can't wait for this one to get underway!

Yet More On Everest 2006

Friday, September 1, 2006
Is it just me, or has the 2006 Everest climbing season become the en vogue topic these last few months on all the outdoor related websites? Mine included I suppose. Well, we've got yet another article, this time from Outside Magazine. As with all things from Outside its a very well written and indepth piece that does a great job of recapping the season in general, and discussing the raging debates about ethics on the mountain, commercial climbing, the ambitions of those who go to Everest. I highly recommend this article, even if you're already bored to death with the topic.

NG Sudan Spy Case Update

A few days ago I posted about a National Geographic reporter who had spying charges leveled against him while on assignment in the Sudan. Today, we get this update on the case which states that the President of Sudan and State Department officials have met to discuss the situation. Omar al-Bashir, the President, has said that he'll consider the case of the reporter from "a humanitarian" standpoint. Lets hope cooler heads prevail here, and Paul Salopek, the reporter in question, will soon be on his way as a free man.

Speed Climb on Elbrus!

Thursday, August 31, 2006
MountEverest.Net posted this article today on a unique race that is to take place on Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. It'll be a speed ascent, a race to see who can make it to the summit the fastest. Apparently this race has been going on for some time, dating back to the Soviets using it to train their Himalayan teams. But now, it's open to anyone, and it's attracting some big names in the climbing community. There will be a qualifying climb on Sept. 12, with the race itself getting underway on the 14th. I'll keep you posted as any news or results come in.

Preparing for The Raid World Championship.

We're just over a week away from another major adventure race. This time it's the Raid World Championship being held in the Quebec area of Canada, where the top qualifying teams from all over the world will be competing for another top title. CPZ has come through with another great article that has a number of top adventure racers remarking on how they prepare for a race of this magnitude. Interesting stuff as always, and insightful for anyone who hasn't run an expedition length race before. Only 8 days, and counting, until The Raid!

Anchorage to Valdez on Skis!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I found this story today while browsing The Backcountry Blog. (which ought to be in your bookmarks by the way.) It's the story of two men who traveled from Anchorage to Valdex, Alaska, via skis, which is over 175 miles in distance. They call it the "Crusher Traverse", which seems like a fitting name after you've read the story. Why did they cross that distance? Why, for beer of course! :)

G.A.P. Adventures Are Mac Lovers!

I've been a big fan of GAP Adventures for several years now. They have created some of the most unique adventure travel vacations I've ever seen, and it seems like they just keep adding more. Take a look at their site, and you'll see what I mean. I'm sure any active traveler will find something of interest there. On top of that, their prices are very resonable considering the experiences you get on the trip.

Anyway, while browsing their site today, dreaming of taking one of their many trips, I came across this article from a few months back that details how they use Macintosh computers in running their business. Obviously the place is a Mac House through and through, and they have some very creative ways for integrating the iWork and iLife software suites into their business. Great stuff and very interesting. In my "real" job, I'm an IT manager, and while I don't have any particular dislike for Windows, I will admit that I do love my Macs. I've been working on them for years, and recently bought a new MacBook, so this article put a smile on my face. Hey! Anyone at GAP Adventures looking to hire a new IT guy? I'd love to work for you guys! Give me a call! :)

Off Season on Everest has an posted an article today on a climbing expedition on Everest that will try to summit during the off season. The weather will be much rougher than it was back in the Spring, with colder temperatures and likely more snow, but the mountain will also be empty except for this team. Having Everest to yourself is a rare thing these days, and I'm sure that will make for an awesome climbing experience. The article also notes that this is the first climbing permit issued by the new government in Nepal.

Adventure Racing Glossery

While surfing by Check Point Zero this afternoon, I came across an aritlce about an Adventure Racing Glossery that is being hosted by baarbd", which is the "Bay Area Adventure Racing Babes and Dudes". :) The glossery is full of terms used in the sport, and has plenty of humor mixed in as well. Good stuff, and a great place for a beginner to learn the terminology. It's also set up as a "wiki" allowing users who are logged in to make changes and additions, so we should see it grow and expand over time.

Gadling Goes Backpacking!

Monday, August 28, 2006
The wonderful travel blog has posted a nice little article about a recent trip one of the writers too Backpacking through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's a fairly short read, but offers up some nice tips, plus there are some very nice personal photos of the lovely scenery. So, while you're stuck at your desk on a Monday afternoon (like I currently am) give a glance, and then let your mind wander off to the outdoors. Just don't let the boss catch you, and don't tell him I had anything to do with it.

Want to vist Everest BC on Outside and REI?

Outside Magazine had teamed up with premiere outfitterREI" to send one lucky winner on a trip of a lifetime. Randomly tucked away in one issue of the magazine, which has been sent out to newsstands and went on sale on August 15, is a ticket for a trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. The issue itself is dedicated to the fascination with Everest, the highest peak on Earth. A quick check of the REI Adventures website indicates that the trip itself is valued at $2700+ without airfare, and includes a 19-day trek from Kathmandu to Everest and back, through the Himalayas.

Now, before you head out to rifle through all the magazines on the newsstand, and believe me, the idea crossed my mind too, you should know that each magazine has a code in it that must be taken online to see if you hold the Golden Ticket. After purchasing the issue, you'll head over to and enter your magazines specific number to see if you've won. I guess I need to take a swing by the bookstore in the next day or two, as my subscription to Outside has lapsed and I haven't gotten around to renewing it yet.

NG Reporter Accused of Spying in the Sudan

This story broke over the weekend, so you may already have seen it. It seems that Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Paul Salopek has been arrested and charged with espionage while on assignment in the Sudan. Salopek, and his two guides from Chad, were arrested several weeks ago when they were stopped by the Sudanese military. When searched, Salopek, who is on leave from the Chicago Tribune, was found to have two U.S. passports, and because of this, it was deemed that he was a spy. Apparently it's not unnatural at all for journlists to carry two passports when traveling between countries, as it makes it easier to go back and fourth without causing a security issue, but in this case, it made things worse. On Saturday, a Sudanese court officially made the charges against him, and the reporter now faces trial, and possibly a lengthy stay in prison.

A story like this reminds us how dangerous it can be to travel abroad, especially in third world countries, or regions that are unstable. Salopek was in Sudan to study and write about the Sahel, an arid section of the Sahra desert. Lets keep our fingers crossed that this will all get resolved, and he'll be released shortly.

Climbing Goes Bouldering in Bolivia!

Friday, August 25, 2006
ClimbingMagazine has posted an awesome article about a trip to Bolivia to go adventure bouldering. The author, and friends, set out to find a hidden valley in the high deserts of Bolivia that is rumored to have some of the best bouldering in the world, mostly unknown, and untouched. It sounds like an amazing trip, and some of the photos are wonderful. So? Whose ready to book a trip to Bolivia? Whose with me?

Gear Box: New Sat Phone

Human Edge Tech has the skinny on an awesome new satellite phone in case you're planning an escape to the backcountry and your usual phone won't work. The new phone offers built in GPS, including altitude, a color screen, and the ability to charge from a special solar cell. All this in a package the size of a standard cell phone. I'm sure this thing will be a huge hit on Everest next year, so you can call your loved ones from the summit and tell them you're safe and sound. The price tag on this thing is between $800-$900, and calls will set you back up to $1.50/minute depending on where you're at on the planet.

Carbs For Workouts

I saw this story while browsing the National Geographic Adventure site earlier. It's a short, but informative, article on how carbs impact your workouts, and how many carbs you should be taking in in order to efficiently workout and stay healthy.

I never got into the whole "carb craze" from a few years, back, but I had some friends who did, and lost quite a bit of weight, only to gain it all back when they had some carbs again. I workout enough, running and riding my bike in particular, that I need the carbs. I also think that any diet that cuts out everything from a food group is probably not a very good diet. So, I was happy to see that trend fade.

2007 AR World Championship Website Goes Live

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
We've barely closed the books on the 2006 Adventure Racing World Championship and preparations are already well underway for the 2007 version. The Official Website went live this morning with some teasers of what to expect out of next year's race, which will be held in Scotland. The Championship will start on May 26 and run through June 2, so it's starting a few months earlier, but promises to be quite the event once more. Start training now, as May will be here before you know it!

AR World Championship: How did the other teams do?

