Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How One Expedition Team is Trying to Save the Okavango Delta

Located in the heart of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a vast inland river delta that forms each year by seasonal flooding. Rains in the Angola Highlands flow down the Okavango River, but rather than be deposited in a lake or ocean, they simply spread out across the plains, covering an area of about 8500 square miles (22,014 sq. km) for several months of the year. This results in a large ecosystem where a variety of plant life grows, attracting large numbers of animals to the otherwise dry and desolate region.

This amazing place is the largest intact watershed in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But, it has also come increasingly under threat from a variety of sources, including poaching, ongoing conflicts across the region, industrialization, irrigation, and climate change. But a dedicated group of conservationists is looking to protect the Delta and have undertaken an impressively massive expedition to explore its vast expanse.

Dubbed the Okavango Wilderness Project, the team is supported by National Geographic and have spent years charting the Delta from "source to sand." They've started up in the highlands where the rivers that feed the Okavango begin and wandered down all the way to where it terminates on the planes of Botswana, the water evaporating into the air as part of its seasonal process. This team, led by South African Steve Boyes, has gone the length and breadth of the region in an effort to understand it better.

Another British Polar Explorer to Attempt Solo Antarctic Traverse

Another British polar explorer will attempt a solo, unassisted traverse of Antarctica later this year. Veteran adventurer Lou Rudd has announced his plans to follow in the footsteps of Henry Worsley by setting out to cover more than 1770 km (1100 miles) across the Antarctic continent. Rudd has vowed to complete the job that his friend could not, becoming the first person to finish this epic journey completely on their own.

In an interview with Explorers Web, Rudd says that the expedition is scheduled to begin in November of this year and wrap up sometime in January of 2019. He says that he has already begun training for the journey and will tap into his experience in the Antarctic as well. Back in 2011 he took part in the Scott/Amundsen Centenary Race, which is where he first met Worsley. That group traveled more than 1290 km (801 miles) across he Antarctic to reach the South Pole. Then, in 2016/2017 he was part of another six-man team that skied across the frozen continent once again. Now, he's looking to go completely solo on his third visit to Antarctica.

Worsley famously attempted this same journey back in the 2015/2016 Antarctic season, losing his life in the process. This year, Ben Saunders gave it a go as well, but pulled the plug when he reached the South Pole. That leaves the solo, unassisted traverse still open for someone to become the first to finish, Rudd thinks he's the man for the job.

In the interview with ExWeb he touches on what draws him back to the Antarctic, what he learned from Henry while they traveled together, and his overall goals for the expedition, which may include the use of embedded medical sensors to track his biometrics. He also shares some details on his training and what will be on his music player/reading list while he's in the Antarctic.

We'll of course be keeping a close eye on Lou's expedition later this year and bring regular updates on his progress once he gets underway. November is still a ways off, but for him it'll be here before he knows it. You can find out more about Rudd and his plans on his official website.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Video: Exploring the Chugach Mountains of Alaska by Paramotor

Take to the skies above the Chugach Mountains and Knik Glacier in Alaska to get a bird's eye view of the spectacular scenery found there. In the case of the video below, you'll putter along on a parameter flight that provides some epic aerial views of the landscapes found there. This is a truly amazing and adventurous way to explore the backcountry.

Video: Spring Flooding in Yosemite National Park

Heavy rains and rapid snow melt off have hit Yosemite National Park hard this spring. The park has had some of its more popular and iconic places closed due to the conditions, with some roads covered in as much as 4 feet of water at times. This video was shot a couple of weeks back and gives you a sense of what it is like there. Things have improved some now, but there are still areas of the park that continue to battle the wet conditions. This is a good reminder of wild and powerful Mother Nature can be.

Gear Closet: Salomon XA Elevate Trail Running Shoes

If you're in the market for a new trail running shoe this spring, I just might have exactly what you're looking for. The new XA Elevate from Salomon is a shoe built to take on the toughest of trails and keep your feet well protected for miles, although some might not appreciate its stiff ride on less demanding terrain.

As with pretty much every running shoe from Salomon, the XA Elevate is filled with some interesting and unique features and technology designed to help them perform better in the worst of conditions. In this case, that includes the company's Contagrip outsole for improved traction on a variety of surfaces and its EnergyCell midsole that was built to not only offer runners plenty of cushioning underfoot, but substantial energy return too. These components are paired with Salomon's Advanced Chassis to manage motion control and stability, as well as the Profeel Film that offers enhanced rolling of the shoe during toe off.

