Ten Long Reads on Adventure and Expeditions

For the past six months or so at ExplorersWeb I’ve been compiling a weekly list of news reports, videos, podcasts and long reads on expeditions and adventure. From epic ocean rows to the tragic deaths of great alpinists, here’s a selection of the ten best long reads from my weekly series. Oh and I also snuck one of my own articles in there too…


Pacific Epic: A fascinating article on Ed Gillet’s never-repeated, 64-day solo kayak journey from California to Hawaii. Unsupported, out of touch for the last portions, out of food… one of those true epics that never happens any more in this era of satphones and Spot devices.

Paying Homage: Outside magazine examines why so many fans of Chris McCandless, the subject of Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Wild, are prepared to risk their lives to pay homage to his legacy.

Tragedy on Howse Peak: Through the lens of the deaths of Lama, Roskelley and Auer earlier this year, Nick Heil examines how top alpinists tread the fine line between life and death.

Arctic Obsession: Leading 19th century writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were peculiarly drawn to writing about the Far North. This New Yorker article discusses what sparked literature’s arctic obsession.

Ice Warrior: The late Polish mountaineer Jerzy Kukuczka might have lost the race to become the first person to bag all the 8000’ers, but he was arguably the strongest high altitude climber of the 1980s.

Seven Lonely Days: Exactly one year ago, Russian mountaineer Alexander Gukov was rescued after a week stranded at over 6,000m on Latok 1’s North Ridge. This recounts one of the most dramatic rescues in recent mountaineering history.

The Loneliest Man: Often forgotten, the third man of the famed Apollo 11 moon landing crew, Michael Collins, never set foot on the lunar surface but was left to orbit in the command module. This New York Times interview sheds light on what Collins did in those fateful moments as possibly the loneliest man in the universe.

The Long March: Paul Salopek’s New Yorker article about his 30,000km trek in the footsteps of Stone Age humans. ExWeb also penned a short story on Salopek’s travels.

A Yosemite Epic: Twenty-three years ago, an El Nino storm hit the Yosemite valley. This Rock and Ice feature recalls the ordeal of two climbers as they battled up the Shield route on the exposed and storm-beaten El Cap headwall.

Scott Fischer’s Daughter Returns to Nepal: The daughter of American guide Scott Fischer travelled to Nepal 20 years after the infamous 1996 Everest disaster which claimed her fathers life.

Ash Routen