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 adventure fix, here are some of the best adventure links we’ve discovered this week.

A Legendary Hot-Air Balloon Pilot Died after a Bizarre Crash. It Still Doesn’t Make Sense: Brian Boland was a prolific creator of handcrafted hot-air balloons. He set distance and altitude records all over the world. But on a routine outing in July 2021, things went dramatically wrong. Sarah Schweitzer examines Boland’s eccentric and adventurous life and finds out what happened on his fateful last flight.

Alexander Kellas — The Greatest Himalayan Mountaineer You May Never Have Heard Of: At the time of his death in 1921, Scottish mountaineer Alexander Kellas was among the foremost Himalayan explorers. He had both a string of first ascents and an altitude record to his credit. As a scientist, his research into the effects of high altitude broke new ground. UK Climbing asks why his achievements are not better known?

Why You Shouldn’t Date an Everest Climber: In a viral tweet this week, comedian Isabel Hagen quipped, “I once matched with a guy on a dating app who had climbed Mount Everest. Twice. And he was still single. Using an app. That’s how hard dating is, holy shit.” Outside outlines 19 reasons why you should steer clear of an Everest climber in your search for love.

A brief history of free soloing

Free-solo Climber Heinz Zak on a difficult overhang in Yosemite National Park, USA

Photo: Heinz Zak

 

Free Solo Rock Climbing And The Climbers Who Have Defined The Sport:  Free soloing means climbing with no rope, a genre that verged into the American consciousness in the 1970s. In 2018, the term went mainstream with Alex Honnold’s mind-bending solo of El Capitan and the award-winning film that chronicled it. Here, Climbing Magazine does a comprehensive overview of the most notable figures of this dangerous pastime.

Democratizing The Mountains: Inside Santiago’s Bid to Turn Itself into The ‘Kathmandu of The Americas’: In the high Andes, ex-army-owned land has been transformed into South America’s newest national park. It’s part of an ambitious plan to make Chile’s capital of Santiago into the world capital of mountain tourism. But turning that dream into reality is far from straightforward.

Adam Shoalts On Following The Birds to Canada’s North: Back in April, changing landscapes, storms, waves, wilderness, and 3,400km of paddling lay ahead of Canadian explorer Adam Shoalts. Now home after pulling off the journey, Shoalts met up with Canadian Geographic to chat over the three-month solo trip, which followed bird migration routes from southern Canada to the Arctic.

Traffic jam

 

Two climbers climbing along a gap in the underside of a motorway bridge in the UK

Photo: Ray Wood

 

How One of The UK’s Major Roads Became A Temporary Crack Climbing Mecca: In November 2021, climbers Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker made an audacious ‘ascent’ of the underside of a nearly kilometre-long motorway bridge in the UK. It caused such a stir that it was documented by an international film crew, destined for the big screen and a global film tour. A text message –- partly in jest –- from local climber Mark Bullock sparked off the whole thing, and soon the project was unfolding in front of his eyes.

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is a writer for ExplorersWeb. He has been writing about Arctic travel, mountaineering, science, camping, hiking, and outdoor gear for 6 years. As well as ExplorersWeb, he has written for Red Bull, Outside, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Based in Leicester, UK, Routen is an avid backpacker and arctic traveler who writes about the outdoors around a full-time job as an academic.