ExWeb’s Adventure Links of the Week

When we’re not outdoors, we get our adventure fix by exploring social media and the web. Sometimes we’re a little too plugged in and browsing adventure reads can turn from minutes to hours. To nourish your own adventure fix, here are some of the best adventure links we’ve discovered this week.

Silvia Vidal: Queen of Solo: Catalan climber and mountaineer Silvia Vidal recently earned a special mention in the 2021 Piolets d’Or for her “enormous contribution to the solo climbing of big walls over the past two decades”. Vidal has tackled big walls in Alaska, Pakistan, Spain, Mali, India, and Patagonia.

Testing times in the Chongli Mountains: The coronavirus, human rights abuse allegations, and tennis star Peng Shuai accusing a senior government official of sexual assault have marred China’s Winter Olympic preparations. Despite this, Beijing is pushing ahead with test events, hoping that sport will eventually come to the forefront and deliver a memorable Games. It will be a challenge.

Soviet Speed: This year’s Olympic climbers weren’t the original USA climbing team. That honor actually goes to a group of adventurous dirtbags, including Beth Wald, Russ Clune, and Todd Skinner. They managed to travel to the USSR at the tail end of the Cold War to compete in a one-of-a-kind climbing competition.

Sea lion: not always cuddly. Photo: Shutterstock


The Terrifying Humiliation of a Sea Lion “Attack” While Surfing: A surfer recalls a close encounter with a sea lion, which they initially mistook for a shark. “For maybe a millisecond, there’s overwhelming fear, but also the quick forming of a plan: punching the nose seems to work, or gouging that f–ker in its black, uncaring eyeball maybe.

Gas guzzling pioneers

Airbus A340 Plane Lands on Antarctica For First Time: Only a few weeks after a global environmental summit, Hi Fly, a boutique aviation company, has mangled to plonk a behemoth plane down on the frozen continent. Of course, it was all smiles and back-slapping with little thought for future environmental implications.

Bringing Back the Birch Belt – Scotland’s Lost Mountain Woodland: Natural open woodland at high elevations has been regenerating for decades in Norway, while in similar conditions in Scotland it’s almost entirely extinct. But with help, Scotland’s montane birch woods could return to life. And with them would come climate benefits, and a natural and scenic diversity currently in short supply on Scotland’s deer-ravaged moors.

Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island. Photo: Shutterstock


The Great Salt Lake Is Desolate. It’s Also Divine: The grandeur of the Great Salt Lake stopped Brigham Young in his tracks and inspired John Muir to jump in for a swim. Yet now it’s in danger of disappearing, sucked dry by agriculture, climate change, and suburban lawns. Many Utahns would just as soon pave it, but as Bill Gifford learned during a yearlong exploration, there’s beauty and natural splendor here that deserves to live on.

Norway’s Soaring Mountain Staircases: Many people don’t know that Norway is the world capital of outdoor stairways: superbly engineered wooden and concrete steps that lead to the country’s most beautiful viewpoints. More than 300 stone staircases have been built in the last 20 years.

Stone staircase to the Reine viewpoint, Norway. Photo: Shutterstock