Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Video: Paragliding the Karakoram Highway

The Karakoram Highway holds the distinction of being the highest paved international road in the entire world. It also provides access into one of the most remote and rugged places on the planet. In the video below, a trio of paragliders travels to this famous road, located in Northern Pakistan, to explore the mountains from the air, and set some new records in the process. The 41-minute short film provides an intriguing look at this part of the world, as well as some breathtaking footage that will leave you spellbound. Make some time to watch this. It is worth it.

KARAKORAM HIGHWAY from SEARCH Projects on Vimeo.

Video: Svalbard - A Journey to the High Arctic

Here's a wonderful video that transports viewers to the Svalbard, a remote island located off the coast of Norway above the Arctic Circle. The seven minute clip takes us through the stunning landscapes that exist there, giving us a glimpse of the beautiful scenery, remote places, and wonderful wildlife that lives in this amazing place. Svalbard is a popular destination for those who want to spot polar bears in the wild, but it is not a place for travelers who can't endure cold weather and demanding conditions. Those who can however, are treated to a pristine wilderness that rewards them with beauty at every turn.

Svalbard - The High Arctic from Peter Cox on Vimeo.

SUGOI Introduces "Stay Classy" Cycling Jersey to Raise Funds, Awareness of Prostate Cancer

Each month, our friends over at SUGOI release a new cycling jersey to help raise funds and awareness for a different cause. These jerseys always have a unique styling, and distinctive look to them which helps them stand out from the crowd. They also have the signature SUGOI level of quality that we all have come to appreciate as well.

For November, the company is helping to support the Prostate Cancer Awareness Charity by releasing the "Stay Classy" jersey, which you can see pictured here. As you can tell, it definitely has a look that is all its own.

I know it may only be September, and the jersey isn't even available yet, but I wanted to share this bit of news none the less. Prostate cancer is an important cause to get behind, and I applaud SUGOI for helping to raise awareness of this issue. On top of that, I also wanted readers to be aware that they can help contribute to the cause, while scoring a fun jersey in the process. The "Stay Classy" jersey will be available directly from SUGOI or in local cycling shops in November.

Keep your eyes peeled for this shirt, as it will certainly help you stand out from your cycling group.

Is Nepalese Government Using Trash to Distract From Real Everest Issues?

Earlier this year, the government of Nepal issued a new requirement for climbers attempting to summit Mt. Everest. Under that new rule, all climbers would be required to not only pack out all of the trash that they generate while on the mountain, but also bring down an additional 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of waste leftover from past expeditions as well. This measure was meant to help clean up the mountain, and preserve it for future climbers to enjoy as well, but Outside magazine says it was actually just a ploy to help distract from the real issue – ongoing labor disputes with the Sherpas who do the bulk of the work on Himalayan peaks.

Contrary to what is typically reported about Everest, Outside says that there is not a trash problem on the mountain at all. The brief article does acknowledge that the dumping of waste, most notably human feces, into crevasses high on the mountain, is a growing problem. As the glaciers melt, and move down the South Face, it brings that human waste closer to Base Camp. It can also get into the shared drinking water, which makes it unsafe for human consumption. This is an issue that future expeditions will need to be aware of, but carrying extra trash off the mountain isn't going to impact that problem.

Outside senior editor Grayson Schaffer, who has written extensively about the climbing seasons on Everest the past couple of years, says that these trash laws are just a way for the Nepalese government to distract from the ongoing issues it has with dealing with labor conflicts with the Sherpa staff. Those issues came to the forefront this spring when an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas working on the mountain, and set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in all of the climbing teams abandoning the South Side of the Everest. Since then, there have been some concessions made, with improvements in insurance benefits given, but tensions remain high in Nepal, and there are other disputes that remain unresolved.

Walking the Nile Update: Lev Completes Nile Trek!

As expected, British adventurer Levison Wood completed his attempt to walk the length of the Nile River this past weekend, reaching the Nile Delta on Saturday. That point marked the end of a 9-month journey that passed through six countries, and covered about 3800 miles (6115 km), during which Wood faced numerous challenges, including difficult terrain, extreme heat, hostile locals, and the death of a journalist who was covering his adventure.

The journey began back in December, when Wood set out from the furthest source of the Nile River located the highlands of Rwanda. His journey would take him into Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and eventually Egypt.

