Thru-Hiking Guide

Friday, April 28, 2006, which is a cool site for lots of outdoor news and info, if you can get past the pop-up's and other advertising, has posted the Thru-Hiker's Guide to America.. This excellent article lists some of the longest, most challenging, trails for hikers looking for something epic, but not having the time to do the Appalachian, Continental Divide, or Pacific Crest trails. Most of these I've heard of, but there are a couple of new ones for me. Lots of nice info on each trail as well. Give it a look if you're up for something different this Summer.

Interview with Danelle Ballengee

Quintessential adventure racing site has posted an excellent interview with Danelle Ballengee widly considered the best female adventure racer in the world, and certainly amongst the elite. Danelle talks about a lot of interesting things, such as training, how she got started in adventure racing, her new team, and why she left her old team. She use to race with the highly sucessful Team Nike, but said she felt like she was "mandatory equipment". Lots of interesting insights into one of the best adventure racers in the world.

Snowboarding Legend Dies in an Avalanche!

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Snowboard Legend Tommy Brunner has been killed in an avalanche, according to this article over at Stellar Magazine's website. Brunner was known for his backcountry snowboarding, and was filming a movie when the disaster struck. This comes hot on the heels of the death of Skiier Doug Combs a few weeks back. It's been a rough few weeks in the skiing/snowboarding circles.

Best Places To Camp In The U.S.

The warm Spring days are upon, and Summer is sure to follow, which means it's time to start thinking about the camping season again. I'm not talking about the park your RV, watch some satellite TV, and sleep in a queen size bed camping. I'm talking about pitching a tent, sleeping in a sleeping bag, and roughing it! Well, if that sounds like your kind of thing, you may want to take a look at this article over at Sunset Travel, which offers up the best campesites in the United States. All of them sound great to me, but I'm hoping to hit up Big Bend National Park later in the Summer or early Fall.

Wanderlust's 2005 Award Winners

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Wanderlust Magazine a wonderful UK based travel mag, has given out it's 2005 Award Winners in travel. This is a little old, but still worth a look. Several of their winners I agree with whole heartedly, such as Himalaya as the travel program of the year, by a mile, and Singapre Airlines is the standard by which all others are measured. I did finding it interesting that Namibia was their Country however. Cool stuff!

Primal Quest to be Broadcast Via the Web! is reporting that Primal Quest, the premiere Adventure Race in North America, will have daily updates and reports broadcast live over the Internet by The race, which begins on June 25th and is expected to last 10-days, will consist of 90 teams of four racing over an extreme course on foot, mountain bike, and kayak.

As a huge fan of adventure racing, I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Traditionally it can be difficult to find coverage of these events, although Primal Quest has done an excellent job with their coverage on their website in the past. Hopefully this opens up coverage to other big races in the future.

All's Quiet on the Adventure Front!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that things have slowed down some over the past few weeks. It's not because I'm not looking for posts, even though my "real" workload has increased lately. It's just been a little quiet on things to report recently, at least from my usual sources. Never fear however, as I'm still beating the bushes, and looking out for great stories, and I fully anticipate more news now that the Himalayan climbing season is picking up steam and the Advenutre Racing season in the Northern Hemisphere is getting ready to kick off. I'll have plenty to say soon, but until then, I may post a few things of my own design, and make comments on some other issues. Bear with me!

Despite Unrest, Everest Climbs Proceed

Despite the continued unrest in Nepal, most of the climbing teams have moved out of Kathmandu and are proceeding with their schedule to summit Everest, and the other big Himalayan peaks. Another Daily Update from notes that the huge demonstration planned for today in Nepal was called off when the King restored parliament last night, and a new Prime Minister was named, despite continued objections from Maoist separatists.

Enough with the politics however, ad the same Daily Update notes that most teams are in Base Camp on both sides of Everest, and are beginning their high altitude acclimatization. For anyone who doesn't know, climbing Everest, or any high altitude peak, requires an extensive period of acclimatization. Typically a team will arrive in Base Camp and after a few days of rest, proceed up to Camp 1 carrying supplies. They may spend a day or two there before returning to BC, where they will regain their strength, and then repeat the process, this time climbing up to Camp 2 with supplies, and then returning down the mountain to BC again for rest. It's a long slow process, but eventually they'll make it to Camp 4, which is where most teams make their summit bid. Because of the time involved for this acclimatization, a successful summit bid often requires as much as two months on the mountain.

