Friday Detours: 13th March 2020

This week, explore the strange world of competitive ice climbing, read inspirational accounts of bikepacking in Scotland and kayaking in Antarctica, and get to know three of the most accomplished women in adventure.

13th March 2020 | Words by Matt Jones @ WildBounds HQ

#1 The strange world of competitive ice climbing
With bouldering, speed and lead climbing set to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it sometimes feels like climbing has gone supernova. But there are some corners of the climbing world where the main exponents are simply a tight-knit community of passionate masochists. Outside magazine delves into the weird and wonderful world of competitive ice climbing

#2 Coronavirus threat closes Everest
Nepal's government has cancelled all climbing permits for Mount Everest  because of the coronavirus outbreak. It effectively wipes out the spring climbing season, affecting climbers from the US, India, China, UK, Japan and South Korea as well as Sherpas and others who rely on tourism. BBC News reports on the likely impact

#3 Bikepacking through the Scottish Highlands
Like the idea of bikepacking through Scotland? Then you’ve got to read Fiona Russell’s absorbing account of a recent jaunt through the Scottish Highlands by mountain bike, penned for Scottish paper The Sunday Post

#4 Humpback whales, icebergs and a sub-zero swim: kayaking in Antarctica
We hadn’t actually heard of adventure travel writer and photographer Sadie Whitelocks before stumbling across this piece. Perhaps we should have – she’s a fellow of both The Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society. Anyway, we loved her engaging write-up of a recent awe-inspiring Antarctic kayaking trip

#5 ‘Not bad for a girl’: overcoming prejudice in elite mountaineering
German adventurer Anja Blacha has skied to the South Pole, summited Everest and climbed K2. Lhakpa Sherpa holds the Guinness World Record for the most ascents of Everest by a woman, with nine to date. And Dawa Yangzum Sherpa is one Nepal’s most celebrated climbers, as well as the country’s first female certified international mountain guide. Yet all three women have battled prejudice and faced a catalogue of outdated psychological, mental, emotional and cultural stereotypes in the male-dominated adventure scene. Read their stories

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