The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jun 2012

Expedition Watch: The Shackleton Epic

James-caird-in-surfJames Caird in surf. Photo: Frank Hurley

In 1916, after losing his boat The Endurance on an expedition to Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton and five crew members hopped in a row boat named the James Caird and set off on an 800-mile journey from Elephant Island, Antarctica, to South Georgia Island. He left behind 22 crew members in his last ditch effort at survival. Shackleton and co. spent 17 days at sea in the 23-foot wooden boat before landing on South Georgia. Then, Shackleton and two men crossed miles of mountainous terrain to get to a whaling station. After arriving and getting a boat, he returned to Elephant Island on his fourth attempt and rescued the rest of his crew. "It is perhaps the greatest survival journey of all," says Tim Jarvis.

Jarvis is a 46-year-old Australian/Briton who hopes to recreate Shackleton's double using only period gear. He's created a replica boat, gathered replica clothing, and assembled a core of salty cohorts. The only modern equipment he'll bring will be emergency rescue gear. Here's the kicker: He's still looking for few more good men and women to join him—via the Internet. This actually isn't so far off from what some believe Shackleton did to find crew for his expeditions—he allegedly used newspaper classifieds. If you want to join, read on for details of the journey and what Jarvis wants in a crewmate.

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Road Bike Meets Freestyle

If you watched the Amgen Tour of California, you might have seen a catchy advertisement from Spy Optics that pitted outgoing U.S. national road racing champ Matthew Busche against freestyle rider Mike Montgomery. The ad starts with footage of Busche racing down an asphalt road before cutting, as if we're going inside Busche's head, to scenes of what looks like Busche doing tricks and flips on a jump course. In fact, that's Montgomery (dressed up to look like the road race champ) doing all the stunts.

With the ESPN X Games and the Teva Mountain Games, we've gotten used to seeing athletes with more skill than fear pulling physics-defying stunts. But the sight of a biker doing doubles and backflips on a production-model road bike is still a bit breathtaking. Which is probably why Spy decided to release this behind-the-scenes documentary, with even more stupefying footage.

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Win $100,000 for Your Ski Video

If any skiers ever needed motivation for learning video, they have it. On Thursday, Teton Gravity Research announced a new online video contest with a grand prize of $100,000, called The CoLab. Athletes will upload their videos to tetongravity.com, users will vote on edits, and judges will award the winner a whole lot of money.

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Rare Antelope Deaths Linked to Spacecraft

Scientists are blaming spacecraft for the deaths of nearly 1,000 rare saiga antelope over the past two weeks in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture has attributed the deaths to a strain of bacteria that affects the animal's lungs. But some ecologists are linking the deaths to a Russian space capsule that landed in the northern part of the country in April. Others are blaming the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in central Kazakhstan. “It could be from chemical elements left from space rockets that fly over this place,” said ecologist Musagali Duambekov, leader of the For a Green Planet political movement. Last year, Kazakh officials attributed the death of 12,000 of the critically endangered antelope to the same strain of bacteria.

Read more at Scientific American

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Malibu Lagoon Restoration Postponed

California State Park officials announced that a controversial restoration project scheduled to begin Friday at California's Malibu Lagoon State Beach has been postponed until Monday. District superintendent Craig Sap said the decision was in response to a conflict with a Saturday surfing event to benefit children with autism. Opponents of the plan contend that the delay is the result of a flawed dewatering plan. A year-long conflict over the restoration has divided environmentalists and surfers, who fear the project might spoil the beach's iconic waves. A final attempt by the opposing side to obtain a legal injuction against the start of the project failed in a state appeals court last week.

Read more at the Outside

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