Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Video: Miracles Around Us

This video was apparently made as a promotional project for Oars, the adventure travel company that specializes in rafting and kayaking expeditions. But this doesn't come across like a commercial in any sense of the word, but is instead a beautiful reminder of all of the amazing, miraculous, things that are taking place around us as we travel across our planet. The scenery is breathtaking, and the narration is thought provoking, even if it is a bit haunting. This video is one you won't want to miss.

Miracles from Thelonious Step on Vimeo.

Video: Megavalanche Mountain Bike Race Down Alpe d'Huez

The Megavalanche is an insane down-hill mountain bike race that takes place each year on the sloes of Alpe d'Huez, one of the most storied climbs in the history of the Tour de France. But in this case, the riders are racing down a much different route, and as you'll see in the video below, it is one wild ride. Carnage is often the best way to describe the early stages of the ride, and it doesn't get much easier as the riders descend. This is one event I'm more than happy to watch on video, and leave the actual racing to those who are crazy enough to ender it.

Tour de France 2014: Pyrenees Showdown as Push to Paris Begins

This past weekend, the 2014 Tour de France rode into the Alps, where it became abundantly clear that Vincenzo Nibali is the strongest rider in the peloton, and in complete control of the race. When the riders hit the long, steep slopes of the mountains, the Italian flashed displays of strength and endurance, even as his closest rivals faded away. With five stages yet to go, including several big days in the Pyrenees, this is Nibali's race to lose, and barring any unforeseen problems, he will ride into Paris in the Maillot Jaune and take a victory lap on the Champs Élysées.

But their is still some drama and glory left to play out in Le Tour. There are stage victories to be claimed, a long individual time trial to be overcome, and several other jerseys still up for contention. That was exactly the mood amongst the riders as they took off on today's 237.5 km (147.5 miles) Stage 16, running from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon, which featured tough climbs, but a very fast downhill descent to the finish. It was a day for a breakaway to survive, provided some climbers could get over the final Beyond Category climb, then sprint to the end. That is exactly what happened, as Aussie rider Michael Rogers found his first success in the Tour de France after riding in the race for ten years. He finished nine seconds ahead of a group of riders, that included Thomas Voeckler, Vasili Kiryienka, and Cyril Gautier, who had jousted with one another across the final kilometers of the course.

The first day in the Pyrenees have already had an impact on the overall standings for the General Classification. Nibali didn't surrender any time to those who have been chasing him, and made sure that he kept Alejandro Valverde, currently riding in second place, in his sights at all time. But French rider Thibaut Pinot managed to climb up to third place however, as Roman Bardet and Tejay Van Garderen lost ground in the mountains and gave up significant amounts of time. As it stands now, Valverde is 4'37" behind Nibali, with two more big mountain stages looming.

Walking the Nile Update: Into Egypt

Last week, explorer Levison Wood reached another milestone on his Walking the Nile Expedition when he crossed the border between Sudan and Egypt. It is his sixth, and final, country in Wood's attempt to walk the entire length of the Nile, which he launched last fall. With his arrival in Egypt, Lev now faces approximately 1600 km (995 miles) before he reaches the finish line at the mouth of the river as it flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

According to a dispatch posted late last week, the border crossing took place aboard a slow, crowded, and very hot ferry. It took nearly 20 hours for the boat to reach Aswan in southern Egypt, where Wood could begin walking once again. Ahead of hims is another long stretch of the river of course, but also a bit of uncertainty. Egypt has had its share of unrest over the past few years, and hopefully there will be no issues for the Brit as he makes his way north. It is my understanding that the country is most dangerous in Cairo itself, which is still some weeks off.

When Levison set out late last year, he had every intention of walking the entire 6853 km (4258 miles) length of the river. Not long after he began his trek however, civil war broke out in South Sudan, and the country was incredibly dangerous when he arrived there. Determined to press on, he entered South Sudan and continued his walk along the Nile. But as he traveled across the conflict riddled country, he ran into problems in the town of Bor, and was expelled from the country by the South Sudanese government in an effort to protect him from the ongoing fighting there. As a result, Wood was unable to walk approximately 645 km (400 miles) of the river, so even as he approaches the finish line, he'll have a section of river that remains unfinished.

