Expedition Idaho Adventure Race Returns In 2014, Expedition Alaska Coming In 2015!

Adventure racers looking to fill out their race schedule for next year can now add Expedition Idaho to the list of events they'll want to compete in next year. The race, which held its inaugural run back in 2011, returns on August 10-16 and will once again feature a fantastic finish amongst a cheering crowd of onlookers at a 2000-person beer festival. As you would expect, the race will include running, mountain biking and paddling sections, with a few extra surprises thrown in for good measure. This is a 500+ mile, expedition style race through some of the most spectacular backcountry in North America and I have it on very good authority that the mountain biking sections in particular will be amongst the best ever in an adventure race.

Find out more at the Perpetual Motion Events website, which is still under construction but has some preliminary information about all of their upcoming events.

Speaking of other upcoming events, the race management staff has also announced another exciting race that will take place in 2015. Not content to simply punish racers on a tough course in Idaho, the team has also announced the first ever Expedition Alaska adventure race, which will take place in June of 2015. That event will let 20 lucky teams compete for seven days in a wild and beautiful frontier that will push them to their limits.

And last, but certainly not least, Adventure Sports Week Idaho will also be back in 2014 offering more events than ever including an off-road tri, more trail runs and 52-mile ultra. The official dates have not been announced just yet, but ASWI will take place near Labor Day. As usual, the various races and events that make up Adventure Sports Week will be held in Farragut State Park near beautiful Coeur d’ Alene. Stay tuned for more information as the schedule unfolds. 

So there you have it. Adventure races and endurance athletes will certainly want to take note of these three great opportunities to compete in 2014 and beyond. I'm super-excited to see Expedition Idaho return next year and I can't wait to see what is store for Expedition Alaska in 2015. 

Video: Ueli Steck Talks Annapurna (and Everest!) With EpicTV (Part 3)

The third part of Ueli Steck's interview with EpicTV was posted earlier this week, bringing an end to this very interesting and engaging series. In this latest episode he touches on Annapurna a bit but it is more focused on Everest and the experience he had there this past spring when his team had a violent clash with Sherpas. As always, it is interesting to get Ueli's take on the mountaineering world and he offers good insights once again. If you missed the firs two parts of the interview you can watch them here and here.

No Updates Tomorrow!

I'm off for a long weekend, but this time I won't be doing any work. It's all about escape and relaxation for the next few days. I'll be back to the normal routine on Monday, but until then I plan to have some fun. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll probably figure out where I'm at pretty quickly.

In the meantime, I have several posts in place for today with some good stuff to share. I hope you enjoy and I'll be back with more updates soon.

Video: 40 Seconds of Pure Wingsuit Terror

If you're looking for a shot of adrenaline to get you going this morning than check out this video. It features a wingsuit pilot by the name of Scotty Bob who threads the needle of a Utah canyon without missing a beat. The video is only 40 seconds in length but it captures some of the best wing suit footage I've seen in awhile.

Antarctica 2013: More South Pole Skiers Hit The Ice

Now that the storms in Antarctica have subsided – at least for now – the regularly scheduled flights to the continent are underway and more skiers are hitting the ice to start their journeys to the South Pole. With the big Ilyushin aircraft reaching both the Union Glacier and Novo bases within the past few days, the 2013 Antarctic expedition season is in full swing at last with multiple expeditions preparing to head south, including a high profile speed attempt that should start today.

Richard Parks, the Brit who hopes to set a new speed record for skiing to the South Pole, should now be ready to begin that epic endeavor. He'll begin at Hercules Inlet and hopes to cross the 1150 km (715 mile) distance in just 23 days. Parks left Union Glacier two days ago and after a day of prepping gear and getting ready to start, he should be underway today. There has been no update yet on his official start, but I would anticipate confirmation soon. Once we get that notice, he'll have just over three weeks to reach his goal, which means he'll have to average about 30 miles per day en route. That's a pace that seems nearly impossible to maintain in the unpredictable Antarctic. I certainly wish him luck in this attempt however and will be cheering him on.

