Monday, June 27, 2016

Video: Blue Whales Off Iceland

This short, but sweet, video takes us off the coast of Iceland where we get the opportunity to spot one of the rarest and most elusive animals on the planet – the blue whale. At almost 30 meters (98 feet) in length, and weighing over 150 tons, this is the largest creature ever known to inhabit the Earth. Seeing one is a rare treat indeed, but we get to watch one thanks to this clip. Enjoy!

The blue whale of Iceland from Arnaud Muller on Vimeo.

Video: 61 Wingsuit Pilots Take Flight Together

Recently, 61 wingsuit pilots took flight over Perris, California to set a world record for the most people in such a formation. This video captured that moment in beautiful fashion, as these men and women drifted effortlessly through the air. Quite an impressive site to see indeed.

Risky Antarctic Rescue Mission Completed Successfully

Before I left for Utah last week, one of the stories that we were watching closely was a daring and risky evacuation flight to the South Pole. At the time, all we knew was that a staff member at the Amundsen-Scott research facility had taken ill, and the situation was so desperate that two Twin Otter Aircraft has been scrambled from Kenn Borek Air in Canada to evacuate them. While it took some time to complete, that rescue operation did go off successfully, with everyone involved making it back safely.

Due to the fact that it is currently winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the flight was an incredibly risk one. Weather conditions are unpredictable and very dangerous in that part of the world this time of year, making it risky to come and go from the South Pole. Typically that means that anyone at the South Pole research station has to stay there until spring arrives in November. But in this case, the medical situation was so dire that it was deemed necessary to take the risk to bring out the patient.

That's exactly what happened last week, with the flight carrying not one, but two, South Pole staffers arrived back in Punta Arenas, Chile on Wednesday. That successful return followed several very long day, during which the pilots flew from Canada to South America, than crossed the Southern Ocean to reach the British Rothera Research Station, than continued on to the South Pole, and back again.

Two aircraft were required to complete the rescue with one making the full fight to the Pole, while the other stood by to lend a hand if needed. Fortunately, the entire mission came off without a significant hitch, and the two sick workers are now receiving medical attention. Their names and afflictions haven't been announced.

I'd love to hear more about this story and find out all the details behind it. Hopefully someone will do an in-depth article about what this adventure was like for the pilots. I'm sure there is quite a story to be told.

Karakoram Summer 2016: Teams Arrive in Base Camp, Moving Up Soon

When let we checked in on the teams looking to climb in the high mountains of Pakistan this summer they were mostly still gathering in Islamabad and preparing to fly out to Skardu to begin their journey to the various Base Camps spread out across the region. Now, more than a week later, those teams are now settling into BC and preparing to go higher.

Madison Mountaineering has checked in from K2, where the team has reportedly settled into Base Camp and is now preparing for its first rotation up the mountain. The weather is reportedly very good at the moment, and the Sherpa teams are already busy establishing ABC further up the mountain. The forecast looks good into this week, so it looks like the team will be on the move for a few days to take advantage of the situation. 

Similarly, the international team led by Vanessa O'Brien arrived in BC late last week. They've spent the weekend getting settled on the mountain and will likely be taking advantage of the current weather window to start their acclimatization as well. 

The Kobler & Partner expedition team also arrived in Base Camp last Thursday. That squad, which is made of very experienced 8000-meter climbers – quickly went to work getting settled as well, and are now looking upwards towards ABC and their first rotation up the mountain. 

Over on Broad Peak, the Mountain Professionals team has already finished their work to get settled and have now begun their first acclimation rotations as well. They're headed up to Camp 1 today where they'll spend two nights to allow their bodies to start to get use to the altitude. As of now, they are the only team on the mountain, although they have noted the steady stream of climbers making their way to BC on K2. It is unclear if any other teams will come to Broad Peak, so as a safety precaution the guides have ordered more rope and other climbing gear from Skardu just in case they have to go it alone. 