Norwegians Reach North Pole Unsupported! has the latest news on the three Norwegians who successfully reached the North Pole with out support. The two man, one woman team spent more than 48 days out on the ice, and faced some grueling weather conditions en route. The same report also has news of a team of Fins who are also closing in on the same destination.

Unrest in Nepal Continues!

Monday, April 24, 2006
Last week I also reported that the King of Nepal had agreed to return to a democracy, and hand over power to the seven party ruling government. This followed days of unrest that resulted in several deaths, and a disruption of travel and services during the start of the climbing season. It was hoped that the proclamation of the King would bring an end to the unrest there, but instead it has fired up the opposition even more. The King's opponents feel that he is trying to undermine the power of their government, and it's just a ploy to put down the unrest. Now comes this report from that the opposition plans to hold a major demonstration of over 2 million people tomorrow and march through the streets of Kathmandu. The Military continues to enforce a daytime curfew and has now been given order to "shoot to kill" and the US embassy plans to close, and send the families of the embassy workers home. Just when you thought it was over...

Goliath Expedition Update: Still in Russia!

Last week I posted about the Goliath Expedition and how their plans came to a screeching halt when the Russians arrested them and ruled that they should be deported for entering the country illegally. Last week they were waiting an appeal so that Karl Busby and his companion Dimitri, can continue their plans to walk around the world. The pair are hoping to have their case heard soon so that they can being the task of walking across Russia, with the ultimate goal of eventually ending back in the U.K.

Life of a Sherpa

Friday, April 21, 2006
Ever wonder what it's like to be a Porter on Everest? Well, this article on Stellar tries to give a little insight. Most of the Sherpas on Everest, and the other Himalayan mountains, are there because it's a way for them to make more money in a few weeks than they can make in a year, but as the article states, it can be very dangerous, especially for younger porters, or those that are not looked after and provided for by the people that hire them. It's a short, but interesting read, but worth a look. Anyone who knows anything about high alpine mountaineering in the Himalayas, and many other places, will tell you that most expeditions wouldn't get ouf of base camp if it weren't for their porters.

Dispatches From the High Seas. as I've remarked in the past, is a great site for news and info on all the big nautical adventures that are going on around the globe. They get a number of dispatches weekly from all kinds of expeditions, including solo circumnavigators, Amazonian explorers, and even trans-oceanic rowers!

Today, this post caught my eye. It's from a father and son team that have set off on a 16 month, 60,000 mile journey to sail all over the planet. They have arrived in Indonesia, and this dispatch gives a little insight into what goes on, even to this day, on the high seas, including run-ins with pirates, ghost ships in the night, as well as friendly locals. Reading this will make you want to buy a big, expensive boat, and head out on your own adventure of a lifetime.

Nepal: The Return of Democracy and Other News! is reporting that the King of Nepal has addressed his nation, and has returned the country to a democracy. King Gyanendra has asked the seven party government to name a Prime Minister as soon as possible to complete the formal turn over of power. Hopefully this means a return to stability and safety in the mountain kingdom, making it an easier place to travel for all the climbers in the region.

In other new, the same site is reporting that three sherpas have died, and at least four others were injured, while traveling through the famed Khumbu icefall. This comes after reports that the dry weather had made the icefall as safe as it has been in years, but a massive serac collapse has changed all that. It's still early in the season, and Everest has already claimed a number of lives. Technically, the icefall is just outside of Base Camp and not even really part of the mountain proper. Stories like this one, underscore the fact that the mountain is still a very dangerous place.

Update: The Great Outdoors has also posted info on the deaths in the Khumbu icefall, including insights from Dave Hahn, who is onsite at Everest Base Camp.

Wanderlust Goes on Safari

Thursday, April 20, 2006
I've just discovered Wanderlust, a magazine out of the UK that is devoted to travel. While exploring their website, I came across this article about an incredible Kenyan Safari. The author traveled to Africa to explore the Masai Mara Game Reserve, which is one of the most amazing places on Earth to get up close and personal with some incredible wildlife, including the Big Five, which include Lions, Elephants, Leopards, Cape buffalo, and the Rhino. My next big trip abroad will include a Safari, and I'm currently scheduling this for sometime late 2007 or early 2008. Fingers crossed!

Demonstrations, Bloodshed in Nepal

More updates on what's going on in Nepal, again from Things turned ugly today, as more than 150,000 people took to the streets of Kathmandu in protest against the King, and demand a return to democracy. The military, in an attempt to quell the protests, responded violently, and at least three people were killed. You can read a full report here.