Contrary to some reports that you'll read, Wood did not walk the entire length of the Nile as he had originally intended. When he initially began his walk, the route was relatively secure by African standards, but not long after getting underway, civl war broke out in South Sudan. While traveling there, he ran into trouble in the town of Bor. The region was a horrific war zone when Lev reached that point, and the South Sudanese government decided to expel him for his own safety. As a result, he missed approximately 450 miles, which means that despite his best efforts, he wasn't able to walk uninterrupted from source to sea. The civil war continues to rage in South Sudan, so it isn't safe for Wood to go back there now and cover those lost miles, but he has said on more than one occasion that he would like to do just that when the opportunity arises.

War-torn South Sudan wasn't the only major challenge to the expedition. Levison was close to abandoning the entire journey after American journalist Matthew Power died while trekking through Uganda. Power was there to cover the story when he suffered heat stroke, and perished in a remote corner of the country. It was enough to cause Wood to take a break from the walk, and take stock of why he was out there. Eventually, he found the determination to continue on, but it was an eye-opening experience to say the least.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Lev for reaching the end of his journey. The Adventure Blog was one of the first outlets to pick up on the Walking the Nile expedition, first writing about it nine months before he would set off on the journey. At that time, Lev was to have a companion on his trek, but eventually it became a solo adventure. Over the months that followed, I wrote about a number of the milestones he reached along the way, and it is good to see that he has safely reached the end at long last.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Video: Drone Captures Amazing Footage of Scotland

As we head into the long weekend here in the States, I thought we'd end a busy week with this fantastic video. It was shot using a DJI Phantom Vision 2+ drone and features some spectacular footage of Scotland. The music is the perfect accompaniment to the great images as well. Very beautiful and tranquil. I hope you enjoy.

The Phantom of Scotland from Sulaiman Sibai on Vimeo.

Video: Paddling Panther Creek Gorge in California

Panther Creek Gorge, located on the upper middle Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park is a tough place to get to, let alone paddle. In fact, until this summer, this section of the river had only been run twice before, and no one has been there since 2008. A team of kayakers made the descent earlier in the year however, and brought back some fantastic footage of the amazing whitewater that can be found there. This is a run that only truly experience paddlers can make, but it looks like quite a ride.

Video: Laird Hamilton Shoots The Malibu Pier Twice

Versions of this video have been going viral over the past couple of days, and while I don't cover surfing all that often, I thought it was worth sharing. The short one-minute clip features surfing legend Laird Hamilton as he uses a SUP board, and paddle, to catch some big waves, generated by the arrival of Hurricane Marrie. The amazing part is how he deftly navigates his board under the Malibu Pier, not once, but twice. Don't try this at home kids, as you'll probably end up wiping out badly. But for Hamilton, it's just another day on the water.

Laird Hamilton SUP surfing in Epic Malibu conditions!! He shoots the pier twice!!! from Dual Hemisphere Media on Vimeo.

Adventure Travel Articles From About.com

A few weeks back I mentioned that I'd just taken over the Adventure and Outdoor Travel page at About.com, a gig that I'm very excited to be doing. Since then, I've been populating that page with quite a few stories and articles, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some links to those posts so you can can an idea of what I'm up to over there. So, here is a sample of what I've been writing.

Additionally, each Friday I post an article on Adventure Travel news with the latest updates and deals from around the industry. Those posts have links to great trips, interesting articles, and information that adventure travelers may want to know about. The latest adventure travel news article can be found here

I'm having a lot of fun contributing to About.com, and it doesn't hurt that it is a topic that I'm passionate about. On top of that, I have a lot of freedom to write about a variety of topics, and I'm looking forward to continuing to expand the site and audience there over time. I hope you find some things of interest there as well, and drop by from time-to-time to see what I'm up to there. 

ExWeb Previews 2014 Fall Himalayan Season

Summer is starting to slip away across the Northern Hemisphere, and in Nepal the summer monsoon is starting to weaken at last. That means it is nearly time for the start of another climbing season in the Himalaya, and ExWeb has posted a preview, giving us an idea of what to expect in the weeks ahead.