What does this all mean for runners? To put it more simply, the XA Elevate was built to grip well on just about any surface, protect your feet from rugged terrain, and keep you moving at a fast pace, even when things get rough. And how does it do in terms of delivering that level of performance? In a word – outstanding.

I've been running in this shoe for several weeks now and have come away very impressed. It is a versatile trail runner that can handle a variety of different terrains with ease, but it is surprisingly adept at keeping your feet comfortable and well protected on rocky ground. But more than that, it also performs well on extremely technical trails, providing plenty of confidence in the roughest environments. And at the end of a run, your legs don't feel quite so beat up, with recovery times feeling shorter too.

Popular Mechanics Expands Bucket List with 55 Things to do Before the End of the World

The concept of a bucket list is an interesting one. The idea is to come up with a bunch of things that you'd like to do before you "kick the bucket." If you're like me, that list is always in motion, with new things being added and subtracted all the time. In my case, I'll probably never finish the list completely, but it will certainly be a lot of fun trying. With that in mind, Popular Mechanics is offering us some new things to include on such a list, posting 55 things to do before the end of the world. The author notes that the world isn't probably going to end all that soon, but these are some things you might want to do "just in case."

Some of the items on the list are big adventures, like catching a marlin from a kayak, hike Antelope Canyon or enter a desert race. Others are more practical, like buy yourself a good set of screwdrivers or build yourself a work bench. Some, are just downright silly, like shave your head or shoot pumpkins with arrows. All of them are experiences to be savored and shared however, bringing a splash of color – and sometimes the entire spectrum – to your life.

We've of course seen similar lists from other outlets in the past, but what separates this one from the others is the diversity of things you'll find on the list. They range from things as serious as donating a kidney to as whimsical as eating at a specific barbecue joint in Tennessee. There are also things on the list that anyone can accomplish too, with most of the items being rather simple and straight forward, even if they might require you to step outside your comfort zone a bit.

Taking a cursory glance at these things to do before the end of the world, I'd say I'm about halfway or so through the list. That's not too bad of course, but it does leave me with some work to do. I'd better get cracking.

Find out how many you've already accomplished by clicking here.

Himalaya Spring 2018: The Name of the Game is Acclimatization

We've entered the phase of the 2018 spring climbing season that is a bit of the grind for the climbers. Now that most teams have settled into base camp and gotten a bit more comfortable, it is time for the acclimatization rotations to take over. For the next few weeks, everyone will simply being going up and down their respective mountains, sleeping at increasingly higher campsites along the way, all in an effort to prepare themselves for the thin air they'll encounter as they prepare for the summit. It isn't the most glamorous part of any expedition, but it is necessary for success.

As mentioned last week, the teams on the South Side of Everest have already started making their way into the Khumbu Icefall and up to Camp 1 and 2. More teams are jumping on that schedule now, making the route through the icefall a bit slower, and those two campsites increasingly crowded. The Adventure Consultants are currently at C1 with their entire team and report good weather conditions at the moment. The IMG squad is a bit higher at C2 where the team has already spent a couple of nights. They'll head back down to Base Camp today, even as another group heads up Lobuche as part of its acclimatization efforts. The Jagged Globe team is also in C1 today and plans to head up to C2 tomorrow.

On the North Side of the mountain in Tibet the teams are on the move as well. Furtenbach Adventures has launched its first rotation up the North Col and will spend a few days at Advanced Base Camp. The team uses oxygen tents to pre-acclimatize at home before they ever arrive on the mountain, giving them a bit of a leg up in terms of preparation. Most other teams to be on a similar schedule with climbers heading out to intermittent camp and ABC over the next day or two.

Another team that uses oxygen tents prior to leaving for the Himalaya is Alpenglow Expeditions. As mentioned before, the team is hoping to nab a double summit of both Cho Oyu and Everest this year, and while company owner Adrian Ballinger has been in Tibet for a few days already, his team is now arriving as well. They hope to summit the first of those peaks by the end of next week, then jump over to the Big Hill shortly there after.