There are still weeks of travel ahead of Lev, who will now walk along the Nile Valley through the Sahara Desert. Having visited this section of the Nile myself, I can tell you that it is quite fertile along the river, but the harsh desert conditions begin not far from its banks. The desert brings incredibly high temperatures as well, which will almost certainly have an impact on his journey as well.

Pakistan 2014: Summit Push Begins on K2, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum II

While I was off on a little adventure of my own on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the climbers in Pakistan have been busy preparing for summit bids in the Himalaya and Karakoram. Most have now wrapped up their acclimatization efforts, and have launched their summit bids in ernest. Over the next few days, they will be pushing themselves to the limit with the hopes of reaching the summit on their respective mountains, including the most difficult peak in the world – K2.

Over the past few days, Alan Arnette has continued to release a string of dispatches sharing his experiences on K2. He reported that heavy snow and high winds have made things challenging, even in Base Camp, where avalanches were a regular occurrence. But the weather is expected to improve starting today, with favorable conditions expected to last into next week. That is an unusually long weather window for K2, so everyone is hoping to take advantage of it, even if they haven't had a chance to complete their full acclimatization rotations.

Alan, and the rest of his team, will leave BC today to begin their summit push. Over the next few days he'll be proceeding upwards to each of the successive camps with the hopes of reaching C4 on Saturday, then going for the summit in the early hours of Sunday. He'll provide brief updates on his progress while he can, but all of his efforts will be focused on climbing this "Mountaineer's Mountain" over the next few days.

He won't be alone in his efforts to reach the summit. Al Hancock and Adrian Hayes have also began their summit bids. They have had the opportunity to fully acclimatize, and are now ready to stand on the summit. Since they have spent some time at Camp 3 already, they'll have an accelerated schedule, with the hope of topping out on Friday or Saturday of this week. The duo will release no further dispatches until they return from the summit push, as they'll now leave behind any unnecessary gear to move faster and lighter, and carry more important items with them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Video: Where in the World Are You? - Quest #6

While I'm off on a short adventure of my own, I wanted to share the latest video in Richard Bang's Where in the World Are You? series. This time out, we're off to Africa. But can you identify the place from the clues that Richard provides? Just watching this makes me want to return to Africa soon. Fun stuff!

Video: Bike Mounted Camera Capture Tour de France Action

Ever wonder what it is like to ride in the Peloton at the Tour de France? Than this video is definitely for you. It shows some harrowing footage on the now infamous Stage 5 of this year's race. That's the stage that was marred with crashes due to steady downpour, and the riders passing over the always-dangerous cobblestone roads of northern France. The footage was captured by a bike mounted camera, and provides a bit of perspective on what pro riders face in the biggest cycling event in the world.

Off to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Adventure Blog is on a brief hiatus as I head off to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a little fun and adventure of my own over the next couple of days. While there, I'll be hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, and taking in the wonderful sights of the UP.

If you've never been to this wonderful place, you truly need to add it to your list of destinations. It is a surpassingly remote and wild place, with a lot to offer the outdoor adventurer. In fact, I'd venture to say that it is perhaps the best outdoor playground in the U.S., east of the Mississippi River.

In the days ahead, I'll share some stores about my time there, but for now I'm looking forward to exploring what the UP has to offer. This is a fairly brief trip, and I'll be back to posting updates on Tuesday, July 22. Until then, I hope all of you take the opportunity to enjoy some outdoor adventures of your own. And if you want to follow along with what I'm up to, follow me on Twitter at @kungfujedi or "like" the Facebook page for The Adventure Blog. I'll be posting regular updates to both of those social media outlets.

Have fun, and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Video: A Postcard From New Zealand's South Island

The South Island of New Zealand is a beautiful destination for adventure travelers looking for an active escape. The video below shows us just how amazing the place actually is, as the filmmakers behind this clip have made a video postcard designed to inspire the rest of us to follow in their footsteps and explore everything New Zealand has to offer. They don't have to ask me twice. I'm ready to go now!

Postcard from New Zealand from Bitt-n.com on Vimeo.

Adventure Tech: Suunto Introduces Ambit 3, Connected Family of Devices

If you're a technology and gadget nerd like me, you probably already realize that 2014 is shaping up to be the launching of the age of wearable technology. Samsung, Motorola, and other tech companies have already embraced the Android Wear platform, and the world waits with baited breath to see what Apple's iWatch will bring to the table this fall. In response to this burgeoning demand for more connected devices, the traditional manufacturers of fitness watches have also started to up their game, with Garmin, MagellanTomTom, and others bringing new options to consumers. A few days back, Suunto took the wraps off of their new products, the Ambit 3, giving us a glimpse of what it will deliver to outdoor athletes, including new levels of connectivity with smartphones and other devices.

