The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2012

Japanese Climber Nobukazu Kuriki Pushes on in Attempt to Summit Everest

Everest_Infographic_04192012_MAINRed line represents the West Ridge route, Spring 2012. Illustration: Grayson Schaffer

On Wednesday morning around 10:00 EST, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki made it clear that he plans to push on toward the summit of Mount Everest. "Then left towards the Summit of Mount Everest," said an update on his Facebook page. "Bitter cold, and stars but out of sight, in the dark, is really like a space station. I'll see you at the top. So, I'm going! Please everyone pray."

It is not entirely clear from his Facebook page where he was on the mountain when that announcement was posted, but updates suggest that he is at 7,500 meters or higher along the West Ridge route. "The West Ridge is one of the more difficult routes on Everest, no question," said Conrad Anker.

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In Focus, October 2012

In-focus-alvarez_wi

DANIEL ALVAREZ: Florida resident Alvarez is currently midway through an epic paddling trip from Minnesota to Florida ("The Overachievers"), enabled both by our money—Alvarez won Outside's inaugural $10,000 Adventure Grant—and by the kindness of a few strangers. We reached out to one, Janet Hansen, a librarian in Baudette, Minnesota. "He came into the library to research places to stay, and I offered to let him stay at our place," says Hansen. "He was so polite he wouldn't even sleep inside." Hansen's husband, Neal, an avid fisherman, was concerned that Alvarez hadn't packed a rod for his 4,000-mile journey. So Neal gave him one. Alvarez thanked the couple with a box of cookies. "He's a wonderful houseguest," says Hansen.

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NICA Makes Mountain Biking the Newest High School Sport

Photo2Photo: Phil Beckman/PB Creative

Last week the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) brought its biannual World Summit to Santa Fe. In addition to test-riding some sweet 29er bikes from Specialized, Yeti, and Santa Cruz, I got to sit in on a bunch of brainstorming sessions with fat-tire advocates from around the country about how to grow the sport, expand trail networks, and get more people on bikes, period.

One huge market, of course, is kids, and a standing-room only discussion devoted to youth cycling initiatives revealed a slew of cool new projects geared at getting children hooked from a young age. Most notable is the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a non-profit devoted to making mountain biking a high school sport, just like soccer and football.

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A Highlight Reel of Skiing Hokkaido At Night

When Frederick Reimers wrote the 2012 Adventure Bucket List for Outside this past spring, he made sure to include neck-dusting runs in the dark at Niseko, the snowiest ski resort in Hokkaido, Japan.

Here's a bit of his reasoning: "Between December and February, eight out of every 10 days, snow falls on the volcanic peaks of Japan’s northern island. The snow is so light, deep, and falls so frequently, that chest-deep powder days are common. And nights. Many Japanese resorts, including Niseko, Hokkaido's snowiest, light their slopes all the way to the summit and run their chairlifts 'til nine at night. 'It’s surreal getting face shots in the dark,' says Skijapan.com's Anthony Trovatello. 'And something every rider needs to experience.'"

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Velopresso: A Cleaner Way to Dope

VelopressoVelopresso, the ultimate café cruiser.

With the crush of bad news about EPO and testosterone and blood doping in the last week, we're thrilled to bring you an uplifting story about bikes and everybody's favorite performance-enhancing substance: caffeine.

Amos Reid and Lasse Oiva, design students from London's Royal College of Art, have unveiled a pedal-powered mobile coffee stand that they call the Velopresso. Two Gates Carbon Belt Drives sit at the heart of the cart's drivetrain, which has been modified so that pedaling can both move the cart forward and grind the beans for the espresso. “We conceived this as part of the global renaissance in cycling culture that is being driven by the desire for more sustainable cities and lifestyles,” says Reid. “The urban coffee scene is also converging with cycling, and Velopresso engages directly with these cultures.”

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