Finally, Matt Moniz is starting his first rotation through the Khumbu Icefall today, climbing along with Willie Benegas. Matt is attempting a double summit of his own, climbing both Everest and Lhotse. So far, his acclimatization efforts have been stymied by a stomach bug, which prevented a summit of Pumori. But, he seems to be back on his feet and pushing through his first rotation up the mountain. We'll be keeping a close eye on his efforts in the days ahead for sure.

That's it for today. We'll be watching closely as things unfold over the next few days. Hopefully everyone gets up and down the mountain safely as they start to find their legs and get their lungs ready for the climb. More to come soon.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Video: Mike Foote - Skiing and Skinning 61,000-Feet of Vertical in a Day

A few weeks back I shared the story of Mike Foote, an ultrarunner who had set a new record for skiing the most vertical feet in a single day. Over the course of a 24 hour period, he managed to skin up and ski down Whitefish Mountain Resort 60 times, notching an amazing 61,200 feet (18,654 meters) before he was through. The video below captures the essence of that endeavor more so than anything I could write about it. If you want to see what this mission was like for Mike and his support team, check it out below. It is agonizing, thrilling, and inspiring, all in one go. 

Video: A Road Trip To All 59 National Parks

Next week is National Parks Week here in the U.S., and to celebrate I thought this video was appropriate. It follows travelers Matthew and Renee Hahnel as they travel across the country visiting all 59 national parks, spending 7 months to get to each of those places. Along the way, they discover some of the most striking landscapes found anywhere on the planet.

Lance Armstrong Settles $100 Million Lawsuit with Federal Government

Yesterday, former pro cyclist and Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong put to rest the final lawsuit that has been dogging him since he admitted to doping throughout his long and successful career. It was announced that Armstrong has settled out of court with the U.S. government, agreeing to pay $5 million as well as an additional $1.65 million in legal fees for former teammate Floyd Landis, who could claim as much as 25% of the settlement as the whistleblower in the case.

The lawsuit was brought against Armstrong by the U.S. Postal Service, who was his sponsor for a large part of his career, which saw him win 7 back-to-back Tours de France. The lawsuit claimed that Armstrong defrauded the USPS by using performance enhancing drugs to win those races, during which the team was paid $32 million, of which $13.5 went directly to Armstrong himself. Initially, the suit was for $100 million.

In 2013, Armstrong admitted to doping, setting off a flurry of lawsuits, while most of his long-time sponsors abandoned him. The Tour de France stripped him of his seven wins and the Olympic Committee took away a bronze medal he had won as well. The cyclist was also banned for life from competing in organizes sports as well.

Since that time, Armstrong has been slowly fending off those lawsuits and settling them in various ways. The AP reports that he has paid out more than $20 million over that time. Putting this final case behind him should allow him to move on with his life, which has changed dramatically since his cycling days. Today, he still continues his cancer survivor support work, while serving as a public speaker, podcaster, businessman, and advocate for a wide variety of sports.

Personally, I always felt this lawsuit was a bit unfair. Yes, Armstrong obviously doped and won a lot of races while using banned substances. There is no question of that. But, the U.S. Postal Service saw the full benefit of its sponsorship and then some. Being associated with Armstrong at the height of his fame brought a lot of publicity to the USPS. I don't think they were harmed in any way however when Armstrong admitted to cheating. Either way, its good for cycling to have this over with. Now, hopefully everyone can move on.

How a Team of Ultrarunners Took on the Snowman Trek in Bhutan

Way back in 2016 we followed along as a team of ultrarunners made an attempt on the Snowman Trek in Bhutan. The Snowman is one of the hardest, most demanding trails in the world, and the team of  Ben Clark, Anna Frost, Tim Olson, and Chris Ord set out to run it end-to-end in less than 14 days. Along the way, they faced a bevy of challenges, including porters and logistical support that quit on them, poor weather conditions, and incredibly difficult terrain. Yet in the end, they were able to accomplish their goal.

Fast forward to today, and National Geographic has posted an inside look at the expedition, sharing some behind the scenes details of just what it took for the team to make this daring and difficult journey. The article is an interview with mountaineer, endurance athlete, and filmmaker Clark, who still has a lot to tell about the Snowman Trek adventure.

In the interview, he talks about the origins and idea of attempting a speed record on the Bhutanese trail, what inspires him to visit remote corners of the globe, and why he chose this particular adventure. He also talks about the team's preparation for the speed-record attempt, how he selected those that came along with him, and some of the challenges that they faced along the way.

