Maybe this whole fat bike thing is going just a bit too far? Ever since Eric Larsen tried and failed this past winter to pedal from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole it was only a matter of time before someone else thought it would be worth a try. Someone(s), plural: Americans Daniel Burton and [ more... ]
Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica’s landmass. Bedmap2 reveals a landscape of mountain ranges and plains cut by gorges and valleys much deeper than previously seen. For instance the bed under the Byrd Glacier in Victoria Land [ more... ]
You know the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton: His ship the Endurance is trapped in ice, so he takes one of its lifeboats to sail across the Drake Passage to Elephant Island where he makes contact with a whaling community and returns to Antarctica to save his entire crew. Well, now another Brit is trying [ more... ]
Mission Antarctic, starring Xavier de Le Rue and Backcountry.com Athlete Renan Ozturk is underway. Xavier was in Antarctica four years ago as part of a Swatch expedition, and this time he’s bringing Renan (who only had three days of downtime following his Oman expedition) for some video/art input. The crew sailed across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula, where they’ll spend about three weeks skiing, filming, and bobbing in the Southern Ocean on their little sailboat.
What did the men who raced to the bottom of the Earth at the beginning of the 20th century pack in their medical kits? Lots of cocaine. Cocaine was “dripped in the eye to cure snowblindness.” Diarrhea was treated with “chalk ground up with opium.” Colic called for “tincture of cannabis” mixed with “tincture of [ more... ]
One team making an overland push through Antarctica required rescue after a person became sick and had to get out. A member of Richard Weber’s expedition had to be airlifted to Punta Arenas and she is reportedly getting the attention she needs. So, who do you call when you need to get out of Antarctica? [ more... ]
Take a tour of the McMurdo Station on the coast of Antarctica. I’ve met several people who have taken seasonal jobs running the station and helping out the scientists who conduct research there. My friend Travis, who’s a genius with anything electrical, described the trip down by saying everything was exposed in the plane and he didn’t recognize any of the systems. It doesn’t look like the ride ever gets much more comfortable once you get off the plane. Remember not to walk too far from the buildings when it’s snowing out. I’d like to see how the place looks over our summer when it’s night and frigid the entire time. It looks like these guys manage to find time to screw around plenty.
I’m a firm believer that the more people know about the beauty of the planet’s wild places the more they’ll work to protect them. I also know that not everyone (including myself) can afford a trip to the Arctic or Antarctica. We learn about them from scientific reports and news articles on climate change. But what we really need is something that bends our minds and tugs at our heartstrings. And it seems that stories about polar bear swimming 426 miles between melting ice floes and Manhattan-sized chunks of Antarctica breaking off aren’t doing it for us. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the release of Frozen Planet, a BBC show that’s in a Planet-Earth-style nature doc on the poles. Also, next year we’ll see To The Arctic in IMAX, from OneWorldOneOcean.org. Hey, Ken Burn’s National Parks doc got people to go to the parks; hopefully this gets people more interested in saving the planet’s polar regions.
In 2008 Todd Carmichael set the speed record for a solo, unsupported run from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. It took him 39 days, and toward the end he ran out of fuel, food had no way to contact the outside world besides an SOS and bordered on going insane. And he recorded it for our pleasure. Check out the trailer and feel good about doing it on company time – Todd’s donating all the money from his film to Charity: Water.
I love that Red Bull convinces us to pay $3 for sweetened liquid chemically derived from corn and then they use some of that money to pay for these kinds of things. At least they’re giving a bit of the cash back to the community. In this video Valery Rozov BASE jumps a feature in Antarctica, because, well, why not? I wonder how the guys who helped him climb that feature made it down?