Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

Video: Climbing the Matterhorn

In terms of prominence in the mountaineering world, few peaks are held in as high regard as the Matterhorn. Rising 4478 meters (14,692 ft) in height, it has been the training ground for some of the best climbers in history and its iconic shape is well known, even amongst those who have never seen it. In this video, which is a full-length documentary about the mountain, we learn why the Matterhorn is viewed so reverently within the mountaineering community and we discover what it takes to reach its summit. Get comfortable, this one is well worth a watch.

Video: The Battle for Birthday Mountain - Giving Finland it's Highest Peak

Finland is approaching the 100th anniversary of its independence, and neighboring Norway has come up with an idea for a unique birthday present – a mountain. Yep, that's right. Norway wants to give Finland Halti Peak – a 1365 meter (4478 ft) mountain that would become the Fins' highest point. But how exactly does one country give another a mountain? In this amazing short film, we'll explore that very idea. This is an amazing story to say the least.

Battle for Birthday Mountain from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Video: The Matterhorn in Timelapse

Recently, Red Bull TV launched a new web series called The Horn that follows a team of aerial search and rescue first responders in the Alps that operate near and on the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains in the world. In preparation for that series, filmmaker Andrew Geraci shot a tremendous amount of timelapse footage of the mountain. Some of his best shots have been compiled into this 3+ minute long clip that gives us a beautiful view of this spectacular alpine setting. This is the Matterhorn like you've never seen it before. Sit back, soak it all in, and enjoy.

30 Epic Timelapses of the Matterhorn in 4k | Red Bull TV's The Horn from Red Bull on Vimeo.

Irish Adventurer to Visit Six Poles of Inaccessibility

Irish adventurer Mike O'Shea is getting set to embark on what promises to be quite an interesting set of expeditions. Having climbed in the Himalaya, Karakoram, and other remote locations, as well as skied across the North Patagonia Ice Camps, the South Kilimanjaro Ice Camp, Greenland, and South Georgia, he now plans to become the first person to reach six Poles of Inaccessibility on the planet.

For those who are unaware of the concept, a "Pole of Inaccessibility" is the point on the map that is most challenging to reach being as far a way as possible from certain geographical features. For instance, the North Pole of Inaccessbility is found in the Arctic Ocean, at the point that is furthest from any land mass. The South Pole of Inaccessibility is located in the heart of the frozen continent that is the furthest point from any coasts. The locations are always extremely remote, challenging to reach, and typically unmarked on a map.

So, what are the six Poles of Inaccessibility that O'Shea plans on reaching? In addition to the South Pole, he'll also visit the POI of North America (located in South Dakota), South America (found in the Brazilian Mato Grosso region), Australia (located in the Northern Territory), Africa (located in the Congo), Eurasia (near the border with China and Kazakistan). Each of these spots will be reached by whatever means is necessary, including driving, hiking, skiing, on horseback, and so on. Several will involve full traverses of the continent as well.

The first POI that Mike will attempt to reach is in the U.S., which is the easiest of the group. He should arrive int he country soon and begin his journey from New York to Los Angeles, with a stop over in South Dakota to hit the Pole of Inaccessibility there. After that, he'll move on to South America next, which will be considerably more challenging. The POI there is located in a more remote area that will be more difficult to get to. The other POI's will follow as the expedition unfolds in the weeks ahead, with Antarctica being the most difficult overall.

You can find out more about this project at You'll also be able to follow' Mike's progress on that site.

Big thanks to the Expedition News for sharing this story.

Video: Every Flight Counts - Speedflying in the Alps

There may be no better way to take in the stunning scenery of the Alps than from the air. In this video, a team of paragliders head up into the mountains on several flights, recording their adventures along the way. The results are some breathtaking shots of the mountains with plenty of stunning scenery in every direction.

Every flight counts // homebound speedflying - 2016 from Marius Beck Dahle on Vimeo.

Video: Running the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc with the Nike Elite Trail Team

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is one of the most well known and challenging endurance races in the world. It takes place each summer in the Alps, with several route options available. In 2015, a team of Nike Elite Trail runners traveled to Europe to take part in the CCC (Chamonix-Courmayeur-Champex) a 101 km (63 mile) race that starts in Courmayeur, Italy and finishes in Chamonix, France. This race has over 20,000 ft of positive elevation gain, and challenges competitors with unpredictable weather and tough trail conditions too. This short documentary video takes us along for the ride at this epic event, giving us a glimpse of what this amazing race is all about, and what it takes to finish it.

Video: Ueli Steck's 2015 Year in Review

As usual, Swiss climber Ueli Steck had another busy year in 2015, climbing 82 peaks in the Alps and heading to the Himalaya looking for challenges as well. In this video, we get a visual recap of his accomplishments from last year, including some great footage of Ueli in the mountains doing what he does best. Watching Steck go to work is always amazing, as he makes it look so easy and effortless.