Building on the highly successful Ambit series, the new Ambit 3 will bring all of the features of previous models, as well as a host of new capabilities. The watch will have integrated GPS of course, to help track speed, distance, altitude, and other data from our workouts and outdoor adventures. The easy-to-use interface of the Ambit OS makes it a breeze to use all of the features, and performance of the Ambit 1 and 2 are amongst the best in the business. The durable and comfortable watches are equally useful on a long run, bike ride, hike, or climb, and that level of versatility is one of the things that I really like with my Ambit, which I use on an almost daily basis.

The Ambit 3 will come in two models, the "Sport" and the "Peak." The former of these products is designed specifically with athletes in mind, and will put an emphasis on running, cycling, and swimming functionality, as well as easy integration with the Suunto heart rate monitor. It will also track progress of workouts, including recovery time, and integrate with the iPhone or iPad for sharing and analyzing that data as well. The "Peak" version of the Ambit 3 is built for mountaineers and outdoor adventurers, and brings such functionality as navigation, a compass, altimeter, and barometer. The device is capable of up to 50 hours of battery life in GPS mode, which is very good for device of this type.

Tour de France 2014: A French Win in Oyonnax

After yesterday's rest day – the first of two in this year's Tour de France – the riders returned to the road today for a challenging stage through a hilly section between Besançon and Oyonnax. While the route wasn't nearly as demanding as the small mountains we saw this past weekend, it was enough to create gaps in the peloton, and allow a breakaway to survive long enough to claim a stage win for the host country, its first of the year.

For the most part, the race today didn't offer much in the way of drama, which was to be expected following the crash-filled, crazy few days that led up to the rest day. But near the end, several teams lined up their leaders with the hope of claiming a stage win. Those teams included Cannondale, who hoped to get Peter Sagan his first stage win of the year. Ultimately those efforts fell short however, as French rider Tony Gallopin found a burst of speed in the final few kilometers that allowed him to escape his close pursuers, then hold on for the win.

Gallopin's win had little impact on any of the various classifications in the race. Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali keeps the Yellow Jersey, and barring some disaster, will do so until the race reaches the Alps and Pyrenees at the very least. Sagan once again kept his Green Jersey as the race's top sprinter, while  Joaquim Rodriguez stayed in the Polka Dots that designate him as the current leader of the King of the Mountains competition. Roman Bardet continues his reign as the White Jersey wearer, as the best young rider under the age of 25 in the race.

The question on everyone's lips at the moment is whether or not anyone can catch Nibali. The Italian is unquestionably in charge of the race at the moment, and looks poised to ride all the way to Paris in Yellow. But this Tour has been an unpredictable one, with many crashes and strange outcomes. While Nibali is the clear favorite to win the race, anything can happen int he mountains, and there are still 10 stages left to be ridden. Vincenzo is a great climber of course, but it only takes one poor performance for him to give up time, and open the door for someone to challenge him. At this point, it unclear who can rise to that challenge, but perhaps someone will attack in the mountains to at least put some pressure on Nibali. We'll find out in a few days.

Outside Recaps The Deadliest Season in Everest History

As most of you probably already know, this past climbing season on Everest was the deadliest in the history of Mt. Everest, despite the fact that the South Side of the mountain was shutdown for most of the spring. On April 18, a massive avalanche rolled down the slopes of that section of the mountain, not far from Camp 1, claiming the lives of 16 Sherpas who were shuttling gear and supplies up the slopes at that time. It was a disaster of epic proportions that will continue to resonate with the climbing community for years to come, and even now, months after the accident, we're still learning new details about that tragic day.

In the latest issue of Outside magazine, resident Everest expert Grayson Schaffer shares his insights into the lost season on Everest. His article, entitled "Black Year: Everest's Deadliest Season" is now available online, and it is a long, and exhaustive look at everything that happened on April 18, giving us the most detailed account of the rescue efforts, which eventually turned into a mission to recover the bodies of the fallen. The article takes us step-by-step through that day, starting early in the morning before the avalanche hit, and continuing on until search and rescue operations ceased.