Finally, on Nanga Parbat the teams have started to gather as well. Spaniards Fernando Fernandez Vivancos and Jose Saldana Rodriguez have been on the mountain for several weeks now, and have had a good start to their acclimatization process. Other groups are still trickling in however, and will officially begin their climbs soon. 

The Karakoram climbing season is now officially underway, and over the next 4-6 weeks we'll be watching events unfold in the mountains of Pakistan. It looks like it will be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory, with more teams on K2 than ever before. How that impacts the climb remains to be seen, but the notoriously difficult peak won't give up its summit easily. It should be fun to watch how things unfold. 

Ultrarunner Robert Young Abandons Attempt at Speed Record for U.S. Crossing

It was a busy time while I was away in Utah attending PressCamp last week, with one of the big stories coming from the world of long distance running. Over the past month or so, we've been following British ultrarunner Robert Young as he attempted to set a new speed record for crossing the U.S. on foot. But last week, the grind of that endeavor finally caught up with the endurance athlete, forcing him to withdraw from the attempt 2000 miles (3218 km) into the run.

Young launched his bid at the speed record – which was set back in 1980 and still stands at 46 days, 8 hours, 36 minutes – back on May 14. He set out from Huntington Beach in California with the hope of reaching Times Square in the fastest time possible. In order to break that 36 year old record, Young would need to cover more than 60 miles per day, each and every day, for a month and a half.

Last week, the grind of that challenge finally caught up to him. While heading into Indianapolis, the British runner developed soreness in one of the toes of his right foot. X-rays confirmed that he had developed an infection and a fracture. Young was treated by medical professionals, and attempted to use ice to lessen the pain, but in the end, he decided it was best to pull the plug altogether.

The move comes after Young began to fall off the pace needed to cross the U.S. in record time. The toll of the run seemed to wear on him in recent days, even as some questions arose about whether or not he was actually running all the miles he claimed to be. That question is now moot, as the speed crossing attempt is now over.

Covering 2000 miles on foot is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Young was able to cross California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, and part of Indiana before he was forced to withdraw. That's pretty impressive, even if he did come up a bit short in the speed attempt.

Friday, June 17, 2016

On The Road Again - Headed to PressCamp!

Next week The Adventure Blog will go back on hiatus once again as I travel to Park City Utah to take part in Outdoor PressCamp. The event is designed to pair outdoor and adventure travel journalists with some of the top brands in the industry to check out their latest gear and test it in the wild. I expect it will be a busy, fun, and eye opening week for all of us involved.

While away, it seems unlikely that I'll have the chance to update with any frequency, but should anything interesting arise, I'll do my best to post an update. In the meantime, I'm sure I'll come home from PressCamp with lots of good news and information to share on some cool gear that we can all use in our outdoor pursuits.

I will be back and updating the blog again the week of June 26. I'll be around for about a week and a half before disappearing again. Thanks for your patience and for reading. I couldn't do this without you.

Video: Alaska in Timelapse

I've been fortunate enough to visit Alaska a couple of times, and when I return home I always struggle to convey just how beautiful and wild this place truly is. In terms of destinations that are wild and untamed, there are few that match what Alaska has to offer. This video helps to give viewers a sense of what it is like there, giving us nearly three minutes of beautiful landscapes captured in timelapse. If you have't been to Alaska yet, put it on your list. After watching this, you'll understand why you need to go there.

Alaska - Timelapse Film 4K from Toby Harriman on Vimeo.

Outside Gives Us 100 Reasons to Love the National Parks

As most of you probably know, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service here in the U.S. To celebrate, the NPS is holding a number of special events throughout the year, and visitors to the parks throughout the summer will likely see all kinds of signs reminding them of the centennial year.

A few months back I wrote a piece that offered 100 Reasons the National Parks Remain America's Best Idea.  Well, it seems I'm not the only one who had that idea, as Outside magazine has also published a similar piece, this time giving us 100 Reasons to Love the National Parks. Their list includes some of the same things that mine did as well, but there are plenty of unique items as well.

