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

MountEverest.net 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 Gadling.com 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 OutsideInfo.com 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 Yahoo.com 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

GreatOutdoors.com 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
Gorp.com 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 Gadling.com 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!

CheckPointZero.com 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, Blogger.com 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, Gorp.com 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 ESPN.com, 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 Trailspace.com.

AR World Championship Course Revealed

With the Adventure Racing World Championship just a day away now, CheckPointZero.com 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 MountEverest.net 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 WheresYours.com, 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. StellarMag.com 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
ABCNews.com 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 StellarMag.com 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
ThePoles.com 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!

AdventureJourney.net, 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

StellarMag.com 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
ThePoles.com 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 Gadling.com 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.