Of course, no story about this Everest season would be complete without looking at the fallout that followed the tragedy, and this one does that as well. It explores the politics and tensions that led to the cancellation of climbing operations, particularly those that were brought to bear on Joby Ogwyn, the BASE jumper who was planning to fly a wingsuit off the summit of the mountain.

The article also looks at the meeting that took place in Base Camp on April 20, which would ultimately lead to the demands of the Sherpas on the Nepali government, and eventually contribute to the shutdown of the mountain. What followed has been the subject of numerous stories, with a small, but very vocal, group of Sherpas applying pressure on their compatriots, the climbers, and guides, to call of the climb, and go home.

This is a long article, and will require some time to get through the entire thing, but it is probably the best, most complete, look at the situation that we've seen to date. It incorporates first hand accounts from Sherpas, climbing team leaders, guides, and others who were on the mountain. The further we get away from the tragedy, the more likely we are to get a clearer picture of the accident, and the days that followed. I'm sure the entire story still isn't known, but we are getting closer.

Badwater Ultra-Marathon Begins New Era with 2014 Race

The annual Badwater Ultra-Marathon, one of the toughest foot races on the planet, is scheduled to get underway next Monday, July 21. It will be the 37th running of this event, which draws runners from all over the planet each year to test themselves along a 135 mile (217 km) route through the hottest place on the planet – Death Valley. But this year, the race will have a slightly different look than in the past, as new regulations by the National Park Service have banned athletic competitions from taking place inside the parks while it conducts a review of safety for such events.

As you can probably imagine, this change in policy has not sat well with Badwater competitors, many of whom have been taking part in the event for years. The name of the race is derived from the Badwater Basin, which sits inside Death Valley National Park, but won't even be a part of the route this year. That starting point was part of the tradition that has made this ultra-run such a special event, and these changes, brought on by a new park superintendent, have left some runners frustrated.

This year, organizers of the event have been forced to alter the traditional course to meet the new requirements from the park service, and as a result, the runners will now set off from Lone Pine, California, although they will still have the finish line on the slopes of Mt. Whitney. Along the way, they'll cross over Horseshoe Meadow, at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3048 meters), before traveling through Owens Valley on a dirt road at 5500 feet (1676 meters), before proceeding on to Darwin, as they approach the Mt. Whitney Portal at 8360 feet. Over the course of the 135 mile run, competitors will face 17,000 feet (5800 metes) of vertical gain, and 12,700 feet (4450 meters) of cumulative descent.

For their part, the National Park Service says that they are continuing to receive more applications and requests to hold endurance events inside the parks, including Death Valley. In order to ensure that those events are safe, the agency has elected to study the viability of holding athletic competitions on government managed public lands. Their concerns aren't just about the safety of competitors, as they also want to examine the impact of such events on traffic flow, and access to other the park by other visitors during the events. The environmental impact of these events are also being evaluated as well.

The door is not closed on the Badwater returning to its original course in the future. It is possible that the NPS will decide that the event is safe, and has minimal impact on the park. But for this year, the race will have a different course, and a different look. One that keeps it out of Death Valley National Park altogether.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Video: Vancouver Island Timelapse in 4K

To wrap up today, we have another fantastic timelapse video, this time coming our way from Vancouver Island. The beautiful clip shares a series of breathtaking images from that place, giving us some wonderful views of the wilderness that can be found there. Enjoy!

Vancouver Island 4K - Timelapse from Gavin Hardcastle on Vimeo.

Video: Pushing the Limits of Adventure with Cory Richards

National Geographic photographer Cory Richards has some unique perspectives on exploration and adventure, and in the video below he shares them with an audience at a National Geographic Live event. In the 13+ minute clip, which is a lot like a TED Talk, Cory discusses what drives him to do the things he does, and his constant quest to tell great stories through his photographs, as he goes in search of adventure. This is a fantastic video, filled with laughs, insights, and inspiration. Don't miss it!

Kayaker Completes Volga River Paddle, Continues Descents of Longest Rivers on Each Continent

Expedition kayaker Mark Kalch has added another milestone on his attempt to paddle the longest river on each of the seven continents. Yesterday, the Australian announced via Facebook that he had reached the Caspian Sea, completing a 71 day, 3700 km (2300 mile) descent of the Volga River in Russia – the longest in Europe. With the successful completion of this paddle, he now has finished three of the rivers, including the Amazon in South America, and the Mississippi-Missouri in North America.