Amongst the reasons that Outside says we should love the parks is the way they inspire us to get outside and seek adventure. But other reasons range from the fact that there is an oasis to be found in the heart of Death Valley to the otherworldly views that can be had in the Badlands. The list goes on to highlight hikes, activities, locations, and a wide variety of other things that are linked to the National Parks in some way, giving us a good idea of just how important and influential these iconic places actually are.

Now that summer is here, the parks tend to get extremely busy. In fact, President Obama and his family are planning to visit Yellowstone next week. This will no doubt bring some complications for travelers, in a park that is already crowded. But despite those challenges, the national parks are well worth the effort. There are few places that can compare to these beautiful and wild places, and we should all be lucky enough to visit as many as we can. 

The Everest 2016 Climbing Season in Numbers - 450+ Summits on the South Side

The spring climbing season in the Himalaya came to an end a few weeks back, and to say it was a successful season would be an understatement. But just how successful was it? We now have some numbers from Everest to help put things in perspective.

According to The Himalayan Times, the Department of Tourism for the Nepali Government has released its climbing numbers for Everest this year, and it was an astounding rebound following two years of interrupted operations on the mountain. This year, there were 456 successful summits from the South Side of the mountain, of which 199 were foreign climbers from 29 different countries. The other 257 climbers were Sherpas who were part of the support teams that assisted in getting clients to the top. Sadly, there were also five deaths this spring season as well.

In a sure sign that things are returning to normal on the world's highest peak, tourism officials issued permits for 289 expedition climbers, and 457 high-altitude porters and guides. Those permits were spread out across 34 different teams. That means, of the foreign climbers who came to Nepal to attempt Everest this year, about 90 were unable to make it to the top.

Swedish Explorer to Walk From Mongolia to the Caspian Sea with Camels

ExWeb has posted an interview with Swedish adventurer Christian Bodegren on his next expedition, which is scheduled to get underway soon. The man who once paddled the length of the Amazon River will next travel by foot across a vast expanse of land-locked territory. Bodegren is currently in Mongolia, where he is planning to walk overland across that country and Kazakhstan, eventually reaching the Caspian Sea.

The Swede says that he is still ramping for this expedition to get underway, with part of the process finding camels to accompany him on the journey. Those creatures will serve as his mounts and pack animals as he travels for weeks on end. When he reaches the border with Kazakstan he'll sell of his Mongolia camels to purchase new ones. Christian says he learned a hard lesson about crossing international borders with camels when he made a trek across the Sahara a few years back, and that he doesn't want to repeat those problems once again.

In the interview, Bodegren talks logistics and his inspirations for undertaking this journey. He says that after paddling the Amazon back in 2012 he tried to return to a normal life, but after awhile he started to get anxious staying in one place for too long. Slowly he started to think about some other potential challenges that he could undertake. This Mongol expedition slowly started to come together.

At this point, it is unclear exactly when Christian will start the walk, or how long it will take him to complete it. But, on his official website the dates for the walk are 2016-2017, so he at least expects it to extend into next year. Similarly, there aren't a lot of details on his exact route, which is probably going to be decided as he moves along. He does plan to cross the Gobi Desert though, which gives us some indication of where he'll be.

Christian is posting occasional updates to his website. If you'd like to follow him as he proceeds, that would be a good place to stay up to date on his current situation. It should certainly be an interesting expedition to watch unfold.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Video: Yosemite Half Dome in 360º

One of the more exciting innovations in technology over the past year or two has been the rise of 360º videos. These clips are made with special camera set-ups that can shoot footage in every direction at once. Than, when viewed in a supported browser, the viewer can actually pan around the video to get a look at the scene from different angles. The effect is even more enhanced if viewed with a set of virtual reality goggles, such as the Oculus Rift.

The video below is a good example of this type of technology, as it takes us on a climb up Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The result is quite an experience, particularly if you view it in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera. Enjoy!

