ExWeb’s 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 turns from minutes into hours. To nourish your own adventure fix, here are some of the best links we’ve discovered this week…

The Secret of Nanda Devi: Half a century ago, a crack team of American climbers took part in a bungled secret service operation that lost a plutonium spy device high in the Himalaya. Rock and Ice take up the story.

Cold Hands: The 446km Grand Canyon has a long history of raft running, and for many decades teams have tried to set the fastest time on the route. “A speed run compresses all the lows and highs of a 21-day canyon trip into one glorious 36-hour blur — or less, if you can time the flows properly,” says one raft captain whose crew recently missed the current record.

Melting Giants: Across the Alps, the permafrost that glues together many of the finest lofty spires is melting. In 2018, rockfall destroyed most of the normal route of La Meije in the Ecrins of France. Two local guides went searching for a new way up the peak.

Forty Below: In stark contrast to warming global temperatures, if you find yourself below minus forty centigrade, even the mercury in your thermometer can freeze. Here’s a nice musing on the physics of forty below.

Crapness Ceiling: Sparked by an email query, big waller and alpinist Andy Kirkpatrick considers the components of overcoming the “Crapness Ceiling” in climbing.

A Meeting of Two Worlds: Back in 2012, ExWeb editor Jerry Kobalenko teamed up with Noah Nochasak, a keen young Inuk, to sled across the Labrador wilderness. Although separated by 30 years and two different cultures, the pair got along famously.