Adventure Links of the Week

When we’re not outdoors, we get our adventure fix by exploring social media and the web. Here are some of the best adventure links we’ve discovered this week.

Why the Hell Did 23 Skiers Require Rescue near Killington Resort?: On Jan. 20, 23 skiers and snowboarders needed rescue from the Vermont backcountry. The reason? None of them were backcountry skiers or snowboarders.

Four separate groups decided to duck under the ropes in Killington Resort to find fresh powder. Ignoring safety signs, they made their way down to the bottom of the slope, a two-mile hike from the resort. A six-hour rescue mission ensued.

Worryingly, the rescue team says this is a growing trend. The previous Thursday five people had to be rescued from the ravine and they rescued another 15 on Friday.

500 Days in a Cave: When Beatriz Flamini moved to Sierra de Gredos she decided to get first aid certified. She now specializes in rescuing people from deep crevices.

Outside of work she spends most of her time by herself, happily living in her camper van. When COVID arrived, she drove into the Catalonia mountains and stayed there alone. After lockdowns lifted, rather than heading back down the mountain, Flamini chose to be somewhere even more remote. She settled in a cave in the north of Motril and stayed there in complete isolation for 500 days.

Flamini emerging from the cave in April 2023.

Flamini emerged from the cave in April 2023. Photo: Jorge Guerrero


Rescuing people takes a toll

Rescuing the Rescuer: At 33, Cathleen Calkins became a ski patroller. It had been her dream since she was a teenager. Six years later, after hundreds of rescues, she witnessed her first respiratory arrest. Over the years she experienced both trivial and traumatic moments. She saw lives snatched away on the slopes.

What she didn’t notice at first was the effect her job was having on her mental health. Seven years in, Calkins realized she was terrified to do her job.

Backcountry Skiing is Booming in the Northeast. But Can It Survive?: Alpine ski touring (climbing up mountains and then skiing back down) is more popular than ever. The sport grew by 16% in the 2022-23 season alone. But snow in the northeast U.S. is less and less reliable.

‘Weather whiplash’ events mean that snow is thawing and re-freezing more often. Winters are getting shorter and snowfall is reducing.

Hamish Frost leading the first pitch of Flyby, Cùl Mòr.

Hamish Frost leading the first pitch on Flyby, Cul Mor. Photo: Greg Boswell


Boswell, Mercier, and Frost Make First Ascent on Flyby: Greg Boswell, Jeff Mercier, and Hamish Frost have completed the first ascent of Flyby on Cul Mor in northwest Scotland.

Mercier and Boswell have been in Scotland for two weeks, wracking up several ascents. Frost joined them for their latest challenge. Boswell says that Cul Mor is one of the craziest places he has climbed in winter.

New Zealand’s Camping Laws Have Changed: There are over 500 freedom camping spots in New Zealand. You can park your camper van for free for the night as you explore the country. Or at least you can for the next few months.

In December 2023, freedom camping laws changed. Soon, to get a permit, your camper van must have a fixed toilet. The new plans will be phased in over the next 16 months.


Raising awareness or taking stupid risks?

Watch as a Snowboarder Nearly Gets Taken Out by an Avalanche: Snowboarder Bruce Johnston posted a video of himself narrowly avoiding an avalanche in the British Columbia backcountry.

After looking at the avalanche forecast, Johnston thought the slope might slide, but did it anyway. He had an escape route planned and lived to tell the tale.

The video is polarising. Some people think he was reckless and promoted unnecessary risk-taking. Others think he is helping to show the importance of safety in the backcountry.

James Pearson Climbs Immortal E11: James Pearson has climbed Immortal (E11, 7b) at Maiden’s Bluff, North Yorkshire. He repeated the route taken by Franco Cookson in 2021, the first ascent on the wall.

Pearson initially scoped out the route last year whilst climbing Parthian Shot, then returned with friends last week. He talks about the climb, the logistics, and its grading.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.