The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2012

Benedikt Böhm Climbs and Skis Manaslu in Less Than 24 Hours

Gipfel_Manaslu_Benedikt_6Benedikt Böhm on Manaslu. Photo: Dynafit

Roughly a week after the deadly avalanche that claimed at least 11 lives on Manaslu, German climber and skier Benedikt Böhm summited and skied down the world's eighth highest peak without the use of supplemental oxygen in less than 24 hours. "The decision to try for the summit after such a tragedy was a difficult one, but ultimately I decided to climb in their honor and it also helped me cope with the emotional challenges I was also going through from being first on-scene to such a tragedy,” Böhm said in a press release.

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Encountering a Dolphin Superpod

Photographer Chase Jarvis was sailing about an hour south of Cape Town, South Africa, when he first saw the fins. They broke the surface of the ocean dozens at a time. The fins belonged to common dolphins, and soon Jarvis noticed hundreds, and then thousands, of them, "...so thick you could have walked across their backs had they been game for it," he wrote on his blog. Instinctively, everyone on explorer Mike Horn's 110-foot boat, Pangaea, grabbed their cameras and started shooting photos and video. Then, Jarvis did something unexpected for someone in his line of work. He stopped taking pictures. Instead, he just took things in.

Here is an excerpt of that moment from his blog:

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Spirit Running: On the Trail at the Mount Taylor 50K

MuklukDawn patrol: At the start of the inaugural Mt. Taylor 50K. Photo: Paul Gordon Pictures

In late September, nearly 150 ultrarunners converged on Grants, New Mexico, on the eve of the first annual Mount Taylor 50K trail race. The course promised a scenic, challenging circumnavigation of the 11,300-foot peak, which is laced with jeep roads and singletrack, including a just-finished section of the Continental Divide Trail. Mount Taylor is a stratovolcano that blew its top some 1.5 to three million years ago, and on a typical, clear day, you can see its hulking profile from more than 80 miles away, the lone mountain wavering on the horizon, rising out of a high, hazy volcanic field.

For the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and Acoma people, Mount Taylor (or Tsoodził, “turquoise mountain”) is a sacred peak, part of their ancient mythology and the southern boundary of their traditional homeland. So it was only fitting that proceeds from the inaugural 50K Trail Race would go to support young Native American athletes in the region through a non-profit called Nídeiltihí Native Elite Runners (NNER), and that one of the most talented Navajo distance runners of his generation would be racing.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Watching Felix Baumgartner Jump From 23 Miles Above the Earth

Watch the jump live above.

Red Bull Stratos team leaders say there is a 50-50 chance this morning that Austrian stuntman Felix Baumgartner will lift off in a capsule carried by a 55-story-high, lightweight plastic balloon and rise 23 miles above the earth's surface so that he can jump. If everything goes according to plan, he will rocket down at speeds of roughly 700 miles per hour, breaking the sound barrier in his custom-designed jumpsuit while shattering the record for the fastest ever freefall by a human before deploying a parachute about a mile above the earth and floating to the ground. The current skydive record is held by Joe Kittinger, who traveled 19 miles above the earth in 1960 and jumped before reaching speeds estimated to be 614 miles per hour. “From the beginning of mankind, the boys want to go higher, faster, lower,” Kittinger said in The New York Times. “It’s a fascinating part of human nature. We’re never satisfied with the status quo.”

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This Time Tomorrow Trailer

Filmmaker Taylor Steele's last movie, Here and Now, took the viewer through a single day in the life of more than a dozen surfers from around the world. His latest project, This Time Tomorrow, follows surfers Dave Rastovich and Craig Anderson as they travel more than 20,000 miles around the Pacific Rim over the course of eight days to chase the swells created by a single storm cell. Steele premiered the film at the New York Surf Film Festival and then stuck around after the screening to answer questions.

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