Video: Paragliding Through the Italian Dolomites

We've seen some amazing videos from the Dolomites in Northern Italy, but we've never seen those famous mountains from this perspective before. This video was shot on a 50 km (31 mile) flight in a paraglider that soared high above the iconic jagged peaks that are a trademark of the region. This four-and-a-half-minute clip will give us a look at these mountains that most of us will never see, and it is well worth the trip. Enjoy!

Amazing day in the Dolomites from Robi on Vimeo.

Climb to the Summit of Mont Blanc with Google Street View

Over the years Google Street View has continued to expand, taking us from the familiar avenues of our hometowns to such iconic locations as Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan, and even the Khumbu in Nepal. Now, you can add one more location to that list, as earlier this week the tech giant brought one of Europe's most famous mountains online when they added Mont Blanc to their library of virtual destinations.

To capture these amazing places in full 360º images, Google uses a special backpack called the Street View Trekker. This special pack comes equipped with a device that includes 15 different cameras, each snapping images at the same time. Once the data is collected, software is used to stitch the data back together, creating a seamless experience of the various locations that the Trekker records.

In order to capture Mont Blanc in all of its glory, Google decided to enlist some specialists to help them out. They brought in mountain athletes Kilian Jornet, Ueli Steck, and Candide Thovex – amongst others – to get a streamlined version of the Trekker to the summit. The results are nothing short of spectacular.

The video below gives you a bit of insight into the project that brought Mont Blanc online. To explore it for yourself in Street View, simply click here.

Video: Hiking Europe's E5 Trail

The E5 trail in Europe runs for more than 3200 km (1988 miles), starting from the Atlantic Coast in Britany and stretching across parts of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany before finally ending in Verona, Italy. It is, by all accounts, a stunning hike through the Alps that can takes months to hike end to end. In this video, we get a brief taste of what that trek is like, as two intrepid travelers spend 10 days walking 120 miles along the E5. As you'll see, the route takes them deep into the mountains, past pristine alpine meadows, and into lovely mountain villages.

If this doesn't get your feet itching for a little walk in the mountains, I'm a afraid we'll have to check you for a pulse.

Video: Dani Arnold Sets the Speed Record on the Matterhorn

Alpinist Dani Arnold is known for going fast and light in the mountains. In this video, we tag along with him as he sets out to break the speed record – held by Ueli Steck – on the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains in the entire world. The time to beat is 1 hour and 56 minutes, which is a blazing fast time on the technically challenging mountain that stands 4478 meters (14,692 ft) in height. Does he break the record? If you followed Dani's efforts earlier in the year, you probably already know that he topped out in 1 hour and 46 minutes, but watching him do it in this video is impressive nonetheless.

Video: Miles Away - Exploring the World Through Trail Running

Exploring the world around us on foot is nothing new. Man has been doing it for ages. But in this video, trail runner Alicia Hudelson pontificates on the joys of exploring a new place while running. Along the way she takes us to some truly beautiful locations across Europe, including Switzerland, Catalunya, and elsewhere. This is adventure travel at its purist. Just heading out to a trail and running across some spectacular landscapes.

Miles Away from Dave MacLeod on Vimeo.

Video: Ueli Steck Climbs 82 Peaks in 62 Days

One of the other most impressive accomplishments of 2015 was Ueli Steck's project to climb all 82 peaks in the Alps that are taller than 4000 meters (13,123 feet). The Swiss Machine managed to knock off all of those mountains in a mere 62 days, showing us once again why he is amongst the most talented alpinists of his generation.

In the video below, you'll get a chance to watch Ueli go to work in the Alps, while discussing the project, and what drives him to press forward with his expeditions to the mountains.

What will Ueli have in store for us in 2016? We'll just have to wait to find out. But I'm sure it'll be something unique and impressive.

Video: The Matterhorn in Timelapse

The Matterhorn is one of the most iconic mountains in all of Europe, if not the world. Its striking profile is legendary, and many great mountaineers began their careers on its slopes. In this video we get an all-too-brief look at the mountain through timelapse imagery that is breathtakingly beautiful. The clip is actually a trailer for a much longer film that will be released soon, and if that video comes anywhere close to the quality of this one, I'll be sharing it as well. Sit back and enjoy a minute of pure bliss as we take in the Matterhorn in timelapse.

Matterhorn Trailer Promo Timelapse from Maurizio Pignotti on Vimeo.

Video: Matterhorn Obsession with Herve Barmasse

Earlier this year the Matterhorn celebrated the 150th anniversary of its first ascent. This video was made to honor that occasion, and it features climber Hervé Barmasse sharing his thoughts on a peak that has been so integral to his life. For Hervé, the Matterhorn is not just one of the most iconic peaks in all of Europe, it is his home mountain. One that he has known since he was a teenager, and one that remains important to him, even as he has scaled much bigger peaks in other parts of the world. Hervé has put up more first ascents on the mountain than any other climber, and in this video he shares his relationship with the Matterhorn, while giving us incredible insights into a peak that has been important to the mountaineering world for nearly two centuries. Powerful stuff.