Clark made an amazing documentary about the speed-record attempt and it will be debuting in 350 movie theaters across the U.S. on May 17 at 7:00 PM local time. It is a one time showing of the film, and tickets can be purchased online.

Trio of Climbers Make First Ascent of Jeannette Peak in Canada

The news of this story broke a week or so back while I was on the road, and it got lost in my email box until now. Still, it is a good story and I thought it was worth sharing, even if I'm a little late on reporting it.

Three climbers have made the first ascent of an unclimbed peak in the Selwyn Range of the Canadian Rockies in eastern British Columbia. On April 2, at 5:10 PM local time, American Lonnie Dupre, along with Canadians Pascale Marceau and Vern Stice, reached the summit of Jeannette Peak, a 3089 meter (10,135 ft) mountain that is the highest in the region.

The team chose this particular mountain because after an exhaustive search they could find no records of it having been climbed at anytime in the past. They were also drawn to its large prominence, which is reportedly 1657 meters (5437 ft). It is believed that it has remained unclimbed until now due to a parameter of knife-edge mountains circling its bace and the numerous narrow, avalanche-prone valleys that are part of its summit approach.

Dupre and Marceau made an attempt on the mountain three weeks prior to their successful ascent, but were turned back 120 meters (393 ft) from the summit due to technical rock obstacles in their path and a high risk of avalanche. They returned in early April and added Stice to the team, finding success along the northwest shoulder and western ridge of Jeanette Peak. When they reached the summit they found a small plateau located there that was made up of snow and rock. The trio spent just 15 minutes on top, before turning back down.

In a press release announcing the success of the team, Canadian Mountaineer David P. Jones commented on the successful climbing, saying “From my perspective, it seems fewer and fewer folk are willing to get off the beaten track and explore without the benefit of a guidebook — so it’s always great to see there are still a few skiers and climbers venturing into more remote areas of the mountains.”

Congrats to the team on their success.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Video: Kilimanjaro - Mountain of Greatness Trailer

This video is a trailer for a full-length documentary called Kilimanjaro: Mountain of Greatness. It follows mountain bikers Hans Rey, Danny MacAskill and Gerhard Czerner as they ride to the summit of the two tallest peaks in Africa, Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro itself. Along the way they face some of the toughest terrain any of them have ever seen, while dealing with altitude and a myriad of other challenges. As you would expect, this was quite an adventure and well worth a look for anyone who loves Kili.

Video: Free Soloing El Capitan with Pete Whittaker

Back in November of 2016, climber Pete Whittaker made the first free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite in under 24 hours. In fact, it took Pete just 20 hours and 6 minutes to complete this iconic route. In this video, we join him on the wall and learn exactly what it takes to make such a daring ascent, which requires not only nerves of steel, but plenty of strength and endurance too. 

Gear Closet: Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera Review

Yesterday I shared my experience, and some tips I picked up, while attending a Nikon School course on travel photography recently. For someone who travels frequently and loves to take photos, that was an enriching opportunity to say the least. In addition to inviting me to sit in on the course, Nikon also loaned me a D7500 DSLR camera to use during the class and on some of my adventures, and while I was perfectly happy with my older Nikon DSLR, I now find myself wanting to upgrade to take advantage of the fantastic features that his camera brings to the table.

The D7500 is equipped with all kinds of modern photography technology. For instance, it features a 20.9 megapixel DX sensor that captures outstanding image quality and offers beautiful color reproduction. It is capable of shooting as many as 8 fps in burst mode, and has a wide range of ISO settings, starting at 100 and going as high as 51,200. That translates to excellent low light performance, without producing too much grain in the images. A 51-point autofocus grid allows the camera to lock on to subjects quickly and accurately, while the D7500's processing engine was even efficient in handling RAW format photos.

Of course, this being a modern DSLR, it also shoots outstanding video as well. The D7500 is capable of capturing 4k video at 24 fps or 1080p video as high as 60 fps. That makes this a workhorse camera that can shoot both video and still shots with ease. It even has built-in pro-level tools like power aperture controls and the ability to refocus the lenses through a touch control. Time lapse videos are a cinch to shoot too and video can even be captured in MP4 format for quick playback and editing on smart devices.