Monday, August 21, 2006
I reported earlier in the day that Team Nike Powerblast had won the 2006 Adventure Racing World Championship, but hadn't reported on how the other teams have fared. At the moment, we have four teams across the finish line, with Team Finland coming in second about four hours back from Nike. Third place goes to Lundhags who raced a very good race and lead for a large chunk of the way. Fourth goes to GoLite/Timberland in an outstanding show for another American team. Orion Health, Team Spyder, and Buff Coolmax are all out on the course and vying for fifth place at the moment. It appears that Merrell/Wigwam Adventure have withdrawn due to sore feet, which is too bad considering how well they were doing.

Still haven't gottent enough news and info on the AR World Championship? Good, then head on over to Check Point Zero for their race report on the Nike victory. Of particular interest to me is the night time kayak stage in which the sky was aglow with the Aurora Borealis, and the team was accompanied by a company of whales for several hours. How awesome does that sound?

Adventure Travel in Alaska

The Adventure Beat over at has posted an interview with Melissa DeVaughn, author of The Unofficial Guide to Adventure Travel in Alaska. The short, but sweet, article gets DeVaughn's thoughts on the last great frontier, what got her interested in writing the book, and living for adventure in general. Now if only I could get a gig like that, writing a book on adventure travel. Sounds sweet! Any publishers out there reading my blog? Anyone...? Anyone at all?

Hidden Treasures of Anasazi Country has posted a really cool article entitled Hidden Treasures of Anasazi Country, which serves as a great guide for planning a trip into Souther Utah's Cedar Mesa area. Along the way you'll find some amazing terrain, rugged backcountry, and plenty of ancient Native American ruins to explore. Sounds like an awesome place for a hike and camping. Guess I'll have to add it to my list of things to do, which seems to grow strong everyday I do this blog. :)

National Geographic's Best Adventure Towns

Not to be outdone by Outside Magazine's list of adventure cities, National Geographic Adventure has posted a list of their own. This list is larger, consisting of 31 cities, and looks at a broader range of criteria, such as "cultural centers", "beach towns", and "small towns." You'll find some wonderful suggestions on where you should live and play, with something to appeal to any outdoor enthusiast.

I was happy to see my city, Austin, Texas on the list. It's the top spot on the "Cultural Centers" list, and for good reason. I didn't know what to expect when I moved here last year, but it's been a wonderful place to live, work, and play. The Summer is hot as hell (we're over 100 again today), but the rest of the year is mild and beautiful. There are plenty of lake and rivers to paddle on, some great mountain biking trails, and plenty of parks to explore throughout the amazing Hill Country. I'd highly recommend at least a visit to anyone who hasn't been here. It's not anything that you'd think of when it comes to Texas.

Everest: 1996-2006

National Geographic Adventure is running a special entitled Everest: 1996-2006 which has some excellent and interesting thoughts on the mountain. You'll find an account by Ed Viesturs of what it was like back in 1996, when the deadliest storm in Everest history brought tragedy to the mountain. You'll also find a very different look at the 2006 season, which was marked by calm weather, but was not without it's own share of tragedy. Very interesting to read.

Nike Powerblast Wins AR World Championships!

A quick look at the 2006 AR World Championships website this morning reveals that Nike Powerblast has crossed the finishline claiming the crown as this years Adventure Racing World Champions. I'm sure we'll hear more details on this later in the day, but for now, huge congratulations to Ian and the rest of the team. Great work once again.

Update: Nike has made an update on their website with the news that they have won the World Championship. While it's a short article, it does have some nice pictures, and gives some insight on how the race went.

AR World Championship Sunday Update!

Sunday, August 20, 2006
It's Sunday at the Adventure Racing World Championship and here comes Nike. A quick check of the leaderboard shows that they have erased Team Finland's lead, and taken one of their own. As of now, Nike is just a couple of minutes ahead of Finland, followed by Lundhags in third. Merrell/Wigwam and GoLite Timberland are fourth and fifth respectively, making it a strong showing for the American teams at the moment. Hang on to your hats, it looks like it's going to come right dwn to the wire.

AR World Championship Google Earth Course Map!

Saturday, August 19, 2006
It may be a little late into the race, but it's new to me, and I thought I'd share. If you've got Google Earth installed on your computer ( and why wouldn't you?) you can check out the course of the race, with current team positions, right in the program. Just go here and download the map. You'll have to be running Google Earth 4 to get it to work though. Very cool!

AR World Championship Day Four!

It's Day Four over in Sweden, and the top of the leaderboard has seen some changes. If you check the live listing you'll see that Team Finland now leads the race, with Nike Powerblast making their move back into second, but still two hours behind the leaders. In their place is up and coming team GoLite/Timberland, who have raced well throughout the year. Team Lundhags, who have led much of the race, have fallen back into fourth place. With about another day or racing yet to go, it'll come down to who has banked the most sleep, and who can move the fastest over what remains of the course. After you've finished looking over the leaderboard, head over to Check Point Zero to read their latest race report.

Update: It's been a few hours since I posted the above message, and since that time it seems that Nike has closed the gap on Team Finland, whose lead is now under an hour. Nike is considered the best adventure racing team in the world by many observers of the sport, and it looks like they're not going to go down easy in this race. GoLite/Timberland is about a half hour back in third place, with Lundhags in fourth and losing ground.

Top Ten Base Camps

Friday, August 18, 2006 has posted a great article of the Top Ten Base Camps. in the United States. In a nut shell, it's a list of the best hike-in camp spots in all the parks around the country. On the list you'll find such great spots as The Gates to the Arctic, AK, Cataract Lake, CO, and Lake Janus, WA. So, if you're looking for a great place to camp this weekend, you could do worse than this list.

Images From The Silk Road

While making my daily surf over to today, I came across this awesome slideshow. It consists of images from along the Silk Road, that legendary trail from China to the West which delivered trade goods between the two regions. One of my ultimate trips would be to follow the Silk Road, and these series of images is excellent for getting your imagination wandering.

AR World Championship Day 3! has posted another update from the AR World Championship this morning. We're now more than two days in, and the teams have begun to splinter into groups with the real contenders leading the way at the top of the leaderboard. As it stands right now Lundhags is in first place, with nearly a two hour lead over second place team Findland. Nike Powerblast has moved back into third place, but are still some distance behind first and second place. Team Spyder is currently in 7th place and the only other American team, Merrel/Wigwam is in 13th. There is still plenty of racing to go, but it looks like it may be tough to catch the top teams at the moment.

Landis' Father-In-Law Commits Suicide

Thursday, August 17, 2006
As if Floyd Land wasn't having enough problems at it is, it is being widly reported today that his father-in-law has committed suicide. It seems that the two were very close friends, the guy even introduced Landis to his step-daughter, so I'm sure Floyd is taking this very hard. Talk about a guy who was on top of the World only a few short weeks ago, only to have his life come down around him. I want to send Floyd, his wife Amber, and their whole family, my sincerest condolences in this very sad time.

AR World Championship Update!

After a brief outage yesterday Check Point Zero is back today, and they have an update from the AR World Championship currently going on in Sweden. As of this writing, Team Lundhags is leading the way followed by FJS, and GoLite/Timberland in second and third respectively. Perennial powerhouse Nike/Powerblast is currently in 7th after leading for much of yesterday. As always, you can follow the race online at the Official Site's Leaderboard.

Switching To Blogger Beta

So, has added some new tools for all of us to play with, and I took advantage of the chance to jump into the beta program today by switching my blog over to the new format. It seems that it'll offer some great new options for settig up our blogs, and make things simpler, although it doesn't fully support Safari yet on the Mac.

Anyway, bear with me over the next few days while I try out some new templates, and play with my layout some. I promise not to break things too much. Oh! And there were some wonderful, and encouraging, comments posted in the last few days that I appreciated very much. Several of them didn't make the conversion over to the new system, which is why they don't appear under the stories for which they were written. I just wanted to let everyone know that I did indeed see them, and that I'm glad that you are enjoying my blog. Thanks again for the encouragement!

Update: After playing with the new version of Blogger, I'm really liking what I'm seeing. I've now given you, the reader, the ability to e-mail a post to someone who might find it of interest, which is very nice. Not that anyone would find anything worth passing on here. :) I'm also playing with the colors a bit and I may add labels as well going forward. I haven't decided on that one yet, although it would make things easier to find. I'm just not sure I want to go back and edit all the old posts to include them or not. One thing I do love, is the new "instant publish" feature. It's much faster at updating everything now. Me likes!

Outside Interview's Steph Davis

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Outside Online has reprinted an article about Steph Davis that was in the print magazine a few months back. Davis is one of the best rock climbers in the world, and this story is a fun read with insight into what drives a climber to seek the challenges they do. Steph is an interesting personality who has climbed all over the world and has an unquestioned dedication to her sport. I read this a few months back, but since it's online now, I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

AR World Championship Off and Running!