Video: Rock Climbing in South Africa

South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for those seeking outdoor adventure. We're reminded of this by the video below, which follows North Face climbers James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini as they go searching for some great lines to scale, discovering sport, trad, and bouldering routes across spectacular landscapes in the Rocklands area. They also took time to deliver some much needed climbing equipment to a local climbing school as well, giving their South African adventure a different mission as well.

British Adventurers to Paddle From Greenland to Scotland

Two British adventurers are preparing to set out on a challenging kayaking expedition that will take them across the Arctic Ocean and North Sea as they travel from Greenland to Scotland. Their journey is set to begin this Sunday and is expected to take upwards of six weeks to complete.

In just a few days time, Olly Hicks and George Bullard will leave the U.K. for Greenland where they will launch their In the Wake of the Finnmen expedition. This journey by sea will cover more than 1200 miles (1931 km) as they travel from the Denmark Strait to Iceland, follow the coastline of that country before daring the waters of the North Sea to head towards the Faroe Islands, a remote place located north of the British Isles. After that, they'll turn south to paddle 50 miles (80 km) to reach the tiny island of North Rona before pressing on with the final leg, which ends at Cape Wrath in Scotland.

All told, the two men expect to be padding for six weeks, with 12 nights actually spend out on the water in the open seas. The first three of those nights will take place on the crossing from Greenland to Iceland. The paddlers will then take their time kayaking along the shores of that country, regaining their strength and preparing for the challenges ahead. During that section of the expedition they'll cover about 20 miles (32 km) per day before pushing on to the Faroe Islands, which will force them to spend another six nights at sea. The final three nights will be when they make the final push across the North Sea to Cape Wrath. 

Olly and George will be paddling a modified Inuk Duo 6.8m sea kayak, which is designed to withstand the challenges and rigors of open water in remote seas. It has also been made for long distance paddling expeditions, with plenty of storage for gear and supplies. The kayak even has sealable cockpits, allowing the men to squeeze inside its hull to catch some sleep on those long nights at sea. 

The aim of the expedition is to prove that the Inuit people of the Arctic could have made a similar journey to populate island that are found in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Hicks has called it the “Arctic Kon-Tiki expedition" in a nod to the famous Thor Heyerdahl expedition from 1947. Olly and George's boat is much smaller than Heyerdahl's however, with some very different challenges. 

This won't be be the first waterborne journey for Hicks. Back in 2005 he became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean at the age of 23. In 2008, we followed his attempt to row around Antarctica as well, and while other expeditions have taken him across the Tasman Sea and around Great Britain. In the future, he hopes to row around the world, taking another crack at the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica once again. 

New Monument Discovered in the Ancient City of Petra

Archaeologists and researchers using satellite imagery and drones have reportedly uncovered a new monument in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. This structure is said to be massive in size, and unlike anything else found at the site before. It also hints at possible other discoveries yet to be made.

The new find was identified by archaeologists Sarah Parcak and Christopher Tuttle, who used a variety of high tech tools to locate and unearth it. The new structure is said to be roughly 184-by-161-feet (about 56-by-49-meters) in dimension, which makes it about the same length as an Olympic size swimming pool, and twice as wide. It is a large platform that surrounds a smaller platform which was once paved with flagstones. A series of pillars lined the outside, with a massive staircase on the interior.

What exactly this platform was used for remains unclear, and it doesn't match anything else that has been seen inside Petra so far. But, the ancient city is massive in size and scope, covering 102 square miles (264 sq. km), with the main city center covering about 2.3 square miles (6 sq. km). Many people who have not visited the site often believe that Petra is only made up of the Treasury, the iconic building that is seen in so many photos and movies. But the site is sprawling, with hundreds of buildings and structures spread out across the area.

Speculation on the newly found platform leads researchers to believe that it was a public building of some kind, but its exact use remains a mystery. It is thought that when it was intact, it was the second highest structure in the city, which was abandoned in the 7th century, and revealed to the outside world when it was located by explorer Johann Burckhardt in 1812.

