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ExplorersWeb Week in Review The Pioneers Checkpoint

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A brand New Year is around the corner and this marks ExWeb’s very last 2009 week-in-review. Instead, the Year in Review has been cut up in sections to be posted each day until the Awards.

Check in Monday for the first entry but before that, here goes a fast check of recent stories, a number concerning adventure media:

National Geographic Adventure magazine folding; Outside Mag on shaky ground? First it was Alpinist and now National Geographic Adventure magazine is folding its print edition. The jury is still out on Outside Magazine, rumored earlier this year to having laid off employees and being very late with payments to freelance writers contributing the majority of the mag’s articles.

The Wildest Dream: Mallory & Irvine coming to theaters in 2010 Filming a documentary on Mallory & Irvine’s last ascent a few years back, a big team led by Conrad Anker created controversy after falsely claiming a first free climb of the Second Step. “So what have we come to conquer, only ourselves,” Mallory said poignantly upon his arrival on Everest. Now the documentary about his climb is ready for screening. “The film explores Mallory’s obsession with becoming the first person to reach the highest place on Earth,” a movie press release stated.

UK media does it again: decade’s top international (mostly British) explorers listed According to the UK Telegraph, people who pushed “themselves to their limits and beyond during the past 10 years” were mostly British or at least Anglo-Saxon. “Can’t have Ruskies or Kimchis in the Empire,” wrote ExWeb’s Tina Sjogren in a popular editorial.

Young at Heart: ExWeb interview with Carlos Soria Since he topped out K2 at age 65, Carlos has been smashing Himalaya age records one after the other. This year, barely stopping to celebrate his 70th birthday, the Spaniard achieved a new route on Dome Kang and one of the few (real) GI summits of the season. Preparing for two more 8000ers next year; the veteran climber took a break in his daily training for a chat with ExWeb’s Angela Benavides.

Winter Himalaya action ahead: Falt and Pivtsov for Kwangde Lho Comparing routes, style and proper cool-value in Himalaya becomes much easier in winter. Usually, there’s no one there. But just as we started to prepare for another deserted season, Vassily Pivtsov (33) and David Falt (38) unwrapped their plans for Nepal’s’ Kwangde Lho (6187m): a cool new route up the peak’s north face in alpine style and within strict calendar winter.

Aconcagua kicking off Last season was one of the busiest in the past few years, and also one of the most tragedy-struck. This week Alpinismonline.com reported that Aconcagua has claimed its first victim already while nine rescues have been performed.

StatCrunch, take 3, final: ladies of thin air – XXIst Century women While Junko Tabei became the first woman to summit Everest in 1975, Tibetan Ms. Phantog followed only ten days later, via the north side. The biggest name in female Himalaya history was Polish Wanda Rutkiewicz who summited eight 8000ers until Kangchenjunga took her life in 1992. In the final part of female Himalaya stats ExWeb’s Rodrigo Granzotto Peron ran the Individual female current ranking, and the National female ranking.

Free Spirits and Four Girls: First all-Chinese new route on Siguniang massif Word arrived from the Outdoor Exploration magazine that Chinese climbers Yan Dongdong and Zhou Peng completed the first all-Chinese ascent of Siguniang’s central south face. The new 1000 meters-long route includes difficulties up to M4/AI3+/VI and follows a direct line to the 6,250m main summit in Sichuan’s Siguniang mountain massif.

GoPro! Ultralight helmet mounted video camera now at HumanEdgeTech At $189 the new simple and light GoPro video camera is a steal. Standard or HD, both camera kits include water-proof housing and a bunch of mounts clipping to your helmet, your chest, the tip of your surfboard or just about anywhere your imagination offers. Check out HET’s review.

Antarctic meteorite hunters ready for their field season The upcoming Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) field season will be the meteorite hunters’ fifth visit to the Miller Range Ice Fields. Four previous ANSMET visits to this region have led to the recovery of over 1000 meteorites so far in this region alone. AMSMET’s goal this year is continued systematic meteorite searching in the Miller Range.

Antarctic wrap-up: Meagan McGrath rescued by ALE from a crevasse Solo skier and Seven Summit summiteer Canadian Meagan McGrath fell into a crevasse during her second day on Antarctica. Four ALE staff from Patriot Hills retrieved her and Meagan has now resumed her South Pole attempt. Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen’s team are well underway. The ladies’ team picked up a resupply at Thiels.

Antony Jinman selling North Pole shares When Antony had to cancel his South Pole ski plans a few months back he turned right around for a North Pole ski in 2010. With a letter of support by the United Nations for his non profit organization, Plymouth University as main sponsor and a documentary out on BBC 1, Antony is full steam ahead. ”I am now busy gaining support and selling North Pole expedition shares (at £150 each) to raise outstanding funds, he told ExWeb’s Correne Coetzer.

The People’s boat campaign invitation: Be part of the 2011-2012 Global Ocean Race To date they are one of nine Class40 entries. British yachtsman, Alex Alley, signed-up with co-skipper David Thomson and they are looking for everyday people to get involved their campaign: ‘The People’s Boat’. “The way we are going about this is in itself unique for a race yacht, in that we are looking for literally thousands of sponsors to join us. Everyday people, not just the big companies – everyone can get involved – hence the People’s Boat,” Alex told ExWeb.

Steppe by Steppe update “My conversion session [in the mosque] began, being lectured on all facets of life, from the toilet, to sex, to praying, to everything, no issue was taboo,” dispatched Roger Chao about his and Megan Kerr’s encounters with a conservative Muslim community in Kyrgyzstan. Read the detailed account of Megan talking to the women behind their veils and Roger’s insight into the secret world of the Muslim men. The final push on their four-wheel bicycle to get out of Kyrgyzstan was quite a struggle reported the two Australians.

Nurtured by an Antarctic leopard seal It’s an amazing story. NG photographer Paul Nicklen had his “most incredible experience” on Antarctica when a leopard seal fed him during four days.

World records broken at Freediving World Championships William Trubridge (NZL) and Natalia Molchanova (RUS) set new marks in the men’s and women’s Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) categories at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Both Trubridge and Molchanova beat their own world records by two meters and reached 90 meters and 62 meters respectively. According to a press release, William’s dive took 3min 40sec and Natalia returned in 3min 15sec.

GPS vs. sextant, a sailor’s tale of times new and bygone Sending word about Webb Chile’s voyage in the 70′(stock production boat, no engine and no electronics) and Peter Freeman’s voyage in the 80’s, “I’m intrigued by these young kids taking on such voyages,” sailor Jud Berry told ExWeb. “One can’t help but wonder how they’d fare under such conditions of hardship at sea, and solitude (except for satellite phone, presumably) for months and months and months, such as described in these two accounts.”

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