Meanwhile, the Novo Station welcomed two new arrivals yesterday. According to ExWeb,  Geoff Wilson and Faysal Hanneche were delivered to the Antarctic today and are now putting the final touches on their preparation before they launch their expeditions as well. Wilson is attempting a solo ski journey to the South Pole to raise funds for nurses that specialize in breast cancer back in his home country of Australia, while Hanneche will be kiteskiing to the Pole on his own as well. The Aussie left Novo yesterday but only went a short distance away from the base before setting up camp. I imagine he'll have his first full day out on the ice today or tomorrow.

ExWeb is also reporting that all of the gear for the upcoming Walking With The Wounded South Pole Race was delivered to Novo yesterday as well. The event will consist of three teams of wounded vets on a ski race to the Pole. One team is from the U.K., another from the U.S. and a third from the Commonwealth States. The participants will have a kick-off party in London tomorrow before heading out for Antarctica, but their gear will be flown to their starting points soon and will be waiting for them to arrive. The three teams will ski just the last three degrees on their way to the bottom of the world.

Finally, the Scott Expedition continues to press forward although it hasn't exactly been an easy start to their journey. Ben and Tarka are closing in on three weeks out on the ice and their spirits have risen and dropped from day to day depending on conditions and distances covered. Yesterday the sun came out, which made them feel better but the struggles of pulling heavy sleds, day-in and day-out, have taken their toll. Still, those sleds get a little lighter each day and as they make supply caches for their return trip, they sometimes get substantially lighter. They have a long way to go yet but the boys seem to have found a rhythm which will serve them well in the days ahead.

As a side note, if you haven't been reading the Scott Expedition blog posts, I'd definitely recommend them. Most days they answer questions from those of us who are following along at home and their answers can be quite interesting and enlightening. Many of them are about the logistics of Antarctic travel with some great information being shared directly from two guys who are out on the ice. It is hard to find better insights than that.

More to come soon.

Peak To Peak 2013: Climbing The Highest Peak On New Zealand's North And South Islands

It looks like December is shaping up to be quite a month for unique expeditions and adventures. Take for example the recently announced Peak 2 Peak 2013 expedition which is set to get underway on December 1. This impressive undertaking will send Kiwi Grant Rawlinson and Aussie Alan Silva on a human-powered odyssey across New Zealand that will have them climbing, paddling and cycling their way across both the North and South Islands.

The journey will begin with the two men first attempting to climb Mt. Ruapeahu (2797 meters/9177 ft), the tallest peak on the North Island. After that, they'll paddle 240 km (150 miles) down the Whanganui River before proceeding 60 km (37 miles) across the Cook Strait. Arriving on the South Island, they'll next get on their bikes for a 900 km (560 miles) ride to the foot of Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain on the island at 3754 meters (12,316 ft). They'll wrap up their journey with a climb to the summit, thus complete their Peak to Peak aspirations.

Grant and Alan will make this journey completely unsupported and on a small budget. They were both drawn to this unique challenge because of its grassroots nature and the fact that it could inspire others to undertake their own adventures that don't require a large time commitment or cost a lot of money.

Both of these men are experienced mountaineers, each with a successful summit of Everest under their belts. Alan climbed the world's tallest peak from the South Side back in 1998 while regular readers of this blog followed Grant's successful climb from the North Side back in 2012. That experience will come in handy as they push themselves to the limit on this particular expedition as well.

To follow along with the team's progress, visit Grant's website at axeoneverest.com. They'll get underway in just a couple of week. Good luck guys!

Video: The Polar Bear Whisperer

Churchill, Canada is a small town that has a big reputation for being the place to spot polar bears in the wild. Recently, adventure travel legend Richard Bangs made the journey to that remote village where he met Andy MacPherson, a local guide who has earned himself a reputation as the Polar Bear Whisperer. The video below introduces us to Andy and gives us an idea of how he interacts with the bears that remain the kinds of the Arctic even as we further encroach on their territory.

I haven't had the opportunity to visit Churchill just yet, but it is on my list of places to see. This vide makes me want to go there all the more.