The AR World Championship is off and running today in Sweden, and you can track the race online here. At the moment, Nike-Powerblast is in the lead, by a few mintues followed closely by Bjurfors, Team Finland, and Merrell/Wigwam. At this point we're a mere four hours into a five day race that should be fun and competitive to follow. It should be noted that Team Nike, who are legends in the sport, are racing without Mike Kloser and Michael Tobin this time out. The two Mikes are stalwarts on this team, so it'll be interesting to see if they can win with the other members of the team.

Great American Beach Adventures

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Is it still hot where you are? Here in Austin it's been above 100 degrees every day for what seems like weeks. On top of that, a quick look at the weather forcast doesn't have any relief in sight until say...ooh... October or so. Lucky for us, has put together a list of Great American Beach Adventures to help us cool off. On the short, but sweet, list you'll find places like Padre Island, Pictured Rocks, and Olympic National Park. Personally, I'm not much of a beach guy (although I would like to learn to scuba dive), but some of these locations offer so much more than just lounging by the water, sucking in your gut, and ogling all the ladies in their swimsuits.

Phonak Dissolves Cycling Team!

According to various reports, including this one from, Floyd Landis' former cycling team, Phonak, will be shut down at the end of the year. The owner has stated that he will dissolve the team due to on going doping scandals in cycling and zero interest in anyone to buy the team.

You'll recall, Landis was fired from the team for testing postive for high levels of testosterone following his win in the Tour de France. In a span of about a week, Landis went from being an inspiring hero, to one of sports biggest disappointments. It's sad that Team Phonak will no longer exisit, but lets face it, the entire sport of cycling has a major crisis it needs to address. Doping is nothing new to the sport, but it doesn't seem like it's getting any better, nor does it seem to be going away. I'm sure we'll see further backlash in the weeks and months ahead on this vary subject.

Outdoor Retailer Market 2006 News!

It's no secret I'm a Gear Junkie. I love my bags, gadgets, gizmos, and all the other great stuff that make getting outside even more fun! Well, this past weekend was the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market which always teases us with fancy new gear that will be arriving soon, making our hearts flutter with delight and our wallets cry in anguish. Back Packing Light has a very nice summary of the cool new gear to get you drooling. You'll find all kinds of gear to like on their list, including ultralight tents, new GPS units, and all manner of cool shoes. Time to start shopping!

Edit: Even more product news and previews can be found here at

AR World Championship Course Revealed

With the Adventure Racing World Championship just a day away now, is now reporting that the course has been revealed to the racers. The race kicks off tomorrow at 11 AM local time (Sweden), and the rest of today will be spent by the teams pouring over the maps, plotting their courses, and eagerly anticipating the trail ahead. Hopefully we'll get a fun, competitive race, but I'm positive it will be an amazingly beautiful course for all the teams involved.

Update on Terri Schneider's Bid for Elbrus.

Monday, August 14, 2006
Terri Schneider has updated her blog with a post from Russia, where she is preparing to make an ascent on Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. This entry details her arrival in Russia and dealing with her missing bags. You know, the ones that contained all of her climbing gear? But no worries, the gear arrived in one piece and before she made her way to the mountain. I expect the next updates to be about the actual ascent, but Terri writes an interesting blog, and comes across has being very personable, and fun. Wish her luck as she goes for the summit!

Everest Peace Project Debrief!

Friday, August 11, 2006
You may recall some months ago I wrote about the Everest Peace Project which consisted of a team of climbers from all over the world, with different colors, creeds, and sexes, attempting to climb Everest to show the World that we could all work together in peace. Well, they made it! All ten climbers found the summit, but following the climbing season, it was tough to get any news on the project. Now their story can be told, and the reason for their silence will be known. Head over to to read their debrief of the climb. It's a great tale of of conquering the mountain, only to have the real work begin. As all climbers will tell you, getting to the summit is only half of the battle.

Terri Schneider's Next Adventure!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006
A few months back I followed Terri Schneider's progress in the Gobi March through her blog. Terri is an endurance athlete who posts her blog over at Mountain Zone, and I found her posts from the race to be a joy to read, allowing us to get a peek behind the curtain at an event like The March. Well, now she's off on another adventure, and blogging about it once more as she climbs Mt. Elbrus in Russia (One of the Seven Summits), and as if that wasn't enought, she'll return to France to race in the Tour Du Mont Blanc, a 98 mile trail race through the mountains. In this post, she discusses her upcoming adventures, and waxes a little philosophical. I'll update as she does. Can't wait to read her reports.

Expedition 360!

Regular readers of my blog know that I've mentioned the Goliath Expedition a few times in the past. Well, it seems that Karl Bushby isn't the only one out to circumnavigate the globe. While surfing around ExWeb today, I came across this story about Expedition 360. Unlike Busby, who is walking around the globe, Steve Smith and Jason Lewis are attempting to circumnavigate without the use of motorized vehicles of any kind. They set out in 1994 with the intention of walking, biking, or paddling their way around the planet, mostly unsupported. Steve dropped out in 1998 after reaching Hawaii, but Jason continues on, 12 years later, and is generally alone, but is often joined by other intrepid travelers on the various legs of the expedition. You can read more about this incredible journey at the official website which includes a rather interesting Journal/Blog from Jason. What an awesome adventure. Jason had better write a book about it when he's done!

Where's Yours?

Have you seen this website? It's called, and it's a place for people with an affinity for the outdoors to share their favorite places with others. You'll find a map of the United States with all kinds of virtual push pins marking locations that people have added, with explanations and information on the different sites. You can even zoom in on specific regions and states to find more locations, and it seems to be updated frequently with people adding there favorite locations. So, if you're looking for some place different for your next outdoor adventure, you might give it a look. Who knows, you may find something you hadn't known about before.

Why am I telling you about this site? Well, for one, it's actually a pretty cool site. But Nature Valley has also promised me a free box of granola bars if I blogged about it, and lord knows I don't mind selling out. But mostly, it's to get them to stop e-mailing me about it. ;)

Badwater Ultra-marathon report

Monday, August 7, 2006
The Badwater Ultramarathon was run on July 24-26, and is considered by many to be the toughest race on Earth. The 135 mile course starts in Death Valley and ends on Mount Whitney and is known for it's extreme heat and dry conditions. has posted a race report with details on the course and how the main competitors faired in the event.

I meant to post on the event a few weeks back, leading up to it, and of course also post the winners, but for some reason, the Badwater completely slipped my mind and I forgot it was even being run. With the recent heat we've been having here, I can't imagine trying to run a marathon, let alone an ultra.

Gear of Year 06 from Outside!

Outside Magazine has been busy updating their website today with some new features for us, not the least of which is the 2006 Gear of the Year. As a self confessed Gear Junkie, I love this issue, as it always shows off the latest and greatest gear, but I always hear my wallet cry a little. You'll find all the usual stuff on the list including packs, bikes, shoes, gadgets, clothes, and more. I'll take one of everything please.

Outside Magazine tells you where the action is!

Outside Magazine has polled a number of skiers, climbers, paddlers, and general outdoor adventurers for their list of the best Adventure Cities in the USA. There are a lot of great cities on the list, some that you would come to expect, like Bend, OR or Durango, CO. There are some you wouldn't expect however, like Madison, WI or New Paltz, NY. So, if you're looking to relocate to some place more adventurous, this is a great list to consider.

I'd have loved to have seen my city of residence, Austin, TX make the list. There are tons of things to do around here, and it's a great outdoor city. Very fitness oriented. With Texas Hill Country in our backyard, it's not as flat and dry as other parts of the state. Plus, we have the Colorado river for paddling, some solid climbing and bouldering, and a great series of mountain bike trails. On top of that, the Green Belt trail is one of the best in the country. A great place for anyone who is into the great outdoors and looking for a little adventure. Just be warned, it's very hot right now. ;)

National Geographic's Sky-High Thrills

National Geographic Adventure Magazine has teamed up with ABC's Good Morning America to bring us the Top Ten Sky-High Thrills. On the list you'll find such cool adventures as Climbing the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, a Zip Line Tour in Durango, Colorado, and and Bungee Jumping on the Bridge to Nowhere in Los Angelas, California. Something for everyone, and a wide variety of activies no less.

Susan Butcher Succumbs to Leukemia

Sunday, August 6, 2006 is reporting that four time Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher has died at the age of 51 from a reoccurrence of leukemia. Butcher was the second woman to win the race, and is probably the number one reason that most Americans even know what the Iditarod is. When she was winning races, she became a media darling, and captured the attention of the entire country. I know that when I was a kid, I first heard about this epic race because of her dominance.