Typically, the fall climbing season focuses on a number of smaller mountains that are used to gain valuable experience for a spring attempt on Everest. That appears to once again be the case this year, although there are some expeditions that will be attempting some difficult climbs none the less. Take for example the Korean team heading to Lhotse to attempt the South Face. The group hoped to climb the same route last fall, but were thwarted by heavy snows. ExWeb reports that they are already in and out of Kathmandu, and should have started the trek to Base Camp yesterday. That should put them on the mountain sometime late next week, where they'll start their acclimatization process. You may recall that Lhotse is the neighbor of Everest, and shares much of the same route up the South Col.

Meanwhile, over on Makalu, a British military team, supported by a squad of Sherpas, is attempting to summit along the Southeast Ridge. This team is still putting the finishing touches on their preparation, and haven't quite left for Nepal yet. According to their website, they are expected to reach Base Camp around the 20th of September.

Spanish climber Carlos Soria is going for his 12th 8000-meter peak. He'll leave for Shishapangma next week. This past spring, Carlos became the oldest person to summit Kangchenjunga, and at the age of 75, he continues to be an inspiration to all of us. It doesn't appear that Carlos has any intention of slowing down either, as he aims to nab all 14 of the 8-thousanders.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Video: Extreme Mountain Running in Italy

The Red Bull K3 is an incredibly tough mountain running race that was held in Italy recently. It challenges participants to cover a mere 3000 meters in as fast a time as possible. But those 3000 meters happen to run up the side of a mountain, at an almost vertical angle. The video below will give you an example of what that event is like, and it will probably make your legs hurt just watching it. This makes my daily runs, on hilly terrain no less, look like a walk in the park. English subtitles are available from the closed captioning option of YouTube. Enjoy!

Video: Remy Métailler Shreds the Whistler Bike Park

We all know that the Whistler Bike Park is a legendary place to ride, with fun, challenging trails and unmatched scenery. But local rider Remy Métailler makes it look easy in this video, that has him bombing down hill on a fast and furious run. Watching this definitely makes me want to get on my bike again soon, and see what my local trails have to offer. Great stuff.

Remy Metailler burns the Whistler Bike Park from chris ricci on Vimeo.

Adventure Tech: Jabra Announces Bluetooth Earbuds with Built-In Heart Rate Monitor

In one of my post-Outdoor Retailer articles I mentioned that wearable technology was a popular item at the show this year, with a number of great looking fitness, running, and mountaineering watches in the works. At the end of that article, I even hinted that there was a product coming that would put a heart rate monitor in your earbuds, freeing us from the cumbersome and uncomfortable strap forever. When I wrote that, I wasn't able to share who was making the product, or when it was coming. But yesterday, Jabra took the wraps off of this gadget, announcing pricing and availability for their new Sports Pulse Wireless earbuds.

These new earphones are obviously designed with the runner in mind. Lightweight, durable, and built to take on your daily workouts, they offer excellent sound quality with wireless Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone or mp3 player. Encased in carbon fiber, the Sport Pulse Wireless are sweat- and rain-proof, while remaining comfortable to wear, even on extended runs.

But what really sets these earbuds apart are the integrated heart rate monitor. Wearing these will allow runners to leave the bulky strap monitor and home, in favor of this incredibly lightweight solution. When paired with Jabra's app the provide feedback on performance throughout your run, and record improvements over time. They'll even allow you to set goals based on distance run, calories burned, and time out on the trail or road.

Having seen these earbuds in person, I can attest to how small they are, while providing good sound quality for your run. Additionally, I happen to love using Bluetooth earbuds, as they eliminate the wire running to your music player during a workout. Finding a pair that can stream music wireless, and serve as a heart rate monitor is simply incredible. Jabra says the Sports Pulse Wireless are good for five hours of battery life, which is an improvement on previous generations, even though they are smaller in size. That means that most of us can get a couple of workouts in before we need to recharge, while marathoners can be sure that they'll make it through a long run without worry.

The Sports Pulse Wireless will be available to purchase in late September, with MSRP of $199. That's a bit pricey, but if they deliver on their promise, they'll be worth it. Check out the video below for more.

Traveling to the South Pole in a Wheelchair

ExWeb has an inspiring story for us today, as they share a brief profile of Russian polar guide Dmitry Shparo, who has spent more than two decades helping disabled individuals achieve their dreams and goals in the arctic and antarctic. The explorer, whose resume includes being on the first team to reach the North Pole during the long polar night back in 2007-2008, feels that physical impairments should not be an impediment to experiencing true adventure, and he has specialized in helping the disabeled to do just that.