Other nice features that I really appreciated were WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity that made it easy to share videos and images with a smartphone or tablet, a tilting touchscreen for fast navigation, and a rugged body that felt like you could take it just about anywhere. Battery life is rated for up to 950 shots between charges, and I found that to be fairly accurate, even when using the camera in extremely cold conditions.

The Adventure Podcast Episode 15: Did Mallory Summit Everest?

The latest episode of The Adventure Podcast is now available for download. You should be able to find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. As usual, I've also embedded the episode below for you to listen directly from this blog post.

This week we discuss a topic that has spurred debate in the mountaineering community for nearly a century - Did George Mallory summit Everest back in 1924? If so, it would have been 29 years prior to Hillary and Norgay making the recognized first ascent of the mountain. Dave and I go head to head sharing our opinion on the topic, and it is pretty clear where we both stand. (Hint: Dave says yes, he summited, I say no!) We also discuss the latest adventure news, including an exciting new expedition to walk the length of the Yangtze, a change in pricing for National Park entry fees, an interview with Adrian Ballinger, and much more. As always, we wrap up the show with gear picks, which include a new set of hiking boots and a portable campfire!

The Adventure Podcast can be found on social media as well. Join us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and links from the show. And of course, you can always send us feedback via email too. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy the show.

Himalaya Spring 2018: Puja Ceremonies and Into the Icefall

The spring climbing season on Everest and other big peaks in the Himalaya is proceeding on schedule. Most of the teams have now arrived in Base Camp on both sides of the mountain or will be there very shortly, and the acclimatization process is now underway. But before anyone can go up the mountain for the very first time, they must first complete an important step in the climbing process - the Puja ceremony.

Those who follow the Himalayan climbing scene closely probably already know about the importance of the Puja. During this ceremony, a Buddhist lama comes to Base Camp and performs a ritual in which he asks permission of the mountain for the climbers to safely pass up and down its slopes. The lama will also bless the climbers themselves and the gear that they are using for the expedition. This is a long standing tradition amongst the Sherpa people and most will not proceed up to the higher sections of the mountain they are on until the Puja has been completed. It is not mandatory for the western climbers to attend the ceremonies, but it is part of the Himalayan climbing experience, so most do come and take it all in.

Once the Puja has been wrapped up the teams are now free to start their climb in earnest. Several squads are at that point now, particularly on the South Side of Everest where climbers have been getting settled, making acclimatization hikes, and working on their rope skills for the past week or so. Some have ever gone into the notorious Khumbu Icefall where they've practiced climbing ladders and negotiating their way through that dangerous section of the climb. Reportedly, this year's route through the icefall is as direct, quick, and straightforward as any have seen before. Hopefully this will limit the amount of time spent in that section of the climb, which is widely considered the most treacherous on the Nepali side of the mountain.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Video: Around the World in 6852 Birds

I have to admit, I'm not much of a birder. I do enjoy spotting unique, colorful, and unusual species of birds in the wild, particularly when I'm visiting another country. But, Arjan Dwarshuis – the subject of the video below – took birdwatching to an entirely new level back in 2016 when he set a new record for spotting the most species – 6852 in fact – in a single year. To do that, he had to visit 40 different countries, traveled on 140 flights, and was on the go for 366 days. It is quite a story of dedication and commitment. Check it out below.

Around the World in 6,852 Birds from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

Video: Up El Cap in Two Nineteen Forty Four

In October of 2017, climbers Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds set a new speed record for climbing The Nose in Yosemite, flying up the route in 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 44 seconds. This video is the story of that climb, offering up some spectacular views and amazing insights into their attempt to break an already impressive record.

Two Nineteen Forty Four from Tristan Greszko on Vimeo.

6 Tips for Taking Better Travel and Adventure Photos

There is no question that photography and adventure go hand in hand. Whether you're traveling to some remote corner of the globe, snapping a summit photo on a big mountain, or just capturing a sunset over the landscape in your own backyard, great photos are an essential part of telling the story. As someone who is lucky enough to get travel regularly as part of his job, photography has long played a crucial role in what I do. That said, I'm hardly an expert and I'm constantly learning new things on how to be a better photographer.

Recently I had the chance to attend a Nikon School class on Landscape and Travel Photography that was taught by professional photographer Reed Hoffman. The course no only reminded me of some of the basics that I hadn't always been thinking about, while also teaching me a few new tricks that I can carry forward on future adventures. With that in mind, here are 6 tips I learned for taking better photos.