I first blogged about her illness some months ago, and at the time, her prognosis was looking better. But leukemia is a nasty disease, and it's very indiscriminate in who it attacks. My heart is heavy with this news, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Susan's family in this time of sadness. Mush on Susan!

Landis Tests Positive Again...

Saturday, August 5, 2006
Not much else to say about this. The "B" Sample for Landis came back positive for elevated levels of testosterone. He's already been fired by Phonak, his racing team, and while technically he remains the Tour Champion, it's only a matter of time before that is officially stripped as well. The disappointment continues.

Laurel Knob Opens To The Public!

Friday, August 4, 2006
Good news for those living in North Carolina, or the Eastern United States in general. If you're looking for a good, challenging, and now legal, place to climb, than has good news for you. It seems that Laurel Knob, the tallest granite rock slab in the Eastern US is now open to the public. For years it's been on private property, but that didn't always stop the intrepid climbers looking for a challenge. Many climbers simply snuck onto the land to have a go at the granite face. Now, they can walk a clearly marked trail, while parking in a designated area. Good news indeed. Go climb it before it gets too crowded.

Here in Texas, we have a similar giant slab of granite. Would there be any other kind than "Giant" in Texas? It's called Enchanted Rock and it's an excellent place to hike or climb. From one side of the Rock, you can walk up the side, in a non-technical climb, but the other side is a sheer face, which is very popular amongst Texas climbers. I highly recommend a visit.

Antarctic Logistics Part 3

Thursday, August 3, 2006 has posted Part Three of their series of articles regarding the logistics of mounting an expedition to the South Pole. This one continues what was started in the first two, which is looking at getting on and off the continent. Part three is as intresting to read as the first two, and gives you some insight into what it takes to mount these types of adventures. Great stuff if you're planning a trip to the South Pole anytime soon.

Buzz and Woz's South Pole Adventures!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Ok, chalk this one up in the "I didn't see that coming" category. According to The Unoffical Apple Weblog Buzz Aldrin (yeah, the astronaut) and Steve Wozniak (yeah, the guy that co-founded Apple Computers with Steve Jobs) are going to the South Pole together. The two are joining an expedition in December 2007 that will see them driving a Hummer H1, powered by hydrogen fuel cells no less, across Antarctica. You can read more about their planned adventure here.

Anyone else think that "Buzz and Woz's South Pole Adventures" sounds like the name of a video game? :)

Adventure Journey: Top 7 Crazy Desert Crossings!, that wonderful online magazine on adventure travel, has posted another Top 7 lists. (Top 7?) This time it's the Top 7 Crazy Desert Crossings. On the list you'll find such famous deserts as the Sahara and Atacma, and more obscure places like The Simpson Desert, or Chang Tang--Taklamakan. A quick and fun read, as usual.

Commentary on Landis the website for Stellar Magazine has posted this great article with quotes about the thoughts of other riders on the Floyd Landis situation. You'll find all kinds of interesting statements from the likes of Greg LeMond (3 time winner of the Tour), Oscar Pereiro (the second place finisher who has the most to gain from a positive test by Landis), and Juan Fernández (the sports director of Team Phonak). Lots of interesting insights, with a lot of wait and see attitudes until the final test comes through. Some of them express surprise, disappointment, and sadness. I guess we'll all continue to wait to see what the results are on Saturday.

Expedition Logistics for Antarctica

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 is running a series of interesting articles focused on the logistics of mounting an expedition to the South Pole. You'll find part one here and part two here. Both articles are discuss the various options for actually getting to the Frozen Continent. Hint: There aren't all that many options. I found both articles interesting to read, and hopefully they'll continue with the series. It really puts into perspective the things you have to consider and plan for when mounting an expedition of any length.

Latest on Landis

It's been a few days since I've posted anything on the Floyd Landis drug testing story. I think I've been hoping beyond hope that some how he'll come out vindicated in the whole thing, and still retain his Tour de France title. However, this morning, ESPN is reporting that Landis tested positive for having synthetic testosterone in his system, which doesn't bode well for his chances at all. If this story proves to be true, and I really have no reason not to believe it is, it's a pretty cut and dry case. If you want to hear more of Landis' side of the story, you can read his Q & A Sessions over at the Outside Magazine website.

As for me, I can only sum up what I'm feeling in a single world. Disappointment.

Update: It is widly being reported that the results from Landis' "B Sample" should be announced on Saturday. Guess all we can do at this point is hold on, and wait to see what the lab has to say then.

Thru-Hiking The AT!

On my daily swing past I noticed their post on this website that follows the adventures of Carrie and Derrick, who are attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. The cool part is that they are blogging from the trail regularly, and posting pictures and movies from their adventure. This allows us poor schlubs to come along for the trip, and learn what it takes to make this type of expedition. The AT is one of the epic hikes of North America, and along with the Pacific Coast Trail, is on my life list of things I'd like to try someday.

PQ TV Schedule Announced!

Monday, July 31, 2006
I saw this while reading the Yak Blog over at Check Point Zero It seems that the television schedule for Primal Quest has been announced, and the episodes will be shown Oct 9 - 12th (7:30pm - 8:30pm EST) on ESPN2, with the finale on ABC Oct 14th. So, set you're Tivo and prepare for what should be an outstanding show. Hopefully in HD too! Can't wait to watch.

Raid Savoy Report

The third stage of The Raid qualifying events was held in the Savoy region of France a few weeks back, and helped set the stage for the upcoming World Championships in Canada this September. "">The Great Outdoors has posted this report from the race, and while it's better late than never, it's probably mostly old news by now. Still, it's nice to get some first hand reporting from the race, since most of what we heard came directly from The Raid Organization itself.

Gearbox: GoLite Beat Review

I've been in the market for a new hydration pack for sometime now. The one I had been using was decent, but I'd had it for several years, and felt that it was time to upgrade to something new. So, I did some research, checked out packs at REI and read some reviews on the web. After careful deliberation, I settled on the GoLite Beat Pack, which I found online at a great discount. Since ordering it a few weeks back, I've had a chance to use it on a number of occasions, and now feel like I'm in a position to give some opinions on it.

First off, I should note that while I purchased this particular pack sight unseen, I have always had very good luck with GoLite's gear. I own several articles of their clothing, and they have all been wonderful, so I had little fear of ordering this bag. If you aren't familiar with the company, it was founded on the mantra that lighter is better, and faster. They've applied that idea to all things related to the outdoors, and the results have been ultralight clothes and gear, that remains durable and high quality. In fact, if you switched all your gear to GoLite products, you'd probably find that you'd shed several pounds off your back, while still maintaining the same quality of your equipment.

Anyway, back to the Beat Pack. The first thing that I noticed when I received the pack, was that it was a bit spartan in it's design compared to my older pack. There were fewer pockets, no MP3 player holder or headphone port, and a general minimalist look to it, which is in keeping with the GoLite philosophy. However, when I opend the pack up, and began to examine it closer, I found that the main chamber was quite spacious, much larger than my other pack, and the second main pocket was more than adequate for storing the items I needed close at hand, such as the aforementioned MP3 player. I was also happy to see two smaller pockets on the wasteband, which offered quick and easy access to snacks, engergy bars, or what ever other small items you needed access to without removing the pack. These pockets are not large by any means, but welcome none the less.

It took me some time to get the pack fitted properly. I had to adjust, and then re-adjust, each of the belts a number of times to get it the way I wanted. But once I did find the fit I was looking for, I knew I had picked the right pack. It's quite comfortable on your back, and molds into your body nicely. It's also so light, you'll barely know it's on. So far, I've taken it running three for four times, hiking a time or two, and just this past weekend, I took it on a mountain biking run. Under those conditions, the Beat Pack performed wonderfully. Not only did it hold everything I needed, it also provided plenty of water, rode on my back perfectly, and didn't weigh me down in the least. I especially like that it stays in place, and doesn't move when you have it on. Perfect for anyone who wants to use it in any kind of active way, like trail running or mountain biking. It would also be great for adventure racing, but the size would probably limit it to use in sprint races more than anything else.

One thing I love is the hydration bladder and the snug pocket that it fits into. When I say snug, I mean snug. It takes a little practice to get the full bladder inside of it, and I struggled at first to get it into place. But once it's in, it fights nicely, doesn't move around, and doesn't take away from the interior space of the pocket, something my older pack had an issue with. Fill up the bladder, and the interior space was reduced in size. The bladder itself holds 2 liters and is high quality all the way, It's made of Nalgene so it doesn't make the water taste bad and should wear well over extended use. The bite valve is also high quality and offers a switch to close it off and prevent leakage. Everything in this area is easily a step up from the pack that I'm replacing.