ExWeb says that this past spring, Dmitry – along with his youngest son Matvey – led two hearing-impaired teenagers to the North Pole. This is just one example of what Dmitry has helped his clients to achieve, with perhaps the most impressive occurring back in 2000, when he and fellow polar explorer Boris Smolin helped lead paraplegic Igor Kusnetsov across Greenland's icecap. Kusnetsov made that journey in a specially built wheelchair that was mounted on skies. The entire journey covered roughly 600 km (372 miles) along the Polar Circle between the towns of Ammassalik and Sondre Stromfjord.

Apparently that experience will come in handy for Dmitry's next big challenge. While ExWeb is light on the details, the story indicates that the Russian polar guide intends to lead an expedition to the South Pole in 2015 that will give a quadriplegic athlete by the name of Igor Ushakov a chance to travel across the antarctic in a wheelchair. The planned route will cover 934 km (580 miles). Shparo will once again be accompanied by his son Matvey on this journey, which will test their strength and endurance for sure.

While the 2014 antarctic season is still a few months off, I'm already looking forward to hearing more about Dmitry's plans for next year. It would be an incredibly inspiring story indeed to follow Igor on his monumental journey to the South Pole. And if he is able to achieve that goal, it would also serve a further testament to what a disabled person can overcome when they set challenges for themselves, and achieve them.

Must Read For Mountaineering Fans: Alan Arnette Shares K2 Summit Recap

If you still haven't gotten your fill of news from K2 this summer, I've got one more great story for you to read. Our friend, Alan Arnette, has posted a very personal account of his summit push on the Savage Mountain, sharing some incredible insights into the physical and mental challenges he had to overcome to reach the top of the toughest mountain on the planet. To do so, he had to battle back his own fears and insecurities, and overcome a case of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, a condition that can prove fatal if a climber doesn't descend in a timely fashion.

If you followed Allan's expedition, you probably read his dispatches about his travels to Pakistan, the journey to Skardu and Askole, before beginning the trek to Base Camp, and his acclimatization process on the mountain. You've probably even read his pre- and post-summit updates, which shared a bit about his preparation, conditioning, and mental state on the climb. Following his successful summit, Alan even touched on the challenges he faced on the way up, and back down. But those dispatches only hinted at the hurdles that he had to overcome along the way. This report takes us through the very long, and grueling, battle he had with K2 – and more importantly, himself – when he pressed toward the summit back on July 27.

Alan talks about the deep, and overwhelming, fatigue that set in as he climbed above Camp 4, approaching 25,500 feet (7772 meters). It was at that point that he was ready to just stop, sit down, and stay right where he was, not caring to move forward or back. It was a crucial moment of the climb. He felt like he was dying, and there wasn't any energy left to fight on.

But then he remembered why he was there. Climbing to raise funds and awareness for the fight against Alzheimer's, he drew strength from the thought of all the people who were supporting him, and those who suffered from that terrible disease. And at that moment, he found a new source of energy that helped to propel him forward. It wouldn't be easy, but he had to finish the ascent.

As I said, this is a very personal account of Alan's climb, and what I've written about in this post is just the beginning, and one small part of what he shares. It is a lengthy read, but also very inspiring. It is also a great account of high altitude mountaineering on a peak that remains incredibly demanding and dangerous, even when conditions are at there very best.

The title of this post says it all. If you're a mountaineer, either actual or armchair, you need to read this story. It will give you a new found respect for the climbers who topped out on K2 this summer, and the challenges that they faced along the way. Read it in its entirety here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Video: New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud

If you're still unconvinced that New Zealand needs to be on your bucket list of places to visit, perhaps this video will push you over the edge. It is a wonderful timelapse film shot at a variety of locations around the country that is equal parts compelling and tranquil, at the same time.

New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud from Stephen Patience Photography on Vimeo.

Video: I Am #OMNITEN - An Adventure in Jordan

This video is a trailer for a long documentary created by Columbia Sportswear that follows a group of travelers visiting the country of Jordan. Not traditionally seen as an "adventure destination," Jordan never the less has a great deal to offer visitors. I was lucky enough to go there a few years back, and visit a lot of the same places seen in the video, and I can tell you that it was an amazing experience. From the deserts of Wadi Rum to the ancient ruins of Petra, and beyond, Jordan is a fantastic destination. The two-minute clip below will only whet your appetite, and make you want to go see all of these places for yourself.

