The Outside Blog

Dispatches : 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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The Fall and Rise of Kayaker Jason Craig

Canoe and Kayak magazine just put out a beautiful companion video to go with their feature story on kayaker Jason Craig. On March 20, 2011, the 17-year-old went over a 30-foot waterfall on California's Dry Creek, struck a rock, and shattered his pelvis, smashed his spine, and ruptured his dural sac. Fall and Rise: Jason's Story details his accident and recovery.

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Summer's 10 Best Family-Friendly Outdoor Festivals

2010 Slopestyle Teva Mountain Games Vail by Zach MahoneBig air, bigger views kick off this weekend in Vail. Photo: Teva Mountain Games

With long days and warm nights, summer is festival season. But if you want more from your weekend than sitting on your butt on a blanket, swilling beer, and listening to live music, check out these 10 family-friendly outdoor festivals that put the emphasis on adventure.

Summer Teva Mountain Games
Vail, Colorado; May 31-June 2
Stand-up paddleboarding, mud running, freestyle mountain biking, and slacklining are just a few of the events on tap this weekend in Vail at what’s arguably the standard-setter for summer sports festivals. The mountain mash-up attracts elite athletes, local die-hards, and weekend warriors from across the country—and the mix is what keeps it fresh. Kids can take a shot at any of the events, but the youth bouldering contest and XC bike race breed are where the next generation of rippers can be found. Plus: adventure flicks, gear demos, free yoga, casting clinics, and big-air contests for dogs round out the action. www.tevamountaingames.com.

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