In fact, everything about the Beat Pack says quality. At this point, I only miss one thing from my old pack, and it's a fairly minor one. When I run, and sometimes when I bike, I like to take my MP3 player along for some exercise music. My old pack had a perfect pocket to drop it in and a headphone port for running the cord safely inside the pack. That may sound like a minor thing, and really it is, except that my player is a hard drive based device, which can skip with impact of the road while running. This was never a problem with my old pack, but has been an issue with the new one that I need to sort out. That's not really an issue with the pack though, and were I to upgrade to a flash based music player, the problem would be solved. If I can't resolve the problem, it looks like an iPod Nano may be in my future. :)

All in all, I'd highly recommend the GoLite Beat to anyone in the market for a light, durable, pack for day hiking, trail running, mountain biking, adventure racing (sprints only!) or any other outdoor activity. It fits well with the "Go Light, Go Fast" mantra of the company that designed it, and while it has a minamalist design, it still meets the needs for which it is intended in a perfect fashion. The GoLite page lists the Beat Pack for $70, but I found mine online for $32, and it's easily worth that price and more. If you're in the market for a new pack, you could do a lot worse than the GoLite Beat. I give it four and half out of five stars, a 9 out of 10, or something like that. :) Just know that it's a great, light pack, for on the go.

Have questions? Drop me an e-mail or post a comment.

Update: I think I've solved my issue with the MP3 player. It seems that it wasn't skipping after all. My player has a small joystick on it that is used for Playing/Puasing/Fast Forwarding/Skipping/Etc. While the device bounced around inside the pocket, that joystick was being bumped causing it to seem like it was skipping. Last night while running, I put the player in "Lock" mode, which essentially disables the controls, it worked just fine. No skips, pauses, or any other issues. Feel free to use your iPods without fear while using the Beat Pack.

Atacama Crossing 2006 Results

The 2006 Atacama Crossing is over, and it sounds like it was an incredibly tough, and challenging race. First place in the Men's Division went to Mark Tamminga of Canada, followed by Joe Holland of the United States, and Francesco Gallanzino of Italy. In the Women's Division, Lucy Marriott of the United Kingdom and Sissel Smaller of Norway finished tied for first, followed by Sandy McCallum of Canada and Julia Leder of the United States in second and third respectively. The Team title went to Team GB. You can read about all the winners and the final stage (including a wedding proposal!) here.

By the way, Joe Holland, the second place men's finisher, is a Backcountry Athlete over at The Backcountry Blog. Expect some more updates on the race, and possibly a first hand account, on that site soon.

Atacama Crossing: Stage 5

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Today marks the fifth stage of the 2006 Atacama Crossing. This is a fifty mile long, overnight stage, with the runners starting in staggred bunches. At this point in the race, Canadian Mark Tamminga is still in the lead, but a number of competitors have dropped out over the past few days, in no small part due to the grueling stages of the race, but also due to high winds at the campsites. For more insights into the race, check out the daily coverage over at which is not only offering up great coverage of what's happening at the race, but have one of their own athletes taking part. And while you're there, be sure to read their gear reviews for all the stuff they recently tested on an expedition to Codillera Blanca range of Peru. Good stuff.

Landis Caught In Doping Scandal?

It was announced yesterday that a rider in the Tour de France has tested positive for a banned substance, but the name, nationality, team, and substance have yet to be announced. Rumors have begun circulating today that the rider who has tested positive is none other than Floyd Landis himself. I should stress, at this time, it is just a rumor, but if it proves to be true, what a damaging blow to the Tour, and Landis' reputation.

The Tour was rocked with scandal just one day before it's start when several of the pre-race favorites were banned for having their names linked to a doping ring. If the man who went on to become champion is found to have used a banned substance, the credibility of the race will once again be called into question, as it has been in the past. Cycling has had a long, sordid history with doping, with dozens, if not hundreds, of riders testing positive over the years. While they have taken steps recently to try to clean up the sport, it still seems to be a major hurdle to overcome.

And what of Landis? A few short days ago, I was singing his praises, and commenting on what a remarkable rider he was in this remarkable Tour. Should these rumors come to be true, it will send him out of cycling in disgrace. We all know that he's due to have hip replacement surgery in the coming months, but it's also likely he would face a lengthy ban from the sport, and few teams would want to take a chance on him following the surgery, a long lay-off, and the stigma have having being caught for doping. We may well have seen him take his last ride. It's a shame to, considering the good will he had built up with fans of the Tour.

I won't pass judgement yet. As I said earlier, these are all rumos at this point, and I'll be sure to update things as the news breaks, and we get further confirmation. But at this time it doesn't look great.

Update: Just minutes after making the above post, it became official. You can read about it at Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone following the 17th stage, which happens to be the same stage he made his remarkable comeback on. I'm assuming he'll be stripped of his Tour title, but we'll have to wait to see how everything plays out. I'm sure there will be an appeals process and other things that will need to be decided.

Update #2: Ok, a little more info on the subject is coming in. It seems that Landis has tested for a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, which is consistent with having injected testosterone, but there may be natural causes for this. It seems on the day before, when he bonked on stage 16, he was most likely dehydrated and probably had an imbalance in electrolytes. It has been suggested that while he was re-hydrating, and getting some nutrition in his body, he may have had a beer or two over the course of the evening. (Don't ask me why he would be having beer. Carbs perhaps?) Alcohol has been known to lead to high testosterone to epitestosterone ratios apparently, which is what the current speculation is to why he tested positive. The cortisone shots he takes for his hip pain may also be to blame. It should be noted that he is NOT testing for high levels of testosterone, just a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. That weighs in his favor, and will probably help in his defense. Lets hope this was all a natural occurance, and Floyd can hold onto his Tour win.

The Mongol Ralley!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I just discovered the Mongol Ralley today, and I must say it sounds like an adventure I'd love to undertake! The Mongol Rally is an annual race from London, England, to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The race will over 1/4 of the globe, with the course running over 8000 miles! Oh! And one other thing, your car must not have more than 1 liter of power, which means it's none too fast or fancy. The teams of two must also be self supported, which makes for an even bigger challenge. The Official website has text updates from the teams (who seem to currently bein along the Russian/Kazak border), an overview of the event, a list of teams and their websites, a whole lot more. You can bet I'll be keeping an eye on this one, as it seems like such a great adventure! I'd love to do this with a couple of my best friends.

Death on Makalu: The last climb of Jean-Christophe Lafaille has posted this article that they've reprinted from National Geographic Adventure about the last climb of Jean-Christophe Lafaille, who perished on Makalu last January. It's an interesting and eerie look at a climbers last day on the mountain he so wanted to climb. The story holds a special significance to me, as it was one of the first things I blogged about when I got started way back in January. (Has it already been that long?!?) At the time, we were still waiting for word on the fate of Lafaille, and this story fills in some of the blanks as to what was going on.

Makalu is the fifth highest peak in the world, checking in at 27,765 feet. It's located in Nepal, just 14 miles from Everest, and is known for being shaped like a pyramid and offering up a challenging climb for the most experience of climbers.

(Oh! And 300th Post! Cool! :) )

First Summit of K2 in Two Years!

Ask any high alpine mountaineer about Everest, and they'll tell you it's the highest peak on Earth, but not the most difficult mountain to summit. Ask them about K2, and they'll probably get a wistful look in their eye and tell you that it's the real Crown Jewel of climbing. that paragon of high alpine climbing news, has a story up today about the first successful summit of K2 since 2004. The summit was completed by a husband and wife team, Nives Meroi and Romano Benet, who set off for the summit at 2 AM this morning, and have successfully arrived back in Base Camp at this writing. Congratulations goes out to both them on this monumental task.

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, lagging behind Everest by just 780 feet. But it is orders of magnitude harder to climb. The summit is guarded by six steep, rugged, and treacherous ridges, each with their own obstacles to navigate. It's a long, hard, technical climb, and although fewer people have attempted the climb, it still claims lives at a higher rate than Everest.

Raid World Championship Qualifiers Announced

Check Point Zero has posted this article that lists the teams that have qualified for the Raid World Championship, which will be held in Saguenay-Lake Saint Jean region of Canada this September. Amongst the top contenders are ERTIPS, which recently won The Raid: Savoy, Team Nike, and Wila Sport/Helly Hansen. In addition to Nike, three other American teams will be making the trip, Team Spyder and Salomon Crested Butte. The field is diverse, well rounded, and challenging, which should make for a great race.

