ExWeb’s Adventure Links of The Week

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.

Marie Ri: In 1996, the late, great Jean-Christophe Lafaille planned a solo clandestine ascent of the southwest face of Shishapangma in winter. That bold plan didn’t work out, but on the way back, an unclimbed 6,140m peak caught Lafaille’s eye. He promptly soloed the mountain, which he called Marie Ri after his young daughter. The journalist Jean-Michel Asselin photographed the climb, but it was never reported in the climbing press until now.

Neal Moore’s Two-Year Canoe Journey Across America and Into the Light: Fourteen months ago in Oregon, Neal Moore shoved off in his 16-foot Old Town canoe, bound for the Statue of Liberty, some two years and 12,000km ahead. The 49-year-old expat had come home after nearly 30 years abroad to rediscover America and share the stories of its people in a style of journalism all his own, “slow and low down from the view of a canoe”.

The tabloid adventurer

The man who walked China’s 4,000-mile Yangtze River: Meet entertaining blowhard Ash Dykes, whose long-haul hiking adventures always seem to involve escaping from near death from dehydration, bears, packs of wolves, marching ants, and even old ladies aggressively toting a handful of rocks. Beware those old codgers, I say.

Welcome to the Everest Get-Famous-Quick Scheme: Apparently the other day, a Roman Catholic priest reached out to Alan Arnette, the Everest chronicler, and asked if a priest had ever summited Everest. He wanted to be the first. Climbing Magazine explores whether climbers trying to cash in on such marketing stunts are being fair to those who do it the hard way (sans oxygen) and for their own personal satisfaction rather than fame or money.

With Two Dead on Denali, Are Climbers Getting Reckless? Denali National Park officials say that two trends have pushed this year’s accident rate up: First, climbers are making summit attempts from 14,000-feet instead of high camp at 17,000 feet. Second, with some climbing teams breaking down because of injury or risk tolerance, climbers may be assembling new teams with people they just met. See a similar piece in Adventure Journal here.

Dog Sledding Down Under

Photo: Oliver Pelling


Dogsledding in…Australia??

Forget the Arctic, How About Dog Sledding In Australia: Beaches, deserts, rainforests, and crocs…Australia is famous for many things. Dogsledding isn’t one of them. Is there really enough snow Down Under for a bonafide dogsledding experience?

Glances with Wolves: Seeing coastal wolves in British Columbia — let alone photographing them — is a dream for most avid naturalists on Canada’s Pacific coast. They are more of a mystery in the Great Bear Rainforest than Spirit Bears. Catching a glimpse of them is far more difficult and unpredictable. If you manage it, they’re gone in a blink of the eye like ghosts of the forest.

Climber Annie Smith Peck Shocked the World — By Wearing Pants: When Annie Smith Peck descended the Matterhorn after having summited in 1895, the world was up in arms. She wasn’t the first woman to have climbed the famed peak. That honor was given to Englishwoman Lucy Walker 24 years prior. Nope. As Peck celebrated her team’s success, the focus of the general public was on whether or not she should be arrested…for wearing pants on the climb.

Post-pandemic, Can We Find Better Ways To Climb Kilimanjaro? The pandemic has decimated tourism across the world, and Kilimanjaro has been no exception. But how can we avoid the overcrowded trails we saw pre-pandemic? By exploring the lesser-known ones, says Laura French, who hiked the Rongai route shortly before COVID-19 struck.

Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright Are Friendship Goals: At first glance, climbers Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright are a strange pair. Honnold is 35, doesn’t drink, and trains constantly. He looks as if he were chiseled from marble by Michelangelo. Wright, 46, calls to mind a different Michelangelo — the Ninja Turtle. He’s the life of the party, he caps off training days with pizza and whiskey, and he has passions other than rock climbing, including paragliding and filmmaking.