This is another great example of an amazing discovery found in a place that we thought we already knew very well and had explored top to bottom. Petra is visited by millions of travelers every year, and it continues to amaze even in the 21st century. But it is even more fascinating to think that we are still finding new things there, and it makes you wonder what else is at the site, waiting to be uncovered.

Karakoram 2016: American Woman Going for Speed Record on K2?

Teams of climbers are now arriving in Islamabad as the climbing season on K2, Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat, and other big mountains in Pakistan get underway. It'll be a couple of weeks before things really ramp up, but we are now starting to get a sense of what to expect in the season ahead, including a potential speed record attempt on K2 itself.

It has now been revealed that British-American climber Vanessa O'Brien is on her way to K2, where she hopes to become the first woman from the U.S. to summit the peak, as well as the fastest ever too. She already holds the speed record for a woman climbing the Seven Summits, having accomplished that feat in 295 days.

O'Brien is an experienced mountaineer, but she has not faced a challenge like K2 before. This will certainly be a test of her skill and determination, although a healthy dose of luck will be involved too. The weather on K2 is very unpredictable, making it hard to predict when a summit push can begin. We're a long way from that point right now however, although she says she hopes to make her summit push in about six weeks time. Late July and early August are the traditional timeframe for reach the top of this very difficult mountain.

(Update: It isn't clear from the article linked above doesn't make it clear what, if any, speed record Vanessa may be going for. It is possible that the headline is misleading and based on her speed record on the Seven Summits.)

Vanessa says she is climbing to raise awareness of the incredibly natural environment that is found Gilgit-Baltistan region, as well as to improve relations between the West and Pakistan. She's also championing the rights of women in that country and across the globe.

Meanwhile, other teams are assembling and preparing to depart for the mountains as well. It typically takes several days to journey from Islamabad to Skardu if they go overland, and more than a week to trek to Base Camp, depending on their ultimate goal. That means we won't see anyone officially starting their climbs until next week, but there should be more interesting stories to tell as the teams press forward. More to come soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Video: Being There - The Importance of Wild Places

Have you ever had a place become so special and important to you that it actually crawls into your very mind and soul? If so, this is a video for you. It is a good reminder of why wild places are so incredibly important to us, and how they can change our perspective on the world around us. How these unique places play a role in shaping who we are, and how we feel when we are there. Beautifully shot and very thoughtful, this is the kind of clip that sticks with you long after you've seen it. I hope you enjoy it as much as did.

BEING HERE from Outdoor Research on Vimeo.

Video: Running Downhill in Iceland

One of the most exhilarating experiences for trail runners is topping out on a summit or ridge, and turning down hill at long last. It is then that they can let go, and just allow their legs to carry them down the trail as quickly as possible. In this video, we travel to Iceland, where British runners Ricky Lightfoot and Tom Owens go in search of great downhill opportunities. As you might expect, they find them amongst the amazing landscapes there.

Gear Closet: WoolPRO Performance Base Layers

When it comes to high performance fabrics, merino wool has become the defect standard by which all other materials are judged. Based on the performance of merino it is easy to understand why. Not only is it warm and comfortable, it also features natural wicking properties, it is highly breathable, and it has antimicrobial attributes that help to fend off odors too. This of course makes it a great choice for outdoor apparel, where this level of performance is most appreciated.

The down side of merino wool is that it can sometimes be expensive, which can make it a cost prohibitive option for some outdoor enthusiasts. But recently I had the chance to test out some great merino base layers made by a company called WoolPRO, which makes a number of outstanding products on par with those that I've found elsewhere in the industry, but at a more affordable price. 

Spring isn't always a great time to test base layers, but on my recent trip to Alaska I found plenty of weather where they still came in handy. I used WoolPRO's Scout mid-weight merino half-zip top ($84.99) and Thor mid-weight bottoms ($49.99), while my wife had the chance to try out the Agena mid-weight tops ($69.99) and tights, each of which proved very useful while exploring the icy waters of the Inside Passage.