Get to Know Your Camera
This may seem like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who buy a camera, charge the battery, shoot a few photos, and end their familiarization there. To get the most out of your camera, you have to really drill down into the menus to figure out where all of the settings are, while exploring what those settings actually do. If you're using a DSLR, you should learn how it performs in a variety of environments, how well it it shoots images with different lenses, and how well it functions in low light conditions. You'll also come to know how fast it shoots photos and get a sense of how it captures color and light. All of those are important things to know before you really get serious about your photography.

At the Nikon School course that I took we actually went through the various menus and examined what the settings actually did. Some of it was very basic and common sense, but others weren't too intuitive and easy to understand. But, the instructors made it easy to figure out what everything did, sending us out better informed about the technology behind the equipment we're using. Also, it is always fun to experiment with different settings to see how they impact your results. 

Think About Composition
I like to say that there is a big difference between snapping pictures and taking photographs. If you're just pointing your camera in a general direction to capture a scene, you're probably just doing the latter. However, if you put the camera up to your eye, think about the shot, frame your subject in an interesting way, and take your time with figuring out what makes it the most interesting, you'll start to take much better photos. For instance, the subject of the photo doesn't necessarily have to be front and center, but actually might be more interesting somewhere else in the image. The Rule of Thirds comes in handy when thinking about competition too.

10 Survival Skills Everyone Needs to Know

We routinely feature interesting lists from other outlets here at The Adventure Blog, but this one might just save your life, particularly if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors. Popular Mechanics has posted a run-down of the 10 survival skills we all need to know, offering up some suggestions that should be common knowledge, along with a few you might not have seen before.

The first couple of items on the list are definitely something that everyone should know in case of emergency situations. They include how to signal for help and how to orient a map. Other good tips inform readers on how to make clean water, what do do if their feet get wet and cold, and how to swim a long distance in freezing water. Other items on the list aren't quite so intuitive, but are helpful none the less. For instance, the article tells you how to make a fire using a gum wrapper and an AA battery and how to turn your car into a battery.

Some of the items that make the list are no doubt things you already know, while others are no doubt things you've never even thought of. While reading the list I couldn't help but wonder when I might use some of the skills listed there, but then again you never know when a situation might arise where they could come in handy. There are definitely some items that every outdoor enthusiast should master, while others are a bit more obscure.

Check out the entire list here.

British Adventurer Olly Hicks Planning Second Attempt to Row the Southern Ocean

Way back in 2009 I followed British adventurer Olly Hicks as he made an attempt to row the Southern Ocean, circumnavigating Antarctica in the process. That expedition was fraught with challenges and Hicks ended up spending three months at sea without really putting a dent in the milage he needed to complete his journey. He ended up pulling the plug soon thereafter, but has never quite been able to shake the idea of going back to this massive undertaking, even announcing plans in 2012 to try again. Now, more than six years later, he's prepping to give it another go.

Hicks has announced that he'll once again attempt a solo row around the Southern Ocean, which he says will be the longest such journey ever undertaken. The plan is to set off from Australia later this and begin rowing in an easterly direction. The entire trip will cover approximately 18,000 miles (28,968 km) and he expects it will take roughly two years to complete, including a 2-3 month stopover on South Georgia Island where he'll wait out the Antarctic winter.

Olly's approach to the expedition is a bit different this time out, as he now plans to have a support ship with him to shadow his progress and lend assistance should the need arise. That vessel won't just be hanging out in the Southern Ocean however, as it will also be on a scientific mission to study the the current health of plankton in the Southern Ocean.

To prepare for the "Row the World" mission, Hicks will first warm-up by rowing from mainland Norway to Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. From there, he'll embark on a 20-city tour, along with his rowboat and scientific support vessel that will end upon his arrival in Australia. Along the way, he hopes to host a series of educational events to not only introduce his plan to row the Southern Ocean but also talk about the science he and his team will conduct while there. Those events will hopefully raise awareness of his plans and may serve as fundraisers to help support the expedition too.

There is no firm date set for when Hicks will begin his Southern Ocean challenge, but I'd predict that it will launch sometime in October or early-November in an attempt to get a jump start during the Austral summer. That season is relatively short, so he'll want to make as much progress as he can prior to the return of winter.

To find out more visit OllyHicks.com.


Olly Hicks Showreel from Olly Hicks on Vimeo.