Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Video: Climbing in the Indian Himalaya with the Pou Brothers

In the video below, the Pou Brothers, Iker and Eneko, head to the Indian Himalaya to take on some steep rock faces in their pursuit of successful summits. The two talented Basque climbers have quite an adventure in those big mountains, and the video delivers some spectacular scenery from that part of the world. The Himalaya in India may lack 8000 meters peaks, but they are still as challenging and beautiful as any mountains on the planet, as you'll see in the footage here. Remote and wild, this is a part of the world that must be seen to be truly appreciated.

POU BROTHERS in Indian Summer Festival from Jordi Canyigueral on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Video: Waiting for Postcards

The video below is the trailer for a short documentary film that is scheduled to be released next week. It comes our way from Australian filmmaker Danny McShane, and it features a young music producer from Brisbane, who was looking to break out of the rut he found himself in by going on an adventure in India. The film chronicles his two-month journey, which was both a creative and spiritual awakening. The beautiful trailer gives you an idea of what to expect from the full film, which should serve as an inspiration to us all about seeking our own adventures in life.

TRAILER // WAITING FOR POSTCARDS from Danny McShane on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Video: Traveling During The Low Season

Anyone who has traveled with any regularity knows the joys of visiting a location during the "low season." This is typically when conditions aren't conducive to the average traveler, who doesn't want to deal with colder weather, heavy rains or snows, or some other challenges. But, those periods also mean smaller crowds, a slower pace, and possibly access to places you might not normally get to see. The video below is all about "the low season" as filmmaker Andrew David Watson visits the Indian Himalaya on a quiet journey to a remote place. The short film is both beautiful and contemplative. It really makes me want to travel again soon.

THE LOW SEASON from Andrew David Watson on Vimeo.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wildlife Photographer Catches First Snow Leopard Kill Ever

Snow leopards are amongst the most elusive and endangered animals on the planet. They are so rare in fact that it is estimated that only about 50-60 of them still exist in the wild. Some of the big cats are known to inhabit the Hemis National Park in India, which is where a wildlife photographer recently made history by capturing what is believed to be the first images of a snow leopard making a kill.

Adam Riley was recently leading a snow leopard tour in the national park, which is located in the heart of the Himalaya, when he got the chance of a lifetime. Riley's series of photos show the cat on the prowl. Eventually, the predator catches sight of a small herd of mountain goats and goes in pursuit. The result is inevitable of course, but since the big cats are so rare in the wild, no one has ever captured images of the hunt before. 

National Geographic has more details on the story, as well as a series of photos that include Riley's explanation of what was happening at the time. In some of the photos it is actually difficult to see the snow leopard, as it blends so well into its background. Those photos explain why the cats are sometimes referred to as the "Gray Ghosts of the Himalaya," with their natural camouflage helping them to blend well with their surroundings. 

The images are definitely dramatic. Here's a sample of what Adam was able to capture. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Video: Traveling The Highest Road In The World

Looking for a little escape at the start of the week? Then look no further than this great travelogue style video that follows three traveler as they ride from Jaipur, India to Khardung La, the highest road in the world at 5369 meters (17,582 ft). It is a colorful, chaotic journey that looks like it would be quite an adventure.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Trekking The Indian Himalaya To Kuari Pass With Best Hike

My friend Rick McCharles, who writes the Best Hike Blog, has been busy adding to his already impressive resume of trails that he has walked. Recently he's been in the Indian Himalaya, spending the better part of a week trekking the Kuari Pass and writing about his experience there. The trek takes travelers deep into the mountains of northern India where 7000 meter peaks abound, it also affords those who make the walk views of the famous Nanda Devi, a mountain that many believe is the most beautiful on the planet.

Rick starts his travelogue of the trek with a Day 0 post that outlines what to expect on the hike, including the price. The 8 day trek costs $600 apiece for two hikers and includes a guided walk covering 82 km (50 miles) with the highest point reaching 5135 meters (16,847 ft) at Larkya La.

The trek offers some fantastic cultural encounters and amazing views, but of course one of the highlights is Nanda Devi, a 7816 meter (25,643 ft) peak that is the second tallest in India. It features a steep, sharp summit that cuts across the horizon in dramatic fashion. It also happens to fall inside the Nanda Devi preserve, that is off limits to all but a few lucky visitors. On occasion, permits are issued to climb the peak and some of the best climbers in history have attempted to reach its summit. The mountain is so striking that American climbing legend Willi Unsoeld named his daughter after the mountain. Sadly, she would later die trying to climb it.

Rick wrote six posts on the Kuari Pass trek, each of which can be accessed from the Day 0 post linked to above. Each of those posts shares his experience from each day and plenty of photos from the trail, giving us readers a sense of what it is like to make this hike.