Nat Geo Gives Us 10 Places That Deserve More Visitors

Still looking for a good destination for your next travel adventure? National Geographic is here to help. Travel writer Tara Isabella Burton has put together a great piece that shares 10 destinations that deserve more travelers, with some familiar and surprising places making the list.

Amongst the more unusual places that get a recommendation are Armenia, which is lauded for its history, rich culture, and natural attractions, and Kosovo, which offers fantastic hiking opportunities. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan lures visitors with its beautiful landscapes and restored ancient palaces, while Georgia is a growing outdoor sports mecca in Eastern Europe.

Other destinations that make the Nat Geo list include Nepal (an Adventure Blog fave), Iran (high on my list to visit), and East Timor, which falls in the Indonesian archipelago. I'll leave the rest of the lit for you to discover, but lets just say each has its own unique attractions to draw us in.

The Nat Geo article provides readers with good information about the current situation on the ground in each of these countries, most of which have had tumultuous situations in the not so distant past. The author also gives us tips on what to see and do while visiting, as well as reasons why now is the right time to go. Considering that the majority of these destinations remain well off the beaten tourist track at this point, the mere fact that they aren't especially crowded or over done should be reason enough to put the places on your radar.

To learn more about these places and read the entire article, click here.

Evacuation Operation Underway in the Antarctic

The National Science Foundation has initiated an evacuation procedure from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station as one of the winter staff members there has taken ill. The nature of the medical emergency hasn't been divulged, but it is clear that it is serious enough for the NSF to call in help.

Canada's Kenn Borek Air has scrambled two Twin-Otter Aircraft, which are currently en route to South America before making the leap over to the Antarctic Continent. One of those planes will serve as a support aircraft should search and rescue operations become necessary, while the other will make a 1500 mile (2414 km) flight from the British Rothera Research Station to the South Pole.

The time table for this rescue operation will be heavily dependent on current weather conditions in the Antarctic, but it is believed that June 19 will be the earliest that plane can reach the South Pole. It is currently winter in the Southern Hemisphere, which makes for some incredibly inhospitable weather in Antarctica. Conditions can change very quickly, and it is not uncommon to have high winds and incredibly cold temperatures, sometimes falling to more than -100ºF/-73ºC. That could complicated an evacuation procedures over the next few days.

Because it is winter at the South Pole, the Amundsen-Scott station has a greatly reduced staff on hand to maintain the base. Typically those crew members are on duty there until November or so, when the regular crew returns to ramp up seasonal research operations. The winter staff usually knows that once they are in place there is usually no way for them to return home, so the nature of this medical evacuation must be fairly serious. Not only is the NSF risking the lives of the pilots performing the dangerous flight, but they're also risking the safety of their crew.

Hopefully everything will go off without a hitch in the next couple of days, and both the flight crew and the NSF staff member will be safely evacuated. It should be an interesting story to follow to say the least.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Video: Two Years of Travel in Two Minutes

This wonderful video was shot over two years using just a GoPro camera as filmmaker Harry Van Durme traveled to 12 different countries, capturing his adventures along the way. He's now distilled those two years of travel down to just two minutes, taking us along with him to some amazing places. If this doesn't inspire you to want to see the world, nothing will.

Travel - 2 years in 2 minutes from Harry Van Durme on Vimeo.

Video: To The Summit of K2

Over the next couple of months we'll be following the proceedings on K2 very closely. Want to know what it looks like when you approach the summit of that mountain? This video will give you an idea. As you'll see, it is very steep and technical, which is why this peak has earned the moniker of "the mountaineer's mountain." Not a place for the inexperienced, this is a far different climb than Everest.