What a scary time to be in Nepal, and with all the climbers pretty much already there in preparation for their Everest climbs, as well as many other Himalayan peaks, these demonstrations, strikes, and now deaths, couldn't come at a worse time. I hope all the climbers are staying safe and getting out to base camp as soon as they can.

Gear of the Year from Outside

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Outside Magazine has announced their Gear of the Year Award Winners. You can read the complete list here. Each year, Outside puts the latest and greatest gear through rigorous testing to determine which items win the coveted awards. This year's list has some great products, like the Nikon D50 Digital SLR camera, which I picked up a month or so back, and absolutely love so far. There is certainly something on the list for everyone, just be sure to bring your pocket book, as many of the winners will set you back a few bills. Thanks to Outdoor News Wire for the report.

The Banger Rally - Adventure Behind the Wheel!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Outside Online the web home for Outside Magazine has a really fun article up from their April issue. The article entitled Gentlemen, Destroy Your Engines is a wonderful look at the Banger Rally, a 4500 mile long car race from Reading, England to Dakar, Senegal. Along the way they cross the English Channel, scream across Europe to southern Spain, crossing the Straits of Gibraltar, and into Morocco and over the Atlas Mountains to the sands of the Sahara.

I don't know about you, but this sounds like an awesome, and demanding, roadtrip to take with great friends. Last year 33 teams entered, driving some really crappy vehicles. Talk about an adventure!

Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Monday, April 17, 2006 continues their 10th Anniversary celebration by posting another Mountain Zone Classic, this time on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. The AT is one of the big, classic hikes in North America, starting in Northern Georgia, and winding it's way more than 2100 miles north to end in Katahdin, Maine, it is truly an epic hike to say the least.

Hiking the AT has been a dream of mine for some time, but as in many things in life, it's difficult to find the time to devote to a 2100+ mile hike. The day job keeps me pretty busy and the two weeks vacation I get each year, just won't cut it! :) If you'd like to learn more about the Appalachian Trail, click here for the Official Site.

Everest Updates has posted an update today with lots of interesting things going on, not the least of which is continued unrest. Maoist Rebels have stepped up their resistance in Kathmandu, where general strikes have caused supply problems, and sky rocketing inflation rates. It seems the King has his hands full at the moment, with the word "Revolution" being bandied about more regularly, and gunfire being exchanged.

In climbing news however, things are progressing along, as it's safer to be in Base Camp, than it is to be in the cities. The updates makes note that it is dry on the South Side of Everest, bringing on severe cases of the Khumbu cough, but making the icefall as safe as it has been in some times. On the North Face, strong winds have made it difficult for climbers, who are now approaching base camp on that side of the mountain.

Goliath Expedition Update: Expelled From Russia!

Do you remember the Goliath Expedition I blogged about some time back? You know, the story about Karl Busby, the Brit who intended to walk around the World? When I last mentioned him, he was preparing to cross the Bering Strait while it was still frozen. Well, Karl made it, but only to be greeted by the not-so-amused Russians, who promptly arrested him for entering the country illegally, and are now threatening to deport him. The good news is, he can apply for re-entry into Russia, in FIVE YEARS! No one ever accused the Russians of having a sense of humor.

Karl is in the seventh year of a planned expedition that would end back in his home of Great Britain after more than 12 years of traveling. I only hope that he can get the legal matter straightened out (he has an appeal in a few days time), and get on with his expedition. Talk about an epic trip. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

Thanks Gadling!

Classic Adventures from Men's Journal

The latest edition of Men's Journal is out, and it's their annual Adventure Edition. While I haven't had a chance to look through the whole magazine yet, one thing I did notice on their site was their list of Classic Adventures. The list includes Big Game Spotting in Africa, Diving the Great Barrier Reef, and Hiking the Appalachian Trail. This list will certainly give you something to add to your Life List of Things To Do Before You Die!

Top US Adventure Spots

Thursday, April 13, 2006
Outside Magazine has posted a great new article, just in time for Spring, and the impending Summer. They list the Top Adventure Locations in the U.S. Amongst the wonderful locations are Tuscon, AZ., Bozeman, MT., and the always popular Moab, UT.

Russian Goes for Age Record on Everest

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
A former Russian space engineer, who helped put Yuri Gagarin into orbit, will attempt to become the oldest man to summit Everest without the aid of Sherpa guides. Boris Korshunov left Moscow today to begin his bid for the record. The 71 year old is part of an all Russian team. You can read more about this story here.