Mark calls his project "7 Rivers, 7 Continents," and has been focused on completing it for several years now. His efforts are almost entirely self funded, and his approach to these adventures is to take his time, explore the river he is on, and find great stories to share. He completed his Amazon River expedition back in 2008, and followed that up with the Mississippi River in 2012. Now, he can the Volga to his list as well.

Those three rivers are obviously epic paddles, and impressive accomplishments, but he still has some incredibly long waterways to kayak before he is finished. For instance, he still has to complete the Onyx River, which is a mere 40 km (25 miles) in length, but is located in Antarctica. He also faces the Murray-Darling River in his native Australia, which stretches for 3370 km (2904 miles). The Yangtze in Asia will cover 6300 km (3916 miles), while the Nile in Africa is 6650 (4132 miles) in length.

All of those challenges still await him, but for now, Mark is content with having completes his latest adventure on the Volga. It is quite an accomplishment to paddle any one of these rivers in a single lifetime, but he has now managed to kayak three of them. But his goal is to get all seven, and he is determined to see that mission through to the end.

 Congratulations to Mark on completing this latest leg of the 7 Rivers, 7 Continents project. He is an inspiration to us all.

Video: Wingsuit Pilot Flies Through Waterfall

This short, but sweet, video was shot by wingsuit pilot James Russell, who made the jump from a Via Ferratta in Switzerland, then proceeded to fly town the side of a mountain, directly through a waterfall. To say the view is pretty spectacular would be an understatement.

Pakistan 2014: Summit Push Aborted on Broad Peak, Struggles on K2

This past weekend was suppose to present a summit window on Broad Peak, where teams have been lining up to launch their push towards the top, but poor conditions have forced most climbers to turn back and wait for better opportunities. Meanwhile, over on K2, the acclimatization process is well underway, although attempts to go higher on that mountain have been thwarted as well.

Australian climber Chris Jensen Burke is amongst those who started their summit push on Broad Peak last week, and hoped to top out today. But an update posted just a few hours ago indicates that she was forced to turn back after encountering waist-deep snow at 7400 meters (24,278 feet). Burke says that there are no fixed ropes to the summit yet, and that breaking trail under those conditions was incredibly exhausting. As a result of those tough conditions, there have been no summits on BP this season, although Chris things that will change soon, as more teams get focused on their climb. Unfortunately for her, she won't be around to join them. With her acclimatization over, and a single summit attempt complete, she now moves over to K2 Base Camp to begin focusing on that mountain.

The weather on Broad Peak is expected to improve starting tomorrow, which should allow other teams to finish the installation of the fixed ropes, and perhaps even launch a new round of summit bids. Others are still getting acclimatized, so it may be another week or two before the action on BP truly heats up. Some of the teams that were on the mountain early are ready to go, but others are still getting settled. Either way, it'll probably be the weekend at the earliest before anyone can attempt to reach the top again.

Over on K2, nearly every team is currently on an acclimatization rotation. Unfortunately, high winds are preventing most of the climbers from going above Camp 2, so most are either in C1 or have climbed up to that point. Amongst them are Adrian Hayes and Al Hancock, who are climbing together. Yesterday they climbed above C2, but found the high winds unbearable, with cold temperatures just making the entire situation worse. When it became clear that they weren't going to reach C3, they turned back, and spent the night in Camp 2. Today, they'll descend back to Base Camp, with their second rotation complete. Al says that after resting there, they'll be ready for a summit push, although it is unclear when the mountain will allow them to launch that attempt.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Video: Another Night on Reunion Island

This video is a beautiful timelapse captured on a French island located in the Indian Ocean known as Reunion. It features some spectacular shots of beautiful night skies that are both awe inspiring and humbling at the same time. The music helps to set a tranquil mood, making the three-and-a-half-minute clip an experience to be cherished. Enjoy!

Another Night from Luc Perrot on Vimeo.

