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.

When Lightning Almost Strikes: Standing apart from the other monoliths that line the valley, Half Dome in Yosemite is a testing ground for El Cap wannabes. But when storm clouds brew over the mountain, you don’t want to be caught on the dome’s upper reaches. Like the two brothers in this Outpost piece, who faced the downclimb of their lives…

Brando’s Island Utopia: In 1967, Marlon Brando bought a tiny atoll near Tahiti with the aim of preserving it as a tropical paradise. That effort continues, supported by a resort where Beyoncé, Obama, and other stars chill — at stellar prices — next to a private lagoon. Outside editor Hampton Sides went there to meet with scientists and splash around this eco-fantasy island.

Secrets of an Army Ranger

Army Ranger School Is a Laboratory of Human Endurance: The military’s toughest training challenges have a lot in common with outdoor sufferfests like the Barkley Marathons and the Leadville Trail 100. You have to be fit and motivated to make the starting line, but your mind and spirit are what carry you to the end. A Ranger graduate breaks down an ordeal that shapes some of America’s finest soldiers.

Rise Of The Birdman: From school teacher to wingsuit flyer: How a young graphic designer converted his dream of soaring like a bird into a reality. From watching viral YouTube videos to becoming them — this is the tale of Jokke Sommer.

Fire Lookouts: The U.S. Forest Service Lookouts Watching For Fires: Many of us struggled to adapt to home working and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. But the few remaining fire lookouts of the U.S. Forest Service often live and work alone for weeks. From their lofty perches, they scour the horizon for any hint of smoke.

Recreating Past Epics

Photo: Tim Jarvis


Death, Despair & Cannibalism: Tim Jarvis exactly recreated Mawson & Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expeditions to find out what really happened. The scientist and adventurer reveals what it’s like to put yourself through hard times the old-fashioned way.

Walter Greaves, The Vegetarian & One-Armed Cyclist, Rode Further Than Anyone: Walter William Greaves was never marked for fame or fortune. He came of age in the late 1920s in a gritty mill town in the north of England, the oldest of five surviving children.

Defying Limits: Adventure writer and climber David Roberts has earned accolades for his edgy, obsessively researched, impassioned contributions to exploration literature. During the last five decades, he has produced hundreds of articles and essays and more than 30 books. Here, he reflects on a lifetime of adventures, risks, and rewards.

How Auguste Piccard’s Record-Breaking Hot Air Balloon Crash Helped Establish Obergurgl Ski Resort in Austria: There are not many ski resorts whose popularity traces back to a record-breaking hot air balloon crash and an associate of Albert Einstein.

When Your Final Exam Is Surviving The Wilderness: For 45 years, school students in Ketchikan, Alaska, have gone on an overnight survival trip to a remote island. Quite the feat, given modern helicopter parenting and endless safety regulations.