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The Adventure Blog

  • Kiteboarding Hurricane Irene
  • Norway's Prime Minister To Travel To South Pole For Amundsen Anniversary
  • Running The Silk Road Update: Under 1000km To Go
  • A Kayak Video Shot And Edited Using Only Solar Power

Kiteboarding Hurricane Irene

Posted: 30 Aug 2011 12:01 PM PDT

My friends over at Wend posted this video yesterday, but it's definitely worth sharing here as well. It stars a couple of crazy people who decided it would be a good idea to go kiteboarding in the middle of Hurricane Irene this past weekend. The results are some big wind and waves of course, but if you stick through the video to the end, you'll see what happens when said kiteboarder catches major air.

Fun, but scary!

Norway's Prime Minister To Travel To South Pole For Amundsen Anniversary

Posted: 30 Aug 2011 12:05 PM PDT

The Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, announced today that he'll be traveling to the South Pole in December to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Roald Amundsen's arrival at that point. Amundsen and his team became the first men to reach the Pole on December 14th, 1911, famously beating out Britain's Robert Falcon Scott by just a few weeks.

Unlike Amundsen, Stoltenberg won't be making the journey overland however. Instead, he'll fly to the Pole where he'll greet a four-person Norwegian team that is set to follow Amundsen's route. The plan is for that team to arrive on December 14th of this year to commemorate the historical event which remains such a point of pride for the people of Norway.

The polar team will consist of Jan-Gunnar Winther, the head of the Norwegian Polar Institute as well as former cross-country skier and Olympic champion Vegard Ulvang. They'll be joined on the journey by a historian and an adventurer as well. While Amundsen went to the Pole by dogsled, this team will travel on skis however.

As we get closer to the 2011 Antarctic season, we're sure to hear a lot more about Amundsen and Scott, who were in a desperate race to be the first to reach the Pole. Both men had tried on more than one occasion to plant their nation's flag at 90ºS, but weather conditions, poor equipment, and the challenges of the unknown all conspired against them. Finally, Amundsen broke through using his dogsleds, and as result, Scott discovered a Norwegian flag at the Pole when he arrived four weeks later.

Devastated by losing the race, Scott and his men turned back towards the coast and their ship, which was waiting 800 miles away. Along the way, the weather took a turn for the worse, and they managed to get caught in a blizzard that lasted for ten days. Stranded in their tent, the last of their supplies and energy, ran out, and Scott, along with his two remaining companions, perished. They were just 11 miles away from a supply cache that would have probably saved their lives.

The race to the South Pole is filled with epic characters, epic journeys, and epic suffering. A century later, those same characters still cast a wide shadow over the frozen continent.

Running The Silk Road Update: Under 1000km To Go

Posted: 30 Aug 2011 10:41 AM PDT

Last week I posted a story about a team of athletes who are running the length of the Silk Road in an effort to raise funds and awareness of the need for clean drinking water throughout Asia. The expedition began in Turkey back in April, and since that time, the runners have been heading east. Now, they have less than 1000km (621 miles) to go until they reach the finish line in the ancient city of Xi'an, China.

The run was organized by The Home Expedition, a non-profit organization that seeks to fund charitable projects through adventurous activities. The Silk Road run is their first expedition, but they have others planned for the future, including a cycling journey along the Trans-Siberian Highway and an adventure along the Amazon River.

Two of the runners on this journey, Kevin Lin and Bai Bin have run the entire distance so far. That includes more than 8000km (4971 miles) through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and into China. They hope to wrap up the final leg of their journey by September 16th, their target date for arriving in Xi'an.

When I wrote about this expedition last week, I mentioned that updates on the website had been infrequent over the last few months, but it turns out the best place to follow along with the journey is on The Home Expedition Facebook page. There, I discovered that Kevin and Bai Bin are still knocking off about 70km (43.5 miles) per day as they continue to pursue their goal.

For those that don't know, the old Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected China with Europe. It's origins can be traced back to 200 BC, although at that point it was mostly used throughout Asia. As time passed, and the road expanded, merchants from as far away as Italy used the road to trade goods, and it eventually became one of the most important trade routes ever. Marco Polo was said to have traveled the Silk Road in his dealings with China, and to this day, the road continues to inspire adventure.

I'll continue to keep an eye on the progress of Kevin, Bai, and the whole team. If all goes as scheduled, they should be finishing up in a just a few weeks. Big thanks to Andrew for sharing information and updates with me!

A Kayak Video Shot And Edited Using Only Solar Power

Posted: 30 Aug 2011 06:01 AM PDT

The latest episode of the wonderful paddling webseries Currents, from Five2Nine Productions, sends a group of kayakers to California, where they find plenty of great summer whitewater to explore. As is typical in these videos, the kayaking looks amazing, and the crew does a great job of capturing the action out on the water.

This video is unique in one aspect however, as it was completely filmed, captured, and edited using only solar power. The team used solar panels and battery packs from Goal Zero to completely power ever aspect of their expedition, and it is a great example of how we can use alternative sources of energy while on our adventures.

I had a chance to play with some of the Goal Zero gear at Outdoor Retailer a few weeks back, and I have to say that it seems like really well designed and efficient stuff. It's great to see it being put to use in the video below.

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