After finishing up the Kuari hike in India, Rick has now jumped over to Nepal where he is busy walking the Manaslu Circuit. I'm sure we'll get some great info on that trek soon as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video: Teaser For Ascending India - A Rock Climbing Film Looking For A Kickstart!

Rock climbing is a popular outdoor sport in certain parts of the world, but India doesn't happen to be one of them. Recently, the state of Maharashtra announced plans to begin promoting the sport to attract tourism to the area. This has inspired Indian born climber Sujay Kawale, who now lives in the U.S., to travel home and help introduce the sport to his native country. Sujay and his friend Mike Wilkinson are hoping to document those efforts while simultaneously showing off the climbing opportunities there in a new film called Ascending India. To do that, they've launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their efforts. They're hoping to raise $10,000 for the project and with 14 days to go, they could certainly use some help getting to their goal.

To get an idea of what they have in mind, take a look at the trailer video for the film below. Good luck guys!

Ascending India Teaser Trailer from Mike Wilkinson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dedicated Everyman Puts Up Two First Ascents In The Indian Himalaya

Mountaineers Bryan Hylenski, Jake Preston, Jonn Jeanneret, Dan Kopperud and Gabriel Thomas, collectively known as the Dedicated Everyman, had quite a summer in the Indian Himalaya. In July of this year, the five men traveled to three remote and unclimbed peaks in the Hagshu Glacier region with the hopes of putting up the first ascent on each of those peaks. The team ended up having quite an adventure while still managing to accomplish several of their goals.

The original target of the Everman squad was an unclimbed peak in the Uttarkhand province. But back in June, that part of the world was hit by one of the worst floods in recorded history. Those floods destroyed buildings, wiped out crops and killed more than 10,000 people. This unmitigated natural disaster caused the team to alter their plans, heading to the Hagshu Glacier instead.

Due to that shift in plans, the squad was looking for something to attract their attention and provide a new challenge. Arriving in Base Camp on July 8, the boys decided that they wanted to attempt to bag three unclimbed peaks in the region. With that in mind, they set their sights on Hagshu (6520 m/21,391 ft) and two mountains that didn't even have names – Peaks 6035 and 6191.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Video: The Natural World - Himalaya

Is there any question that the BBC makes some of the best documentaries for television? That happens to be the case with their series Natural World which consistently gives viewers some of the best views of the world around us. The video below is a full episode of that series which happens to be focused on one of my favorite places – the Himalaya. If you have 49 minutes to spare, you'll get a great look at those mountains and the people that live there, with some of the most breathtaking scenery you'll find anywhere. So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show. It is one of the greatest on Earth.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Video: Hit The Road In India On The Mumbai Xpress

The Mumbai Xpress is a 1900 km (1180 mile) race across India that takes place over 13 stages between  the cities of Mumbai and Chennai. The catch is, the race is run in tiny little rickshaw vehicles that don't seem built for such a long distance. Recently, two friends - Ric Gazarian and Keith King - competed in the race and have now released a travel documentary of their experience entitled Hit The Road: India. The movie is available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and various other digital distribution sources and follows Ric and Keith on this grand odyssey across India. Judging from the trailer below, it looks like it was quite the adventure.

Hit The Road: India - Trailer from Manana Films on Vimeo.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Challenge21 Expedition To Trace Ganges River Source-To-Sea

Remember the Challenge21 initiative? It was the ambitious project by climber/photographer Jake Norton to summit the three highest peaks on each of the seven continents in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of safe, clean drinking water in developing countries across the world. The project was launched a couple of years back and the team behind it have been diligently working away towards their goals while facing an uphill struggle to find funding and link their message to their efforts in the mountains. That hasn't been an easy task and it looks like Challenge 21 is going through a bit of a refocusing phase as Jake and company search to find new ways to spread the word on how important having a source of clean drinking water really is.

In a recent post to the Challenge21 blog, Jake talks openly about these struggles while also pointing out that the project has been a great success. Since its start, Challenge21 has reached more than 1 million people and raised over $260,000 for Water For People. But at the same time he feels the organization can do more and that he needs to broaden the appeal of the project and cast a wider net in spreading the message that he had originally intended. With that in mind, Jake and his team will continue climbing, but he is finding new ways to link the story he wants to tell with the natural spaces that he visits.

The blog post also included the announcement of an upcoming expedition which will see Jake joined by Pete McBride and David Morton as they travel to India to make the first ascent of Chaukhumba IV a 6885 meter (22,589 ft) at the headwaters of the Ganges River. After they've summited that peak, the team intends to then travel source-to-sea, documenting life on the Ganges, which is one of the most important rivers in the world, but culturally and environmentally. It also happens to be one of the most polluted in the world. The dichotomy of these things will be part of the story that they tell as we follow these three men down a river that is considered sacred to hundreds of millions of people.