Mountain Biking in Ecuador

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
A few months back brought us a story about peak bagging in Ecuador, a little known gem for adventure travelers. Now, they bring us this story about mountain biking in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador as well. The goal of the trip was to navigate through the Valley of the Volcanoes, and judging from the article, I'd say they found plenty to see and do along the way. Sounds like a great trip!

This article comes just as I'm getting back into riding my mountain bike. Spring is here, and along with it comes longer days, which means more time to get on the bike and hit the trail. On top of that, I'm having a hard time running at the moment as I recover from shin splints, so a story like this one really gets me thinking about taking my bike some place challenging and fun for some great rides.

Costa Rica: "Between Two Continents, Between Two Oceans" Race

Monday, April 10, 2006
Euforia Expeditions is kicking off it's "Between Two Continents, Between Two Oceans" adventure race today, with teams arriving in Heredia, Costa Rica. The race officially gets underway on Wednesday, and will cover more than 250 Km over a four days period. During that time, racers (both solo and teams) will kayak, mountain bike, swim, trek, and climb their way across the Central American country. For more info on the "B2C, B2O" race, click here.

Another North Pole Expedition

Friday, April 7, 2006
Hot on the heels of the Winter expedition of Mike Horn and Borge Ousland comes this story about two more polar explorers that will set off soon. Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen will set off in May to cross the Arctic Ocean, by way of the North Pole. Traveling during the Summer will mean that the pair will have to deal with changing weather conditions, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, but more importantly, they will have to face shifting ice flows and thin ice. They plan to go through unsupported, and attempt to raise awareness of global warming in the process. I'll keep an eye on this one once it gets underway.

Unrest Hit's Kathmandu

I missed this story yesterday as work and other committments kept me from getting to the blog, It's another Daily Update from, which mentions the continued unrest in Nepal between the Maoist Rebels and the ruling Government. This battle has been going on for a decade, but this year it has spilled over to the streets of Kathmandu, with a general strike bringing business to a stand still, and reports of gunfire being exchanged between the Rebels and Army. It's a scary time there for many of the climbers, who are still in the city waiting for a chance to head out to Base Camp. Lets hope everyone stays safe, and that the opportunity to get on the mountain presents itself soon.

Reifenstuhl Wins Iditabike, a site which specializes in new on the mountian biking scene, is reporting that Rocky Reifenstuhl has one the 2006 Iditabike. He completed the 350 mile race, held between Knick and McGrath Alaska, in 4 days and 7 hours. Oh, and in temperatures reaching -40 degrees F.

I wrote about the Iditarod several weeks back when the classic dog sled race was going on, but fewer people know about the Iditabike, whic has been setting the standard for grueling mountain bike races for a number of years now.

Everest Claims First Casualty of the Season

The 2006 Himalayan climbing season is barely underway, and we already have our first casualty, well before any teams have made a bid for the summit. is reporting that a Sherpa guide, working with an American team, took kill in Advanced Base Camp, and died. You can read all about it in todays Daily Wrap Up.

A story like this one so early in the climbing season helps to underscore the dangers of high altitude climbing. Not only is the air thin, causing all kinds of health issues, but you are a long way from civilization, making any evacuations difficult, time consuming, and expensive.

Hiking New Zealand's Mount Taranaki

Wednesday, April 5, 2006
New Zealand is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. Not only are there amazing mountains to climb, but there is plenty of rugged wilderness to explore, and whitewater to run. Mountain Zone gives us a glimpse of one such wilderness area in their article on hiking around Mount Taranaki , a remote volcano known for heavy rainfall, and greatly varied terrain. I wonder if they ran into any hobbits on their trek.

Epic Canoe Trip: Minnesota to the Arctic Ocean!

Canoe & Kayak Magazine brings us this amazing story about two brothers who decided to canoe from Minnesota to the arctic Ocean, crossing Canada in the process. The two put in at the Lake of the Woods and proceeded to canoe for 121 days before reaching their final destination. It's a short, but interesting read. Personally, I'd love to do an epic trip like this one, but give me a kayak instead. :)

Happy Camping!

Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Spring is here, the weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, so of course our hearts and minds begin to turn towards our favorite passtimes like camping and backpacking. Hooked has posted a great little article for prepping for the coming season. They offer up tips on finding a good place to set up camp, getting a good night sleep, and links to choosing a new tent or sleeping bag. It's a nice little refreasher for those of us who are old hands, and a nice introduction for anyone thinking about jumping into the sports.