After you get done reading up on all the teams in the Raid at CPZ, be sure to check out this little preview of the region that will be hosting the Advendure Racing World Championship in August.

Team Nike Up To It's Old Tricks

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Team Nike coming off a win at Primal Quest just three weeks ago, has also successfully defended it's title at Adventure Xstream. This time, the team was mostly made up of members of Nike/Beaver Creek, although team captain Mike Kloser did join them for the July 22-23 race. Second place was awarded to Bagel Works who made a good race of it, until bonking on a final mountain biking leg.

Atacama Crossing Update

The Atacama Crossing has been going on for several days now, and we're into stage 3 of the event. It sounds like it's been a great race so far, with physical, nto to mention navigational, challenges on every stage. The first two stages reportedly had a lot of water crossing, which anyone who is a trail runner or ultra-marathoner will tell you means bad things for your feet. Several competitors have dropped out of the race due to heat exhaustion as well. But today's stage is a "mere" 25 miles, with a 131 racers still going at. At the moment, Mark Taminga of Canada is in the lead, but with three more long stages to go, there is still plenty of racing to be done, and we all know that anything can happen in a race like this one.

Backcountry Blog

There is another great blog for you to read, follow, and bookmark for daily visits. It's called The Backcountry Blog and has a stated mission of covering "Backcountry Adventure, Gear Reviews and Outdoor Industry scuttlebutt for Backcountry addicts". Sounds great to me. Looking through the site, I found plenty to read, with lots of great content about the same things that I like to cover. For instance, there are updates on the Atacama Crossing, as well as climbing news and info, as well as plenty of others outdoor adventure stuff. I think I'll be adding it to my daily swing around the Inter-webs!

David Sharp: Left To Die On Everest

Monday, July 24, 2006 has reprinted an article that also appears in this months issue of Men's Health Magazine, regarding the death of British climber David Sharp. You'll recall that Sharp's story caused quite a stir in the climbing community when it was reported that a number of teams passed him by, without stopping to offer aid, on their way to the summit of Everest. The debate raged, with some people, including Sir Edmund Hillary, saying that it is the duty of everyone on the mountain to offer aid to those who are in need, while other climbers have stated that it's dangerous to try to mount a rescue above 8000 meters. Hillary went so far as to attack the climate of climbing on Everest these days, saying that most climbers are so focused on the summit, they've lost sight of what is important on the mountain.

I've blogged on this topic a number of times now, and I've made my thoughts known in the past. This article offers an interesting perspective as it is not coming from within the "community". The general population are horrified to think that climbers would pass someone by without offering aid, but then again, the general population has no idea what is happening to the human body while above 8000 meters and in the "Death Zone."

Tour: It's Over!

Sunday, July 23, 2006
The 2006 Tour de' France came to an end today, and as expected, Floyd Landis capped an incredible race by riding down the Champs Elysees in Yellow. The sprinters raced for the final sprint points, while Landis sipped champaign and took a leisurely ride into Paris, with his Phonak teammates close at hand. Australia's Robbie McEwan claimed his third straight Green Jersey for being the best sprinter. Denmarks Mickael Rassmssen earned the Polka Dot Jersey as the King of the Mountain, and Italy's Damiano Cunego won the White Jersey as the best young rider. All an all, an amazing tour. It'll be tough to top it next year. Congrats to Landis, and good luck with the hip surgery. We all want to see you racing again soon.

Tragedy on Nanga Parbat

Saturday, July 22, 2006
News came in early today from Nanga Parbat, and unfortunately it isn't good. Missing climber, Jose Antonio Delgado , was found dead today just 400 meters from his tent, which was located at 7100 meters, between Camp 3 and Camp 4. Delgado reached the summit on Wedneday, July 12 but got caught in a nasty storm on his descent. He remained trapped there for nearly a week, before rescue efforts were mounted by Pakistani high altitude guides. The search ended this morning. You can find out more about this story at

Tour: Landis Back In Yellow, This Time For Good!

On the final time trial today, Floyd Landis completed his most unlikely of comebacks, finishing third in the stage, but more importantly, erasing the thirty second gap between him and the Yellow Jersey, and then going on to open a 59 second gap of his own. The final stage of the tour is tomorrow, but aside from the sprinters finishing off their battle for the Green Jersey, it'll largely be a ceremonial ride, with Landis finishing on top of the podium. Oscar Pereiro will finish in second, and Andreas Kloeden will take third after an amazing time trial ride to move up the General Classification. Periero and Landis are former teammates and friends, and Periero was amongst the first to congratulate the American cyclist.

It's been an amazing tour to watch, but judging from the ratings on OLN, most Americans won't notice. In the first Tour in the post Lance Armstrong era, interest in the States has waned, but Landis has taken up the torch quite nicely. Unfortunately, Landis now faces difficulty hip-replacement surgery, which could possibly end his career. If it is the end, he's gone out on an incredible note, finishing first in the Tour of Georgia, the Tour of California, Paris to Nice race, and now the granddaddy of them all, the Tour de France.

Personally, I want to congratulate Floyd for this incredible win, and an awe inspring race. Get that hip taken care of, and get back to racing as soon as you can. The cycling world will certainly miss you.

Atacama Crossing 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006
The next leg of the Racing The Planet series of ultramarathons, the Atacama Crossing is set to begin in just two days time. This stage race ultramarathon will be run in the Atacma Desert, located in Chile. The desert is said to be 50 times more arid than Death Valley, which will surely test the mettle of the racers. I'll bring updates regularly throughout the week as the event unfolds. Looking over the competitor list, I don't see Terri Schneider's name. You may recall, Terri was the woman who wrote a very compelling blog while running the Gobi March a few months back, which was the most recent of the races in this series.

Tour: Landis Back In It!

Thursday, July 20, 2006
After a disastrous day yesterday, Floyd Landis has pulled himself back into the Tour de France once more with an amazing ride in the Alps today. In yesterday's stage, the American cyclist cracked on the mountains, and fell some 8 minutes and 8 seconds behind Spaniard Oscar Periero. Many, including me, felt that Landis' chances of winning were dashed on the mountainside, but today he proved everyone wrong. He sprinted out to a lead on the first of three brutal climbs, knowing that he had a huge deficit to make up, and when he had crossed the finish line in first place, winning the stage, Landis had narroed the gap between him and the Yellow Jersey to just thirty seconds. Tomorrow the Tour leaves the Alps behind with a mostly flat, fast stage. It's unlikely that anyone will make a major move at the top tomorrow, as team tactics and relatively easy riding will make it easy to reel someone back in. But Saturday marks the final Time Trial of this years Tour, and Landis excels in Time Trials. Much better than Periero. That thirty second gap doesn't look like much at this point, and Landis has regained his status as the odds on favorite to wear Yellow when the riders enter the Champs Elyse on Sunday.

Words can't describe how gritty a performance Landis turned in today. He basically saw the huge gap between him and the Periero, knew what he had to do, and went out and did it. A lesser rider would have just packed it in, and finsished the Tour as best as he could, but Landis, who will have one of his hips replaced after the Tour is over, wasn't going to let that happen. Today's ride is already being hailed as one of the greatest in tour history, and certainly ranks up there with the legends of this sport. It's hard to convey to someone who isn't a fan of cycling or doesn't follow the tour, just how huge this performance was today.

This year's Tour started off in controversy as many of the top names were suspended, just days before the start, due to a doping scandal. In fact, the top four finishers from last year were not in the race at all, as Lance Armstrong retired after winning his seventh tour. This made for a wide open field, that has been very competitive, and very compelling to watch. We've seen some epic rides over the past few weeks, and we're not done yet. Sunday should cap a great Tour with a great champion, no matter who is wearing Yellow at the end.

Newsflash: Being Sick Sucks!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Yeah, I'm sure this is a major newsflash for everyone reading, but being sick really sucks. I've been struck down with a stomach virus, and it's really frustrating. It started last Friday and has hung on for far too long. The worst part is that I can physically feel how weak I am right now, and just thinking about going for a run, a hike, or a bike ride makes me shudder. I have zero energy for those tasks, and while all I can do at this point is wait for it to pass, I know there is going to be hell to pay once I get healthy and start working out again.

Tour: Pereiro Attacks, Landis Cracks!