Gear Closet: Lowa Innox EVO Lo and Renegade GTX Mid Boots

Finding the right footwear to see you through your outdoor adventures is essential to enjoying your time outside. After all, if you're feet aren't happy, the rest of you probably isn't going to have a good time either. Fortunately, we live in a time when there are many good choices when it comes to shoes for our outdoor pursuits, with Lowa making some of the best options for a wide variety of activities, including hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, travel, or just kicking it around town. Recently, I had the chance to test two very different shoes from the company, coming away very impressed with both. Here are my thoughts on these two boots.

Lowa Innox EVO Lo Light Hiking Shoes
Lightweight and comfortable is the best way to describe these fantastic shoes, which have the soul of a trail runner and the sole of a hiking boot.

At first glance, the Innox EVO Lo resembles an athletic shoe more than a hiking boot, and since they weigh just 22 ounces for a pair, it would be easy to think they wouldn't offer all of the support you would need. But this hiking shoe has a stiff midsole that helps to protect the foot from jarring impacts, while still managing to maintain a level of flexibility that makes it an ideal choice for a wide variety of outdoor activities.

Questions Arise Over Robert Young's Attempt to Run Across the U.S.

Last month I told you about ultrarunner Robert Young, and his attempt to set a new speed record for traveling across the U.S. on foot. Young is currently in the middle of that attempt, and is trying to beat the previous record which has stood at 46 days, 8 hours, and 36 minutes for 36 years. To do that, he needs to run more than 60 miles per day, every day, for a month and a half, something he's being doing as he is currently on pace to beat the old record. But now, questions have begun to arise as to whether or not he is actually running all of those miles.

Outside magazine first broke the story, which involves a fellow runner tracking Young's movements on his official website. That person – named Asher Dermott – posted his story to saying that on June 4 he followed Young's GPS tracker as he passed through Dermott's hometown of Lebo, Kansas. Seeing that the ultrarunner was close by, he decided to head out to meet him, and perhaps run a few miles with him along the way. But when he tracked down Young's support vehicle, the runner was nowhere to be found.

To support these claims, Dermott has video and photos, along with time-stamped images of the tracking page on Young's website. He claims that he watched Young's support vehicle for an extended period of time, and that there was no runner to be seen at any time. The vehicle was moving along at roughly the same speed as a runner, with the implication being that Young was inside the RV resting, while the GPS tracker was used to trick anyone following along with his progress into believing that he was actually out on the road, covering all of those miles. Because Young mostly runs at night – it was 1 AM when he passed through Lebo – it would be unlikely that anyone would notice.

Canadian Adventurer To Row Across the Atlantic Solo

A Canadian adventurer who was the first person from that country to summit Everest without the use of oxygen is now preparing to embark on his next big challenge – a 4500 km (2796 mile) solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to raise funds to fight cancer.

This month, Laval St. Germain will set out from Halifax Habor on what he calls the Confront Cancer Ocean Row. His hope is to arrive in France in a few months time, braving big waves, hundreds of miles of open water, and potentially dangerous storms along the way. Traveling west to east across the turbulent North Atlantic will test his stamina and determination with cold water and icy seas as well.

St. Germain is making this solo Atlantic crossing to raise funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He hope to pull in $200,000 in donations to help support that organizations cause, which is to work towards the cause of curing cancer and bringing an end to the disease which 43 Albertans are diagnosed with on a daily basis.

But Laval has another inspiration for rowing across the Atlantic too. In July of 2014, his oldest son drowned in a canoe accident on the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territory of Canada. He was 21-years old at the time, and had been attempting to lend assistance to a girl who was panicking while swimming in those waters. The young man lost his life, which as you can imagine had a dramatic impact on his family's life.

According to his Twitter feed, Laval will launch his epic crossing starting tomorrow – Wednesday, June 15. His specially designed rowboat has been placed in the water, and has been stocked with supplies, and the weather looks good for the start of the journey.

If you want to follow this adventure as it unfolds, it looks like Laval's Twitter is the best way to go. I wish him godspeed on this expedition. It should be a challenge unlike any other.