The golden spires of the Thailand’s ubiquitous Buddhist temples juxtaposed with their exotic tropical surroundings and the country’s diverse geography of emerald jungle, aqua waterfalls, white sand beaches, and craggy cliffs, have enchanted visitors tourists who travel to Thailand for decades.
Climbing Kilimanjaro Through New Eyes
Images and text by Mark Whitman
Climbing Kilimanjaro is definitely an adventure, but I’ve never personally looked at it that way.
Thousands flock to Tanzania every year with the sole purpose of attempting to reach what many colloquially call the Roof of Africa. Standing at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and the tallest non-massif (free-standing) mountain in the world.
The mountain’s popularity among hikers can be attributed to its Seven Summit status and the fact that it’s a non-technical climb. This means that anyone at (nearly) any age can climb Kilimanjaro. Fitness and physical ability are also more flexible than on many other climbs. Canadian couple Esther and Martin Kafer reached the summit at the ripe old ages of 84 and 85, while armless and legless Kyle Maynard crawled to the top of Kilimanjaro unassisted in 2012.
Compared to these extraordinary feats, I’ve never felt that my young, able-bodied experiences on Kilimanjaro were very adventurous.
It then dawned on me, recently, that I had indeed been part of a Kilimanjaro experience similar to those described above.
My first experience on Kilimanjaro was with a childhood mate who had suffered from partial sightedness for most of his life.
Don’t Forget Your Backyard
In an age where outdoors experiences have become commodities to sell, top ten lists comprise one third of magazine articles, and a large proportion of climbers refer to themselves as peakbaggers, implying that once a mountain has been summited there’s no reason to climb it again, it’s easy to forget that the ‘best’ or ‘highest’ peaks do not necessarily result in the best experiences.
Ueli Steck’s Record Breaking Eiger Ascent (Video)
He reached the 3, 970 m peak in 2 hr 47 min. The video isn’t new (it was made in 2011) but it’s new to me and it is the most inspiring thing you’ll see all day.
Three Surprisingly Sweet Adventure Options in New York
I’ve never been to New York, so I’m no expert, but I always kind of figured that, unless you count running away from muggers in Central Park, you’d probably have to leave the city to find outdoors athletic adventures. As it turns out, I was wrong.
Massive Avalanche Near Everest Camps
At 10 a.m. local time massive a avalanche tumbled of from the shoulder of Nuptuse and swept across the path between camps one and two. When I say massive, I’m not kidding. Check out the lead photo on Outside Online’s story, which shows how the massive cloud of falling snow dwarfs the tiny dots of black that are the camp.
Everest Expedition has “50:50 Chance of Summiting or Dying”
All of our favourite magazine, National Geographic, will now be covering expeditions on Mount Everest daily with their new iPad app and dedicated web page. Included in that coverage will be this ominous-sounding expedition.