The Outside Blog

Dispatches : May 2012

The Top 10 Adventure Athletes on Instagram

InstagramScreenshots from Instagram

A few weeks ago, the Internet started humming over the news that Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion—it was a great investment for such a talented tech team, it was a sign of the social media bubble, etc. What happens with Instagram remains to be seen, but for now, it's a great place to go inside the lives of some of the top adventurers in the world. (And to see Outside magazine's latest photos from Everest.)

Kelly Slater shares photos from inside a barrel. Scott Jurek snaps his latest meals and links to the corresponding recipes. Jimmy Chin takes a picture of his latest climb while on a break from the editing cave. Here's our preliminary list of the best adventure athletes on Instagram.

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Adventure Video of the Week: Baseball in the Time of Cholera

Mountainfilm in Telluride recently announced their stable of films for 2012. One of the documentaries, Baseball in the Time of Cholera, makes a great case for telling one individual's story to get at a bigger issue.

The filmmakers behind the movie, David Darg and Bryn Mooser, started out documenting youth baseball in Haiti. They had come to the country in 2010 to work in the tents after the earthquake. As a break, for themselves and the local children, they started coaching a baseball team. As they began to film the team, a boy's mother died of cholera. During their days in the tents, they saw the disease ravage the people. They quickly shifted their focus onto the boy, Joseph Alvyns.

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Expedition Watch: Biking, Kayaking, and Rowing from London2London


Sarah Outen was rowing somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean in 2009 when she decided to go on a longer journey. "I wanted more of it," she said in a recent email. "And I wanted to experience that same human-powered pace on land too." Not long after, she became the first woman to row across that ocean. Last year, she started a two-and-a-half-year journey to bike, kayak, and row from London to London. We emailed her, 404 days into her quest, to see how things were going.

April 1, 2011, to Autumn 2013.

From London to London. So far, I have kayaked and cycled 11,000 miles from London to Choshi, Japan. With my kayak, Nelson, I traveled from London's Tower Bridge down the Thames and across the English Channel to France. I then jumped on my bike, Hercules, and cycled through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and Russia’s wild Far East. For the final leg of this part of the journey, I used Nelson and Hercules to paddle and cycle my way over 1,000 miles to Japan via the remote island of Sakhalin. I over-wintered in Japan and am now waiting for a gap in the weather to let me start my solo ocean row from Japan to Canada—about 4,500 nautical miles.

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How Aspen, Stevens Pass, and Mt. Abram Won This Year's Golden Eagle Award

Shutterstock_ski_area_night_s_borisovA resort lights up. Photo: S. Borisov/Shutterstock

The Golden Eagle Award is not, as it sounds, an accolade for Boy Scouts. It's an accolade for ski areas that give a hoot, so to speak, and are actively reducing their environmental impacts. The National Ski Area Association this week named its three 2012 Golden Eagle Award winners: Colorado's Aspen Skiing Company, Washington's Stevens Pass Winter Resort and Maine's Mt. Abram, in the large, medium and small ski area categories, respectively.

Aspen Skiing Company, led by VP of sustainability Auden Schendler, has been breaking trail toward more sustainable ski resort operations for years, so it's not surprising to see it top the large ski resort category with its plans to harvest waste methane from Elk Creek coal mine in Somerset, Colorado. (It is a bit surprising that the resort won for a project that hasn't actually happened yet, but the project will begin this summer.)

The ambitious plan will generate 25 million kilowatt hours of energy, which is roughly the amount of energy the Aspen Skiing Co. consumes annually (the power will be fed into the energy grid, not used directly at the resorts). It promises to pack a major punch in terms of emissions reductions, since methane is such a damaging greenhouse gas. "This project will be triple carbon negative," Schendler explained to me, "because we're not just dislacing coal, but we're reducing methane." The amount of emissions to be eliminated—96,465 tons of CO2 equivalent every year—is three times the carbon footprint of the resort. Vessels Coal Gas, Inc. is developing the project, with the resort's capital. 

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A Gigantic High-Resolution Photo of Earth

Earth_webCourtesy of

On May 10, Gizmodo posted this 122-megapixel picture they call the single highest resolution photo of earth. Not long ago, NASA made a spectacular high-resolution image of earth by combining multiple photos. The single picture above was taken by the Electro-L, a geo-stationary Russian satellite that hovers 22,370 miles away from the equator and snaps a photo every 30 minutes. Each pixel in the photo represents roughly 0.62 of a mile.

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