One day after claiming the Yellow Jersey on the slopes of the famed L'Alpe d'Huez, American rider Floyd Landis cracked on the slopes of another big mountain stage, and probably watched his chances of winning the Tour de' France disappear. Meanwhile, Oscar Pereiro, who many had written off coming out of the Pyrenees reclaimed the lead, with one more tough mountain stage to go. At one point in the tour, Pereiro was more than 30 minutes back of the leaders, so if he holds on to win on Sunday, it'll be one of the greatest comebacks in Tour history. Landis, who started the day with a 10 second lead over Pereiro, now stands more than 8 minutes back, in 11th place. Mickael Rasmussen was the overall winner of the stage, and probably cemented his second straight polka dot jersey.

Update From Nanga Parbat

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Just a quick update on the story I brought you yesterday about the climber stranded on Nanga Parbat. According to six Pakastani porters have been flown to Base Camp to begin the search for missing climber Jose Antonio Delgado. The high altitude porters are well suited for the climb to Base Camp IV, so hopefully we'll have a happy ending out of this yet.

Tour: L' Alpe d'Huez Awaits

Monday, July 17, 2006
Today was a rest day on the Tour de' France, which means Oscar Pereiro remains in Yellow, at least for another day. But tomorrow brings the fabled L'Alpe d'Huez with it's twenty-one twisting turns and "Beyond Category" climbs. Lance Armstrong left his mark on the Tour on this famous leg with some dominant performances in the mountains. But Lance has retired, and the Tour is up for grabs this year, so we'll have to see if someone makes a move on this stage. My guess is that we'll see a conservative ride out of the leaders, as there are two more wicked climbing days ahead, which is where the race will ultimately be decided. When we descend from the mountains on Friday, we'll likely know who the winner is. Look for the climbers, going after the Polka Dot Jersey, to push the pace tomorrow.

Climber Stranded on Nanga Parbat

According to this story Venezuelan climber José Antonio Delgado has been stranded on Nanga Parbat for the past six days due to inclement weather. Delgado summited then returned to Camp IV, where he has been stranded alone ever since. He used up the last of his supplies three days ago, and is reported to be in no condition to make a descent in the fowl weather on his own. Rescue efforts are being mounted however, so hopefully this story ends well.

Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world and is located in the Himalayas of Pakistan. It stands more than 26650 feet tall, and is the westernmost mountain of that chain.

The Raid: ERTIPS Wins in Savoy is reporting that the French team of ERTIPS has one the third, and final, qualifying round for the Raid World Championship, with a convincing win over the weekend. They will now go on to Canada in September, along with a host of other qualifying teams, to vie for the World Championship. Second place went to Les Arcs Quechua 2, another French team, with Wilsa Sport Helly Hansen coming in third. Saab Salomon and Salomon Espana round out the top five.

Tour Update: Here Come The Alps!

Saturday, July 15, 2006
It was another flast, and mostly fast, stage on the Tour de France today. We saw a breakway that built up a huge lead, nearly a half hour on the Peloton, and the escapees managed to maintain that breakway until the very end. As a result, Oscar Pereiro or Spain claimed the Yellow Jersey from American Floyd Landis, who fell to second place. Landis is betting that he can make up the 1 minute and 29 second difference between the two when they enter the Alps over the next few days. Tomorrow's stage will take them to the foothills of those mountains, and there are three amazingly tough mountain stages yet to come, and that is where the Tour will be decided this year.

Raid Savoy Update

The third stage of the Raid qualifying races kicked off this morning in the Savory region of France. You can find updates over at the official Raid website. As of this moment, through Stage D, Wilsa Sport Helly Hansen has the lead on the course, followed by ERTIPS, German team Saab Salomon, Les Arcs Quechua 2, and Salomon Espana rounding out the top 5. You'll recall that yesterday I predicted that Les Arcs Quechua would take this stage of the race, and you'll see there is a team with that name in the top 5. However, that is team 2 of the Les Arcs Quechua teams. Where is the one I picked you ask? They're currently in 19th place, about an hour and a half back. If they're going to make me look like I know what I'm talking about, they'd better get moving!

Want To Learn More About Adventure Racing?

Friday, July 14, 2006
I've been posting a lot about adventure racing over the past month or so. There have been a number of great races, not the least of which was Primal Quest which I talked about extensively. I've sort of taken for granted that many of you who have found my little blog knew what adventure racing was all about, which I've come to learn is not always the case. So, if you'd like to learn more, may I recommend this great library of resources over at

You'll find everything you'll need to get a grasp on the sport, from some excellent articles on the basics of adventure racing, including how to get started, and the origins of the sport. There are some great training tips, and excellent list of all the gear you'll need. (Believe me, you'll need a lot of gear!) There is even a nice section for support crews and the basics of navigation. That should give you something to read over the weekend and keep you plenty busy for awhile.

Raid Savoy This Weekend

The third, and final qualifier, for this years Raid: World Championship, will take place this weekend in the Savor region of France. Checkpoint Zero has a weather report and course overview for the weekend activies, and it looks like it should be another fun, challenging race. Were I pressed to pick a team to win, I'd probably place my money on Les Arcs Quechua, the French team that has been racing so well over the past year or so. They'll have the home field advantage for sure, and have been clicking on all cylinders in these Raid events. Of course, you should never count out Nike, who are listed as racing in this event, but I haven't had that confirmed just yet.

Update: Checking the Nike website's schedule, shows that they have removed this race from their list, so it appears they will not be racing this weekend in France. My guess is, since they won the earlier qualifier in Idaho, they elected to pass on this one.

Giant Rock Slab Falls Off The Eiger

According to this article over at Outside Online, a huge piece of rock, weighing "millions of tons", has fallen off the side of Eiger, a 13,000+ foot peak in Switzerland. The slab was pushed loose by retreating glaciers, and has been threatening to fall for several months.

Eiger is one of the most recognizable and challenging climbs in Europe, with a sheer wall leading to the top of the tower. It was also immortalized in the 1975 Clint Eastwood movie The Eiger Sanction.

Tour Update: Landis in Yellow!

Thursday, July 13, 2006
After two grueling days in the Pyrenees, American Floyd Landis has taken the Yellow Jersey and now leads the Tour de France. The last two stages were marked with monsterous Category 1, and even steeper, climbs that have left the sprinters in the dust and have begun to seperate the pretenders from the contenders. Tomorrow's stage returns to the flat lands, which should favor the sprinters once more, but the Alps loom on the horizon where this year's Tour will be settled once and for all. Could the top spot go from Lance to Landis? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Rowing (and Racing) Across The Atlantic

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
110 years ago, two men set out from the Hudson River to become the first to row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean. They made it. And in just 55 days no less. Their record stands even to this day, but perhaps not for much longer. has an update from one of the four teams that are not only racing one another, but history, as they attempt to row across the Atlantic.

The teams left New York on June 10th and at this point, the British "Commando Joe" team is not only half-way home, but half-way to the new record as well!

Reflections on Everest from

The Everest climbing season has come and gone, but it's not one that will be forgotten too soon. It was an eventful year, starting with the unrest in Nepal as the season started, followed by a large numbers of climbers, many of them first timers, making their way out to Base Camp. We had the controversy on the mountain this year, as everyone debated the David Sharpe incident, which was followed up with the dramatic rescue of Lincoln Hall. All told, some 15 people lost their lives going for the summit this year, marking a tragic, and hectic climbing season.

The sent Dave Hahn to Everest this year, and he sent back daily dispatches on what was happening on the mountain. Now that the season is long past, and Dave has leading climbs on Mount Rainier and Denali, it's time to reflect on the season that has passed. He does just that in this article that discusses his own summit attempt and the tumultuous season that was Everest 2006.

Summer Gear from Outside

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I also stumbled across Outsides Summer Gear Review while browsing around their site today. You'll find all kinds of great gear ideas for all your summer needs with everything broken down into four categories, Run, Ride, Climb, and Hike. If you read regularly, you know I'm a gear junkie whose always looking for something new to add to my gear closet. On their list, I'll take Arc'Teryx's Squamish shell, Osprey's Stratos pack, and The North Face's Hedgehog XCR hikers. So much gear. So little money! ;)

Tour Update: Now, it Gets Tough!

While you catch-up on todays stage of the Tour de France courtesy of Outside Magazine, keep in mind that tomorrow, everything changes. Thus far the stages have been relatively flat, favoring the sprinters, with a couple of time trials mixed in. But the race will be won and lost, as always, in the mountains. Tomorrows stage moves into the Pyrenees with several big category 1 climbs, including one that is nearly 20 miles in length. Then on Thursday, the stage gets even tougher yet.