Video: The Relentless River of Everest

Yesterday's story about Ben Stookesberry exploring the Dudh Kosi River in Nepal seemed to have captured the attention of quite a few readers. In that post, I mentioned a British expedition that made the first descent of the river back in 1976, creating a classic paddling documentary called Everest by Canoe, which would later be renamed the Relentless River of Everest. In that post, I shared a trailer for the film, which was enough to give us a taste of what that expedition was like. Today, I have the full film, which is 45-minutes of intense expedition kayaking action. The film is a wonderful throw-back to a different era, and truly generates a great sense of adventure about what the explorers were doing in the Himalaya. This is a classic BBC film, and if you have the time, I highly recommend you watch the entire thing.

A Kayaking Expedition Through Canada's Torngat Wilderness

Yesterday I posted a story from Canoe & Kayak magazine about Ben Stookesberry's attempt to paddle the legendary Dudh Kosi River in Nepal. That amazing expedition took place this past spring, but it isn't the only adventure that Stookesberry has been on this year. In July, he set out for Quebec, Canada to explore the remote Tomgat wilderness, a place that is largely unvisited and unexplored, even in the 21st century.

Calling his latest project Destination Tomgat, Stookesberry set out on the journey in early July on what promised to be a two-month long expedition. Along the way he has been joined at various times by an exceptional group of paddlers, including Pedro Olivia, Erik Boomer, Ben Marr, and Chris Korbulic. 

Olivia joined Ben on a 480-mile paddle along the George River, which leads into the ultimate prize, the Tomgat Mountas. They found some epic whitewater on the tributaries that lead to the George, including dropping some big waterfalls on the Nutillilk River, and making just the second descent of one 25-miles stretch on the Ford River as well. Along the way, they put their Jackson Karma UL kayaks through their paces, finding them to be surprisingly versatile for hauling gear, and handling more challenging water conditions.

Walking The Nile Update: End In Sight For Levison Wood

The end of the journey is now in sight for Levison Wood, the British explorer who has spent the past nine months walking the Nile River in Africa. A month ago I posted that he Lev had passed into Egypt, the final country on his grand walking tour. And now, just a few weeks later, he is approaching the Nile Delta at last. In fact, according to his most recent status updates on Facebook, he should reach the Mediterranean Sea by this Saturday.

It has been a long, strange journey for Wood, who started his walk last November, and will have covered more than 4000 miles (6430 km) by the time he reaches the Delta. The journey started in the highlands of Rwanda, which is where the furthest source of the Nile is located. From there, the expedition took him into Burundi, across Tanzania, and Uganda, before eventually arriving in South Sudan, the war ravaged nation that had been relatively quiet before he set out on his journey. Lev's walk along the Nile was disrupted at that point, when he ran into trouble and was forced to leave the country. He resumed his trek northward in Sudan, but ended up missing approximately 400 miles (645 km) along his intended route, and due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, he won't be able to go back and complete those missing miles for sometime.

Wood reached Egypt back in late July, and told a reporter for The Guardian that it has been the most relaxed stretch of the expedition by far. He says it has been easy to find places to stay, the people are friendly, and the food is good, and plentiful. That hasn't been the case through parts of the trek however, as he has faced difficult terrain, suspicious locals, and grueling heat. The Guardian article says that at one point in Sudan temperatures rose above 62ºC, which equates to nearly 144ºF, which if true would exceed the highest temperature ever officially recorded. In addition to facing the civil war in South Sudan, there have been other set-backs as well. For instance, in March, a reporter traveling with Wood died of heatstroke in Uganda. That incident left the Brit shaken and uncertain of his plans.

But now, with the end in sight, Lev is eager to wrap things up. He has been traveling at an increased pace, and with little difficulty, since reaching Egypt, and while he has not personally witnessed any unrest, two police cars have shadowed him at all times to ensure his safety. By the weekend, that escort should see him safely to the Nile Delta, and the end of the expedition.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Video: Climbing Monte Rosa in Switzerland

At 4634 meters (15,203 ft) in height, Monte Rosa is the tallest mountain in Switzerland, and the second tallest in the Alps. It is a popular climbing peak for mountaineers, who routinely use it as a place to hone their skills for other climbs. The video below follows a group of friends as they make the climb, staying in a series of comfortable looking huts on the way up, and capturing some spectacular views of the landscape around them as they go. The final approach to the summit is a long a tricky-looking knife-edge, but the payoff seems to be worth the effort.

