Big pictures, google trekker, long walks, & fat bikes.

Thanks to everyone for passing me news of  various adventure related news…sometimes it helps break up the everyday blur of life…

Several friends passed on news about a 2 gigapixel image of Everest. Made by stitching more than 300 high resolution images together, it is simply amazing. Even though it is a two dimensional image, it feels three dimensional as you zoom deeper and deeper. This was made by David Breashears, director of the IMAX movie about Everest and much much else.  If you zoom enough you can find people outside their tents and even in the ice fall – probably the scariest place I have ever been. The Guardian has a great writeup and I think the best place to access the image with your browser is here, the thumbnail to the right is linked to the same source. Thanks Bob and Mark for passing this link on..

Tania, who I met on the side of a mountain in Nepal and who does great work with children in Kathmandu slums sent me this link about Google Street view expanding to hiking trails. That’s crazy. Google maps was my primary tool getting across the US on my transcon run, I used the ‘walking’ option which plots the shortest navigable public route passable by foot. Satellite and terrain layers helped me immensely though there were some surprises  I’m a little conflicted about mapping trails as they change so much and one of the beautiful things about the back country is the sense of discovery. But it is still pretty cool!

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Thanks to Maria for sharing this story about Paul Salopek  This guy has won two Pulitzer prizes for his work as a journalist, he is now setting off for a seven year walk tracing the migration patterns of early humans. I’m amazed his wife it putting up with it (she will be ‘joining him from time to time during rest periods’).  It looks like he will have a great deal of logistical and technical support; I’m always impressed when people take even 3 months off from their ‘life’ to have an adventure. Seven years is really impressive!

Paul’s Route

And one adventure I was sad to see end early was Eric Larsen’s attempt to fat bike across Antarctica. This was not Eric’s first rodeo. He has a long list of polar adventures as well as summits on Everest and many other peaks. I’ve also been fortunate to receive some great advice from him about gear including GoalZero products for backcountry solar energy (worth it!). Second to running, biking is my vehicle of choice and Eric’s support for Worldbike which helps tackle poverty in developing countries is awesome. His blog is extremely well written and one of the best examples of real time expedition updates with some pretty sophisticated integration of maps and updates. Unfortunately the snow conditions were harder than expected. Rather than face an expensive extraction short of the pole, he doubled back about ~10 days into the expedition. I’m sure it was a super hard choice but I applaud him for the initiative and also the courage it took to turn around. The Colorado Boulder has a short interview with him about this expedition. The next time I am riding through the streets of Seattle thinking how cold my hands are, I am going to think of Eric.

As for me…things are starting to come together for Kilimanjaro in July and Everest Base Camp in October. We still have room on both trips; I’m working with S2Mountaineering.comhttp://s2mountaineering.com/ on these trips; a really great company worth checking out if adventure is on your horizon.

Otherwise, tons of running of course. And tons of dreaming.  Please pass on any thoughts related to the above, or any interesting adventure-related news so I can dream some more…otherwise, have a great week!

Feedback welcome