Video: Drones Over Everest

A few weeks back, I shared a video of some footage that was shot in Bhutan with the use of a drone, that came our way courtesy of  Jon Miller, of The Rest of Everest fame. While Jon was in the Himalaya this past spring, he also traveled to Nepal and went trekking in the Khumbu Valley region, ultimately arriving at Mt. Everest, where he put his drone to good use once again. The video below shares that trek, along with some great footage from the mountains as well. If you've ever wanted to make this trek for yourself, this video is great inspiration.

Tour de France 2014: Mountain Stages Reveal Contenders, Crush Dreams

It has been an incredibly revealing three days in the 2014 Tour de France, as the riders arrived in the mountains over the weekend, giving them their hardest days in the saddle yet. But those tough stages have also revealed who the true contenders are for the Yellow Jersey this year, while also ending the aspirations of others.

Heading into the weekend, Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali wore the Maillot Jaune, with several top challengers, including Alberto Contador, lurking just off the pace. On Sunday, he surrendered that jersey to French rider Tony Gallopin, who put in a great ride to take charge of the race. But it was today's stage that would separate the contenders from the pretenders, and the 161.5 km (100.3 mile) route from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles, which featured several massive climbs, including a mountain top finish, lived up to the hype.

Early on in the stage, the slopes weren't too difficult, and the peloton stayed together long enough for Peter Sagan to claim the intermediate sprint points to help extend his lead in the Green Jersey competition. But soon there after, the non-climbers were left in the dust, as the riders who are strong in the mountains took center stage. It was a grueling battle throughout the day, with Nibali waiting until the final two climbs of the day to make his move. And what a move it ended up being, as the Italian rider not only won the stage on the late Category 1 climb of the day, but also reclaimed the Yellow Jersey in the process.

The Tour now looks like it is Nibali's to lose, because the other big news of the day is that Alberto Contador was forced to abandon the race. The Spaniard crashed heavily on one of the big climbs of the day after striking something on the road. After giving up several minutes of time to the peloton, he tried to ride on to rejoin the lead group, only to withdraw while on the road. Contador is the second of the top contenders to pull out, with defending champ Chris Froome leaving after a series of crashes last week.

Video: The Desert Challenge Ultra-marathon

While we're on the topic of ultra-marathons today, I thought I'd share a video that was released on Facebook over the weekend. It is a promo for the The Desert Challenge TransArabia Race, which is scheduled to take place in Jordan later this year, and will cover distances of 100 km (62.1 miles), 200 km (124.2 miles), or 300 km (186.4 miles) depending on the challenge you want to undertake. It is a non-stop race through that passes the Dead Sea, crosses through the desert of Wadi Rum, and ends at the ancient site of Petra. It promises to be quite an amazing event, and will set the stage for the TransOmania race that will follow next year.

Kilian Jornet Sets New Speed Record for the Hardrock 100

Writing about Kilian Jornet is starting to sound a bit like a broken record. This past weekend, the ultrarunner/mountaineer set a new speed record, this time while competing in the Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon, one of the toughest long distance races in the world. As the name implies, the race, which takes place in the San Juan Mountain Range of southern Colorado, covers a distance of 100.5 miles (161.7 km), and mixes in nearly 34,000 feet of vertical gain, and descents. 

The previous record for the Hardrock was set back in 2008 by Kyle Skaggs, who covered the course in an impressive time of 23 hours, 23 minutes. Since then, no one has really come all that close to equalling that mark, at least until Jornet took to the course this past weekend. He not only managed to beat Skaggs' mark, he completely smashed it, crossing the finish line in an unbelievable time of 22 hours, 41 minutes, 35 seconds. 

For his part, Jornet says that the Hardrock was the last ultra-marathon on his list that he had yet to conquer. While the Spanish endurance athlete is always looking for new challenges, over the past few years he has managed to notch wins in nearly every major ultra on the planet. But in recent months, his attention has turned increasingly towards his alpine pursuits, looking to set speed records on the tallest mountain on each continent. Just last month, he set a new record for climbing Denali, the highest peak in North America, and he already has plans to attempt Elbrus in Europe, and Aconcagua in South America, before going for the record on Everest as well. 

At this point in his career, Kilian isn't just making a case for being the best endurance athlete on the planet, as many would say that he has already done that. He seems to be simply increasing the gap between himself, and everyone else. It is difficult not to be impressed with the accomplishments of this man, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of times he posts on the remaining seven summits, especially Everest. 

Congratulations once again to Kilian. He continues to be an inspiration to outdoor athletes everywhere.