Climbing Monte Rosa from Sander Cruiming on Vimeo.

Video: Beautiful Highlining Short Film

Highlining is another one of those activities that I enjoy watching, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to try. Still, you have to admire the balance and control – not to mention nerves of steel – that these people exhibit while out on the rope. The video below captures some great shots of highliners doing their thing. It is brought to us by the talented team from The Bivy, a new group of adventure filmmakers who are just starting to share their work. It looks like we'll have another source for great adventure films in the future.

Video: Wingsuit Pilot Flies Along Avalanche Line in the Alps

If you're looking for a dose of adrenaline to get your day going, check out the video below. It was shot using a helmet cam by a wingsuit pilot in the Alps. We've seen plenty of these videos over the past few years, but this one stands out for just how close the pilot gets to trees below him. At some points, he seems to actually be lower than than the tree-tops too, as he buzzes along at breakneck speed. This is 44-seconds of pure terror.

Kayaking the Relentless River of Everest in Nepal

Canoe & Kayak magazine has posted a remarkable story on its website detailing an amazing paddling expedition that took place in Nepal earlier this year. This past spring, expedition kayaker Ben Stookesberry was joined by Nepalese paddler Surjan Tamang, on a journey to explore the Dudh Kosi River, a legendary stretch of water in traces its origins to Mt. Everest, but over the years has carved out an identity all its own.

Back in 1976, the river was originally explored by a team of British paddlers, who brought back an impressive amount of film that they shot while on their expedition. That footage eventually became the basis for the adventure film Dudh Kosi: Relentless River of Everest, which has gone on to become one of the more legendary kayaking movies of all time. The team of six Brits traveled to Nepal to take on the river, which at that point had been totally unexplored. They were pushed to their absolute limits, as the raging rapids, impenetrable gorges, and impassable rocks tested them at every turn. The team was forced to abandon their attempt to run the entire length of the Dudh Kosi in Lukla, the starting point for the trek to Everest Base Camp. There was far more river to run below that point, it simply was too dangerous to go any further.

But that is exactly where Stookesberry wanted to go, and he needed some help from Tamang to continue his exploration. The two men dropped into a 130-foot gorge on their first day, leaving behind their only climbing rope on their first rappel into the valley. Without a rope, they would have to trust that there would be other places to exit along the way, but that meant also braving a river that was raging well beyond Category V rapids in a canyon that didn't allow satellite phone reception, and would make a helicopter rescue impossible.

Family of Adventurers Will Spend 16-Months Walking the Length of Madagascar

Here at The Adventure Blog, I often write about individual, and teams, of adventurers who are setting off on some amazing journey that will take them to the ends of the Earth. It isn't all that often that I can write about an entire family going on a fantastic adventure together. That is exactly what is happening for one family however, as they are spending 16-months walking the length of Madagascar, covering approximately 2500 km (1553 miles) together.

Alexandre and Sonia Poussin are certainly no strangers to adventure. They once spent three years walking the length of Africa on a journey that covered more than 14,000 km (8700 miles). That adventure took place back in 2001, and a lot has changed since then. For instance, the couple has added too children to their lives, with Phylaé, age 6, and Ulysse, age 9, keeping them plenty busy. But now that the kids have grown some, the decision was made to begin yet another long trek.

The family is calling their expedition Madatrek, and they are undertaking the journey in part to explore a region of the world that they have never visited, and as a way to introduce the children to the importance of helping others. The Poussin family is assisting with several NGOs along their trek, and lending a hand to local villages where they can.

The journey actually began back in May, and the family has been making steady progress heading on their trek ever since. They launched the trip in the southern portion of Madagascar, and have been heading in a northerly direction for the past several month. The family is using a specially built cart to carry all of their gear and supplies while out on the road, and they are trying to remain as self-sufficient as possible on the journey. While they have managed to cover quite a bit of distance already, they aren't in any particular hurry to complete their walk. The children are continuing their studies along the way, while Alexandre and Sonia promote the efforts of the NGOs that they are working with.

You can follow the family's progress on the MadaTrek website and on their Facebook page. Expedition sponsor Hi-Tec footwear is also posting updates to their website as well, as all four members of the Poussin family are wearing hiking shoes made by the company on this 16-month long adventure.