ExWeb’s Adventure Links of the Week

A Sherpa smiling widely
The typical image of a smiling Sherpa. Photo: Happy Feet Mountaineers agency.

Here at ExWeb, when we’re not outdoors, we get our adventure fix by exploring social media and the wider interweb. Sometimes we’re a little too plugged in, and browsing interesting stories turn from minutes into hours. To nourish your own adventure fix, here are some of the best links we’ve discovered this week

The Woman Who Trekked Through Pandemic-Hit Europe: Ursula Martin defines herself as an extreme rambler. Between 2014 and 2015, she walked 6000km in and around her homeland of Wales, while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. More recently, in the last two years, she walked alone from Ukraine to the most westerly point of Spain.

An Agonizingly Thirsty Crawl Through the Desert: Just how long can someone last in the desert without a drink of water? In 1905, a gold prospector named Pablo Valencia reportedly wandered through 43˚C heat in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert for six days before stumbling into a geology camp. He was about as close to dead as you can get while still breathing.

These Polish Dudes Slipped the Iron Curtain and Changed River-Running Forever: One of the most inspiring chapters in whitewater history was written by an unlikely group of young Polish men who slipped under the Iron Curtain in 1979. Without money, proper gear, or much of a clue, they pioneered many of the classic river runs from Mexico to Argentina.

“How many more sunsets will you see?”

Mountain Photography Awards: The International Photography Contest of Mountain Activity, organized by the Club Vasco de Camping Elkartea, a mountaineering club in the Basque country, has announced the winners of this year’s competition. It brought together the work of 372 photographers from 58 countries.

French mountaineer Jeff Mercier climbs out of a moulin inside the Mer de Glace. Photo: Alex Buisse

Why are Sherpas Always Happy? A pretty poor choice of headline that doesn’t do justice to the interesting question posed in this interesting Nepali Times article. Did Western ideas about Sherpas actually shape their interactions with outsiders?

Virtual Mount Everest Tour: Climber, filmmaker, and photographer Jake Norton presents a project 21 years in the making. The result is 47 panoramic images and 811 information popups that cover Everest and the surrounding peaks. Chockful of history of the landscape and its people.

Hobbs Kessler: Teenage American prodigy Hobbs Kessler wants to be the first person to run a sub-four-minute mile and climb 5.15 and V15. And he just might do it, as Kessler already climbs 5.14+ and has run a mile at that pace.

The TikTok Star Living in the Arctic Circle: TikTok: We’ve no idea what it’s all about, to be honest, but apparently Cecilia Blomdahl’s viral videos offer a window into an unfamiliar (for most folks) world full of polar bears, reindeer, and adventures on snowmobiles. They also offer surprisingly resonant insights for those of us who’ve just spent a year in quarantine.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Just Got A Reprieve — But It’s Not Safe Yet: The United States recently announced it would suspend oil and gas leases in a pristine Alaskan ecosystem. But many environmental battles await the 400,000-hectare refuge.

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About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK. He juggles a day job as a public health scientist with a second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in newspapers, magazines, and on various brand websites. Major bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Porsche, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

He holds two degrees in Exercise and Health Sciences, and a PhD in Public Health.

His areas of expertise are polar expeditions, mountaineering, hiking, and adventure travel. In his spare time Ash enjoys going on small independent sledding expeditions, outdoor photography, and reading adventure literature.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com or read Ash's bi-monthly newsletter via https://hardtravel.substack.com

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