KAYAKING THE WORLD
Team: [ Brad Ludden, Ben Selznick, John Grossman, Samantha Gehring ]
Location: 46 countries
IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 30 YEARS since the surfing movie The Endless Summer showed us the cool way to do a global road trip. Now 21-year-old Brad Ludden, a pro paddler from Vail, Colorado, wants to update the concept with an expedition he's calling Endless Satori. The objective: a seven-month around-the-planet kayaking tour, kicking off in July, in which his team will visit some 46 countries and tackle more than 30 rivers. Along the way they'll attempt first descents on sections of the Blue Nile and White Nile in Africa and a source-to-sea paddle of the Mekong as it flows through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Sponsorship of the $100,000 expedition is being "negotiated," and Ludden is planning to bring along a film crew. "A few of these trips," he says, "are going to be full-on heavy, crazy stuff."
FIRST ASCENT OF INNOMINATA
Team: [ Mark Synnott, Kevin Thaw ]
Location: Himachal Pradesh, India
ALPINIST MARK SYNNOTT and Kevin Thaw, big-wall vets in their thirties who have conquered routes in Africa, Nepal, and Pakistan, looked to India's Himachal Pradesh to find their next big first ascent, an unclimbed 20,000-foot-plus mountain they've dubbed Innominata, Italian for "nameless." The mountain is a two-day drive and four-day trek from Delhi. Researching the hazy recollections of climber friends from the Dolomites, a single photo, and an obscure Russian map, the two Americans, sponsored by The North Face, are setting up a three-day blitz this August in which they'll attack using an ultralight alpine style. "When I first got into climbing, I had this sad feeling that I had missed the heyday," says Synnott. "But now I know these kind of amazing peaks are all over the Himalayathey're just very, very difficult to find."
KAYAKING THE WORLD