Stay tuned for more information on this expedition as it gets underway later this year. It should be well documented and feature some great stories both from the mountains of India and the river that plays such a significant role in that country's identity.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Video: A Father-Son Motorcycle Adventure In The Himalaya

Here's a great story of a father and son duo who traveled through the Himalaya with one another on motorcycles, covering 4500 km (2800 miles) in the process. The son is an experienced motocross rider to whom being on the back of a bike is second nature. The father was new this type of travel but the pair bonded over their shared adventure through some pretty amazing landscapes. The entire journey was captured on GoPro cameras of course and makes for quite the compelling short film.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Video: An Octogenarian's Himalayan Adventure

Looking for a little inspiration for your own adventures? Then you'll certainly want to watch the video below which features 80 year old Simon Gandolfi riding his motorcycle through the remote Indian state of Himachal Pradesh which falls squarely in the Himalaya Mountains. Road conditions are somewhat less than ideal but the views are spectacular. We should all be so lucky to be enjoying life like this while in our 80's.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Video: A Sense Of Adventure - Driving A 1936 Rolls Royce Across India

Almost two years ago I posted a story about Rupert Gray, an Englishman who was about to embark on an epic cross country road trip in his classic 1936 Rolls Royce. Rupert and his wife spent six months driving their car across the expanse of India, visiting every corner of the sub-continent. Their journey took them to the foot-hills of the Himalaya to the shores of the Indian Ocean, and just about everywhere in between.

That eye-opening adventure was documented by Rover Films and you'll find a teaser video of the final film below. It is a beautiful travelogue that captures the joy of the open road with the wonder of exploring distant lands. The video will inspire you to take a road trip of your own, just as soon as you can locate your vintage car. Learn more at Grand Trunk Road, the official site for the film.

Grand Trunk Road (teaser) from Rover Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Six Expeditions Nominated For Piolets d’Or

The 2013 Piolets d’Or (Golden Axe) nominees were announced yesterday, spotlighting some of the biggest and boldest mountaineering feats of last year. Six expeditions were given the nod, including a couple of climbs that we followed closely as they unfolded throughout 2012. Each of the six nominees climbed peaks of at least 6000 meters (19,685 ft) in height. Three of the climbs took place in Pakistan, two in India and one in Nepal.

The six nominees include the following expeditions:
• South Face of the Ogre in Pakistan by Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, and Josh Wharton
• Complete Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan by Sandy Allan and Rick Allen
• Northeast Spur of Muztagh Tower in Pakistan by Dmitry Golovchenko, Alexander Lange, and Sergey Nilov
• Southwest Face of Kamet in India by Sébastien Bohin, Didier Jourdain, Sébastien Moatti, and Sébastien Ratel
• Northeast Ridge of Shiva in India by Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden
• South Pillar of Kyashar in Nepal by Tatsuya Aoki, Yasuhiro Hanatani and Hiroyoshi Manome
The winners of this years awards will be announced at a mountain festival to be held in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy from April 3-6. The selection will be made by an all-star jury that consists of British climbing legend Stephen Venables; Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb all the 8,000-meter peaks without supplementary oxygen; Slovenian climber Silvo Karo; and Japanese mountaineer Katsutaka “Jumbo” Yokoyama.

Each of these expeditions is worthy of gaining recognition, but I am completely biased in favor of the Mazeno Ridge ascent. What Sandy Allan and Rick Allen accomplished over 18-days on that climb is simply amazing and for my money is one of the boldest mountaineering expeditions in a half-century. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they earn a little recognition for their climb.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and good luck!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So, About That "Everest From Orbit" Image ...

A few days back I posted an image that was purportedly a picture of Mt. Everest as seen from the International Space Station, citing The Atlantic as the source. Turns out, it wasn't a photo of Everest at all and NASA is now admitted they made a mistake in identifying the world's tallest mountain.

According to this story from the BBC,  the mountain is actually Saser Muztagh, a collection of peaks located in the Karakoram Range in India. The tallest of those peaks is Saser Kangri I, which reaches a mere 7672 meters (25,171 feet) in height, well below Everest's 8848 meter (29,029 ft) height.

The photo was taken by cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko while looking out one of the windows on the ISS. It isn't clear how the image got mislabeled, but NASA has confirmed their error. They haven't released any other images shot by Malenchenko, but I found the photo below on the space agency's website, which is a confirmed shot of Everest from space. That one will have to do for now.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Adventurers Set To Row The Ganges River

Earlier in the year I ran a series of videos that were told the story of a team of rowers who navigated the length of the Mississippi River in a 32-foot, handmade York boat. That project was led by Brett Rogers, who had previously spent 100 days on Canada's Yukon River as well. Now, Brett is off on yet another river adventure, this time exploring the mystical and legendary Ganges River in India.

