Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I recently came across this website about a new expedition planned for 8 women from Commonwealth nations to ski to the South Pole. They're still looking for some of the women, so if you think you'd like to try out, check out the criteria.
I have a not-so-secret desire to visit Antarctica. I think the emptiness of it is fascinating, and the wildlife amazing. The landscape in hundreds of shades of white blows my mind. So needless to say, this new expedition got me thinking - am I up to that sort of challenge?
I think the short answer is 'no'. I have serious doubts about my ability to get into the kind of physical shape the trip would require. I'm also not sure that I have the determination to stick it out through what could be pretty extreme conditions.
Last but not least, I shudder at the idea of having to find sponsorship of the kind this expedition will require! Asking corporations for thousands of dollars is not my idea of a fun time.
On the other hand - I would love to be on hand to record what happens down there. So if they're looking for some communications support from an Antarctic base - sign me up!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
One of the things that has come from the merger is an invitation for WP authors to write posts for the Trekalong.com blog.
So as a habitual blogger anyway, I have committed myself to posting over at Trekalong now and then (but probably not as often as here - gotta keep my own blog going first!)
If you haven't heard of Trekalong - hop on over sometime and check it out.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Arthur's Pass is a village on New Zealand's South Island. The highway running through the pass is one of a few places where you can get through the Southern Alps to cross between the west and east sides of the island.
We spent a couple of days there, enjoying the scenery back in March.
Along the highway, there are areas where limestone boulders are artfully strewn across the mountainscapes. Some of these areas are hugely popular for bouldering, and they have tried to limit the number of bolts getting put into rocks by directing people to specific areas.
I thought this particular boulder looked like a part-man part-pumpkin. What do you think?
Here's G showing off his climbing skills. (Yeah, ok, I rotated the photo by 90 degrees...)
This is a view of the tiny village of Arthur's Pass, taken from the track up to Avalanche Peak.
This is the Arthur's Pass post office. How cute is that?
The track up Avalanche Peak is the only one in the area that's marked above the bushline. So most tramping in this area is for experienced alpine trampers only. We stuck with daywalks.
Here are some folks tackling the ridge to the summit of Avalanche Peak. I got this just before the clouds descended on us.
There are tons of keas around Arthur's Pass, so they're very careful about leaving stuff outside since the birds have a habit of tearing things apart just for fun.
Ah, the lazy days of summer... I can't wait until they return to my hemisphere!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Presumably, this means that a ton of you outdoorsy folks out there own a copy. You've invested in its detailed instructions on how to survive in the most extreme and remote conditions you could possibly encounter. You've studied how to desalinate water if you're lost at sea, how to trap your own food in the woods, and how to make a fire when all of your matches get wet and your lighter falls down a cliff.
What I want to know is - have any of you actually done any of this stuff? Have you set up a snare to catch dinner? Have you succeeded in starting a fire without a flint or matches? Have you found yourself so utterly lost that your normal camping skills just won't cut it?
I find it interesting that so many people feel that they need to learn these techniques. Sure, they could come in handy when all else fails. What I can't quite be sure of, however, is that I'd remember what I learned at the crucial moment. Odds are I won't have the manual with me (OK, I don't actually own a copy, but G does) so it would be a matter of not just reading this stuff, but retaining it. It's a lot to expect of someone who can't remember a new person's name 30 seconds after being introduced! What are the odds I'd remember how to desalinate water?
I guess it would be a matter of "practice makes perfect". So, have any of you practiced your survival skills? Leave me a comment and let me know!