Speed Hiking the Triple Crown!

Adventure is on a roll lately, now offering up this article that profiles speed hiker Matthew Hazley, who recently hiked the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and Appalachian Trails, one right after the other, in one hiking season. That's 7525 miles for anyone scoring at home. In 239 days no less. Impressive. Most impressive.

The profile is a great read, with Matt offering up some great advice for anyone attempting a similar hike. I'd love to one day hike each of those three trails, but I'm not sure I'm up for doing them all consecutively.

Check Point Zero Announces Adventure Race

One of my favorite websites, has just announced that they are sponsoring their first adventure race. The 30 hour race, fittingly named The Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race, will be held March 23rd through March 25th of 2007, in and around Helen, Georgia.

Checkpoint Zero is one of my daily stops when surfing the web for information on any adventure racing news or results. It's been a lot of fun to watch the site evolve over the past few years, and it's great that Yak decided it was time to jump into race promotion. I wish him luck with this endeavor. Now if I can get a team together, I'll come take part in the event! :)

Great Hikes Near LA!

Monday, April 3, 2006
Apparently, there are some impressive spots to hike within a two hour drive of Los Angeles. In fact, Stellar Magazine has put a list together. It looks like some really cool hikes were selected for this spotlight of the area, so if you live in/around/near LA, I'm sure you'll be able to find something to your liking.

Daily Updates From Everest is kicking off the climbing seasons in fine fashion this week, by posting daily updates from Dave Hahn in his bid to reach the summit of Everest. Over the next two months, this little podcast should offer some interesting insights on what it's like, on a day to day basis, to attempt a climb of this magnatude, and for anyone new to the high alpine climbing scene, it should provide a nice primer to what the sport is all about. Hahn is an experienced mountain guide, and will be phoning in his reports from the mountain via satellite phone. I'll keep you posted when the reports start rolling in.

Alive!! 35 years later!

We all know the story of Alive!, the true life adventure of a Uruguayan rugby team that was stranded in the Andes for 72 days following a plane crash. Well now, nearly 35 years later, more insight into the incident is coming to light. First, you have this story over at National Geographic Adventure, which features interviews with suvivors, interactive 3D maps, photos, and more. Now, we have a second article from Outside Magazine that offers a preview of their upcoming April Issue cover story, in which they talk to Nando Parrado, a survivor of the crash, and author of the book Miracle in the Andes.

This is one of the most impressive and mind boggling survival stories of all time. It's amazing that any of these men survived, and even more so when you think of everything they had to go through. Oh! And the movie ain't bad either.

Cesare Maestri Responds to Critics

Italian Cesare Maestri, who has been a the center of a climbing controversy for more than 45 years, has responded to the latest round of criticism leveled against him in an interview conducted by National Geographic Adventure. Maestri, who is considered one of the all time great climbers, claims to have summitted Cerro Torre, a daunting peak in Argentine Patagonia, in 1959. During the descent, he says that his climbing partner, Toni Egger, was swept off the mountain by an avalanche, and with him went their only camera, and the only proof that they had reached the summit. Since that time, their has been rampant speculation as to the validity of his claims. The mountain was besieged by awful weather, and is a dangerous, extremely difficult, technical climb.

Well, a few months ago a team of young Italians actually did make it to the summit, and they reported that they saw no bolts on the way to the top, nor did they find a can, that Maestri reported to have left there. This has sparked another round of infighting in the climbing community, as Maestri and his critics continue to exchange barbs. The interview posted above is clearly hostile on Maestri's part, and does little to convince anyone either way, but the "expert opinion" following it is pretty telling.

Jeremy Piven's Journey of a Lifetime

Tonight on the Travel Channel, a cool new special will debut called Journey of a Lifetime with Jeremy Piven. The show follows actor Piven as he explores India in a spiritual and cultural awakening. At the beginning of the show, Piven states that he has always wanted to travel to India, so much so that he decorated his home with Indian artifacts, and is a devout practitioner of yoga. The first episode is on tonight at 9PM EDT/8 PM CDT, and covers his journey through Southern India, including Bombay. Next weeks episode will see Piven travel to Northern India.

The show actually aired over the weekend on Discovery HD Theater, so anyone who has HD may have already seen it. I watched it and found it to be fascinating and fun. Piven is very likeable, and seems to have a genuine sense of awe and wonder at the people and places he is encountering. And while Piven is no Michael Palin, I do look forward to seeing the next episode, which looks awesome in HD by the way.