The High Points Expedition

I found this blog over at Mountain Zone today, and it should be of interest to anyone who is into climbing. It's written by Ray Klukoske who has undertaken the monumental task of reaching the highest point in all 50 states without the use of a motorized vehicle. Ray kicks if off in style, starting with the highest of the high points, Denali in Alaska. I highly recommend reading this blog, as it's an awesome start to what should be an awesome expedition. I'll post updates from Ray as they come in, and I'll add this to the growing list of great blogs over at Mountain Zone.

Ultimate Travel Library

A few days ago I posted the list of Top 7 Adventure Novels compiled by Adventure Journey. Well, if that didn't offer enough to whet your reading appetite for the summer, then you need to check out The Ultimate Travel Library brought to us by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. On the list you'll find dozens of great books focused on every region of the planet, including the Polar Regions. There is even a list of Classic Travel books. So, if you're planning a trip somewhere, or just wish you were, I'm sure you'll find something on the list to appeal to you. Looks like my Amazon "Wishlist" just got a lot longer...

Expedition: Macedonia

Monday, July 10, 2006
Yahoo's Adventure Beat is sending resident adventurer Richard Bangs off to explore Macedonia and we get invited along for the ride. On day one they explore Macedonia's ancient history, dating back to Alexander the Great. And to prepare us for the journey, they also put together a list of the eight wonders of Macedonia. Looks like it should be a fun and interesting expedition.

The Raid World Cup Marches On!

This weekend marks another race in The Raid World Cup, this time taking place in the Savoy region of France. This is the third, and final, qualifier for the 2006 Raid World Championship, being held in Quebec in September. For those that don't know, The Raid has been a stalwart in the adventure racing world for a number of years, and has metamorphisized itself into a series of shorter qualifying events culminating with their World Championship expedition length race. You can read more about this weekends event at Check Point Zero.

Climbing to Resume on Mount St. Helens!

The USDA Forest Service has announced on their website that climbing is set to resume on Mount St. Helens on July 21st! Due to volcanic activity in the past several months climbing was strictly off limits, but it seems like it's been deemed safe once again. More info is suppose to be posted on Thursday of this week, but it looks like you'll be able to reserve your climb soon.

The Vocabulary of Kayaking

Last week Stellar Magazine brought us the Vocabulary of the Tour and their back this week with another vocabulary lesson. This time we have The Newbies Kayaking Vocab Lesson with a breakdown of all the important terms that someone learning to kayak should know and understand. I especially like their explanations of the different classifications of rapids and the parts of the kayak itself. Good stuff once again. I'm not sure if these "vocabulary" lessons are going to be a new feature over at their cool website, but I've like what I've seen so far.

Gearbox: The Two-Second Tent?!?!

I saw this item over at Gadling earlier, and I just scratched my head a bit in disbelief. It's a new piece of gear called the two second tent, which basically is a self expanding tent that you simply toss in the air and by the time it hits the ground, you're ready to climb in. Sound great right? Well, in concept, I'd agree, but when looking at the site, I see the tent in it's collapsed state, and being carred around by a guy like a backpack. Which of course begs the question, where does your uh...backpack..go? I mean, when you're carrying this tent, where is the rest of your gear, as it doesn't seem to fold up small enough to actually fit inside of a backpack. Great concept. Needs more work. Still, for only $100, this might not be a bad tent for the right circumstances. It even sleeps two! :)

Julich Out of the Tour

Saturday, July 8, 2006
American cycalist Bobby Julich, who some considered to have an outside chance of winning the Tour de France this year, was knocked out of the race today after a nasty crash during a time trial. Early indications are that he broke his wrist, and will be unable to continue. There were no other riders near him when he crashed, and it seemed to simply be a case of his tires giving out on the slick surface of the road.

Most of the other Americans in the race didn't fare well in the time trial either, with many giving up time, although Floyd Landis did finish second and seems to be setting himself up for a push in the big mountain sections.

Top 7 Adventure Novels

Thursday, July 6, 2006
It's time for another Top 7 list from our friends over at Adventure Journey. This time, it's the top seven adventure novels with some really great books on the list. I particularly like Kim by Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days and Into the West which is a popular asian tale. There are a few on the list I haven't read yet, so I guess I can pick a few up for some light summer reading.

The Vocabulary of the Tour

It's day five of the Tour de France. Another flat, fast stage that gives a lot of riders hopes of winning the whole thing, which are later dashed in the Pyrenees and completely crushed in the Alps. While browsing for some news on the Tour earlier I came across this article that explains all the terminology of the Tour. For instance, it explains how each of the climbs are classified, what all the different jerseys are awarded for (It isn't just about the Yellow Jersey you know!), and a whole lot more. Great stuff from Stellar Magazine.

Outside On The Tour!

Monday, July 3, 2006
Outside Magazine is reporting from the Tour de France for the next month, as the field is clearly blown wide open this year with the top four riders from last year no longer in the race. Currently, Thor Hushovd is wearing the Yellow Jersesy after winning the time trial on Saturday and re-claiming the top spot today from American George Hincapie, who has toiled in the shadow of Lance Armstrong for the past few years, but is not ready to stake his claim to his own Tour victory.

And while you're over at the site, be sure to read their profiel on Floyd Landis, another American who hopes to make the world forget about Lance.

PQ Update from Merrell

Team Merrell/Wigwam Adventures finished third at Primal Quest over the weekend, and not Team Captain Robyn Benincasa has updated their team blog with thoughts on the race, what it feels like for it to finally be over, and the incredible sprint they had at the finish to place just in front of Team Supplier Pipeline. Great read for a little behind the scenes insight into the race that we probably won't get until it airs on ESPN later this fall.

I love reading Robyn's blogs. She's a no-nonsense racer with tons of experience, and she always tells it like it is. She's one of my favorite racers because she's tough as nails, determined, and in incredible shape. If you followed the race, you know that Merrell lead the way for much of it, but coming down the stretch it looked like they might finish off the podium. I'm glad they found a way to dig deep, push on, and make it over the finish line in third place. They deserve it, and I offer a huge congratuations to Robyn and her "Kiwi Boys". Great work gang!

PQ Podium Set

Saturday, July 1, 2006
As I mentioned earlier, Nike Powerblast won this years Primal Quest with GoLite coming in second. Joining them on the podium is Merrell who managed to hold off Supplierpipeline and Saloman/Crested Butte by two minutes. That rounds out the top five, with the only other team to cross the finish line at this point being Bjurfors Adventure Racing in 6th place. There are still plenty of teams out on the course, and they'll straggle in over the next few days. Lets just hope they all finish safe and in good health.

Gearbox: The Symbiot Sportback Pack

Are you in the market for a small, light weight, pack for your adventures? If so, check out the Symbiot Sportback. This very cool looking pack is designed for running, hiking, biking, and just about any other outside activity. The pack is specially designed to hug your body, and stay in place, while you move. It's small, designed to carry just the necessities, and has pockets on the chest for quick and easy access to your important gear. Best of all, it's hydration ready, so you can bring a drink along on those hot days. It looks like they're taking pre-orders on the Sportback, with the intention of shipping this Summer, so if the pack looks good, get your orders in now!

Nike Wins Primal Quest!

It's official. Nike crossed the finish line ahead of GoLite this morning, claiming their fourth straight PQ title. Early this morning, both teams were pulled off the final ropes leg because of a lightning storm in the area, and both were forced to re-climb that section. GoLite pushed Nike to the end, but it wasn't enough to catch them. You can read all about the finish here.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the teams are still out on the course. Merrell is about an hour ahead of Supplierpipeline at the moment, and they'll most likely decide who gets to stand on the podium next to Nike and GoLite. PQ started out with 89 teams. Two have finished, 67 more are still racing, and 20 have withdrawn for one reason or another. Considering the difficulty of the course, and the heat the teams have had to deal with, I'm surprised that only 20 teams have pulled out. More later as we get further news and teams crossing the finish line.

It's A Two Team Race Now!

Friday, June 30, 2006
The lead teams are coming down the stretch, and are expected to cross the finish line sometime tonight. As I type this, Nike hold an hour and a half lead over GoLite/Timberland, who in turn have a couple of hours on Merrell who are fighting off a late surging Supplierpipeline. SOLE is running in fifth place at the moment.

The question now is, can anyone catch Nike? At this point of the race, I'd say no. Nike has a killer instinct when they can smell the finish line, so I don't expect GoLite to catch them. It'll be interesting to see if Merrell stll has one more kick in them to put some pressure on GoLite and stave off the Canadians. It should be an exciting finish as the three spots on the podium get filled out. Just wish I was there to see how it unfolds.