At 2525 km (1569 miles) in length, the Ganges is the longest river in India and the most densely populated in the world. Starting in the Himalaya and flowing southward to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges is second only to the Amazon in terms of water output. It is listed amongst the most polluted waterways in the world as well, which is startling considering the number of people that live along its banks. Perhaps most importantly of all however is its significance to the Hindu religion, which sees the river as the embodiment of the goddess Ganga, providing them with their daily needs.

Brett and his three man crew, which consists of Matt Telford, Cliff Quinn and Doug Copping, arrived in India a few days back and they have been preparing to embark on their ten-day journey ever since. The team has been posting updates, including some fantastic photos, to Brett's blog over the past few days and are now getting close to launching their boat. They anticipate getting underway on Friday and documenting the expedition as they go. Follow Brett on Twitter to get news of their progress.

Judging from his past work, the real treat will likely come when Brett produces videos of this journey. His "Old Man River" series about the Mississippi were fantastic, with beautiful imagery and a compelling story. I suspect we'll eventually see something similar about the Ganges, but we'll just have to wait for the post-expedition updates to arrive. For now though, it should be fun to follow along with the journey and learn more about this amazing part of the world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Video: To The Summit Of Kangchenjunga

At 8586 meters (28,169 ft) in height, the mighty Kangchenjunga is the third tallest mountain on the planet. Falling on the border of Nepal and India, the mountain actually consists of five massive summits, each of which is a challenge to climb. The video below was shot by mountaineer Tunc Findik when he summited the mountain back in 2011. It gives us all a good look at what it is like to climb this monster which is amongst the more challenging, but lesser known, 8000 meter peaks.

KANGCHENJUNGA 8586 m.-Tunç FINDIK 2011 SUMMIT AT KANCHENJUNGA! from nurdem on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: There Are Other Rivers

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Alastair Humphreys. The British adventurer has ridden his bike around the world, rowed the Atlantic and trekked across Iceland. Soon he'll even take on a 1000-mile crossing of the Empty Quarter. I even love how he champions the concept of micro-adventures as a way to put adventure into our daily lives. Alastair's spirit and enthusiasm are an inspiration to us all and I have a deep appreciation for how he lives his life. But after reading his latest book, There Are Other Rivers, my admiration for the man has grown even deeper. For this book takes everything we've already known about him and then gives us even more depth and insight. 

In 2009, Alastair walked coast-to-coast across India, following the River Kaveri along the way. His journey would cover more than 500 miles through one of the most interesting and culturally unique countries in the world. But if you buy this book expecting a travelogue of Humphrey's adventures in the sub-continent you'll be sorely disappointed. Instead, this book is a mediation on adventure and a day on the road like no other. 

There Are Other Rivers is Alastair's attempt to convey what it is like to be off on a true expedition without glossing over any of the details – either good or bad. The book conveys the wonder of travel through the mundane, boiling down the experience to a single day of endless walking, interactions with others and the thoughts that go through our heads when we have too much time alone. As Al himself says, those days are "the happiest days of my life. Any day, any journey."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whitewater Raft The World With Mountain Travel Sobek

Well heeled travelers looking for an amazing adventure next year need look no further than the new whitewater rafting excursion from Mountain Travel Sobek. Their new Six Continent Whitewater Adventure, which was announced yesterday, promises to take travelers to the ends of the Earth to quench their thirst for adrenaline.

The 25-day, round-the-world expedition runs from May 9 through June 2 of 2013 and begins in California. The 8-12 participants on the trip will get their feet wet, literally and figuratively, with three days of rafting in the Sierra Mountains. From there they'll jet off to Ecuador for two days of rafting before proceed on to Spain to take on the Noguera Pallaresa in the high Pyrenees. Nairobi, Kenya is the next stop on the journey for three days of rafting on the Athi River, which mixes in great wildlife viewing along with Class II and III whitewater. The Tons River in India is the next stop as the lucky travelers take to the water in the Himalaya, not far from the spectacular peak Nanda Devi. Finally, the trip will wrap up on North Johnston river in Australia, one of the more remote and challenging whitewater runs on that continent.

Whew! Sounds like quite a trip and after reading the press release on it yesterday I immediately wished I were going. At $8695 (without airfare!) this is a bit pricey for my blood, but it was too good of an adventure travel opportunity to not share. And if the itinerary wasn't enticing enough on its own, co-founder of Mountain Travel Sobek John Yost, who has led plenty of river expeditions, will be the personal guide on this adventure. Sounds absolutely fantastic and I'm very jealous of those who get to go on this trip.