A Modern Disease

A short musing on the modern trend for claiming endurance performances as “the best ever” or the “peak” of human performance. Have we forgotten some of the great endurance feats of the past?…

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Ash Routen
Five Arctic Adventure Films

Last year I started a weekly video series at ExplorersWeb called the ‘Weekend Warm-Up’. I’ve spent countless hours trawling the web to try and bring the best free videos to our readers. Here’s five excellent arctic adventure films from this series.

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Ash Routen
Everest's Most Peculiar Casualty

Armed with a new pilot's license, but zero climbing experience, Maurice Wilson set out from London in 1933 with the intention of crash landing on the upper slopes of Everest and strolling to the summit. It didn't end well.

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Ash Routen
Film Review: Dirtbag - The Legend of Fred Beckey

Beckey has been called the most accomplished climber of all time. Revered American alpinist Colin Haley suggests that “the volume of climbing he has done, near and at the cutting edge, is leagues beyond anyone else.” So it seems only fitting that through this new film, Beckey finally gets his moment in the sun, as he is relatively unknown outside the North American climbing community.

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Ash Routen
Book Review: Searching for Tao Canyon

In the spring of 1970, around the time that the Beatles were splitting up, a wild-looking Canadian photographer named Art Twomey was striding hopefully across the northern Arizona desert. He and a friend were in search of a “branch of a branch of a canyon” that joined the Colorado River.

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Ash Routen
Five Great Climbing Films

Last year I started a weekly video series at ExplorersWeb called the ‘Weekend Warm-Up’. I’ve spent countless hours trawling the web to try and bring the best free videos to our readers. Here’s five superb climbing films from this series.

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Ash Routen
Book Review: Polar Eskimo

This book will challenge your thinking on the fiercely independent and remarkable people of the Far North and may leave you with a new-found respect for their way of life. Hibbert summarises the Polar Eskimos quite aptly in the opening pages - they are “an unlikely band of hardy and ingenious human beings. Their story is one of survival and persistence that can barely be equalled, even amongst pages of fiction”. 

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Ash Routen
Griffith Pugh: the Everest pioneer you've never heard of

Take a moment to think of the first ascent of Everest. You probably conjure up that famous summit shot, or perhaps John Hunt racing to congratulate Hillary and Tenzing as they returned to safety from the roof of the world. Few of us would think of the men and women behind the scenes who developed the equipment and science that made it all happen.

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Ash Routen
Helpful Polar Experts

I’ve spent a fair bit of time over the past two years gleaning every nugget of information I could from a wide variety of polar veterans. So here’s a list of polar experts that I’ve found to be helpful.

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Ash Routen
Kodak Courage: Social Media and Risk in the Mountains

 Kilian Jornet is part of a new breed of mountain athletes who combine running endurance with mountain skills. They move fast and light across exposed knife-edge ridges and dizzying paths. The GoPro videos and Instagram selfies they share fuel a growing thirst for high-octane mountain action.

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Ash Routen
My Top Five Interviews

Over the past year or so I’ve interviewed polar trekkers, record breaking Himalayan climbers and veteran ultra runners. Here’s a selection of my favourite ones in no particular order. Some are straight Q and A’s, some more meandering adventure tale.

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WritingAsh RoutenComment