Ueli Steck Sets New Speed Record on The Eiger

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Swiss climber Ueli Steck. It wasn't all that long ago that he was in the Himalaya attempting a summit of Nuptse, and now he is back home in the Alps, and enjoying some time in the mountains that he knows best. That includes climbing The Eiger recently with mountain runner Kilian Jornet. But now Ueli has reminded us why he called "the Swiss Machine" by also setting a new record for a speed climb on that same mountain.

On Monday of this week, Ueli set off on the famous Heckmair Route in good conditions and with great weather. He later posted a photo of himself on the summit, showing his recorded time on his Suunto watch. The display read 2:22:50.7, which means he was able to top out in under 23 minutes. Thats five minutes faster than the 2 hours and 28 minutes it took Dani Arnold to summit the same route back in 2011, when he set the previous record. It should be noted that Arnold used fixed ropes on his ascent, while Ueli does not. For purists, that added an asterisk to the previous mark.

Ueli is certainly no stranger to The Eiger. He climbs it regularly, and it is part of his personal playground in the Alps. In fact, he set a record of 2 hours, 44 minutes back in 2008. That was the record that Arnold later broke. It has been a few years since than, and that record held up well, but it seems Ueli has lowered the mark even further. The funny thing is, he probably didn't even set out to break a record, but was instead just trying to climb while the weather conditions were good. But we all know how fast Steck can be once he gets rolling.

Congrats tu Ueli on setting the new mark. He was as impressive always.

Ueli Steck and Kilian Jornet Climb The Eiger Together

A few weeks back I posted an update from the Himalaya about two of the biggest stars in outdoor adventure coming together at last. Swiss climber Ueli Steck was in Nepal at the time to attempt to climb Nuptse, while Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet was there just enjoying some time in the big mountains. The duo met in Base Camp on Nuptse, leaving many of us to wonder what a team-up between these two great athletes would be like. Well, we no longer need to wonder.

Apparently, Ueli and Kilian hit it off well enough in the Himalaya that they were eager to meet up once again back home. This past Sunday, the two men climbed one of the most iconic mountains in all of Europe when they summited The Eiger together. They chose to go up the famous North Face along the Hackmair Route.

As you would expect, the two men went light and fast, although they weren't out to break any records. For Ueli, it was his 38th time up The Eiger, but it was a first for Kilian. From car to summit, and back again required just 10 hours, although according to the Swiss climber, it was simply a fun day in the mountains.

Want to catch a glimpse of what it was like to be on The Eiger with Ueli and Kilian? Check out the video below.

I spend all yesterday following this guy. Great day with Ueli Steck in Eiger.Suunto I Petzl
Posted by Kilian Jornet on Monday, November 9, 2015

Video: Paragliding Through the Dolomites

The Italian Dolomites are some of the most spectacular mountains on the planet, and what better way to explore them than through the air on a paraglider? In this video we go high up with a group of gliders who give us a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. While I'd personally prefer o be hiking or climbing in this environment, it is hard to deny how beautiful it looks from the air.

Follow Me - Dolomites from Cloudbase Productions on Vimeo.

11-Year Old Climber Summits Elbrus in Quest for Seven Summits

Last week I posted a story about Tyler Armstrong, the 11-year old mountaineer who has designs on climbing Everest next spring. In that article I questioned whether or not such a young climber should be attempting to climb the world's tallest peak which is dangerous enough for full-grown adults. But while I was busy pontificating about Tyler's ambitions to become the youngest to accomplish such a feat, he was in Russia adding another mountain to his resume. The young man – climbing with his father – successfully summited Mt. Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe.

Tyler's expedition took five days to complete, culminating with a successful summit day on August 9. This was the third of the Seven Summits that he has climbed, with Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua already under his belt. The 5642 meter (18,510 ft) peak was seen as a bit of a warm-up for Everest next spring, as it gave Tyler the opportunity to work on more technical aspects of mountaineering, including rope skills and walking with crampons.

In order to climb Everest in 2016 Armstrong will need to get special permission from the Nepali or Tibetan governments. Both countries instituted minimum age requirements back in 2010 when Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb Everest at 13 years old. Before Tyler can even start to climb the mountain, he'll need to plead his case just to get a permit. It will be interesting to see how officials from either country react to the petition.

Regardless of whether or not he gets to climb Everest, you do have to respect and admire Tyler's drive. While he is of course hoping to climb all of the Seven Summits at some point, he isn't doing it just to selfishly try to reach that goal at a young age. The young man is using these climbs to raise funds to fight muscular dystrophy, and he hopes to eventually reach a goal of $1 million for the Cure Duchenne organization.

Incidentally, yesterday I wrote a story about how Jon Krakauer admitted that climbing Everest was the "biggest mistake" of his life. In that post I wrote that Krakauer's reveal came after he received a question about climbing Everest from a young climber. It turns out that climber was Tyler, who was inquiring about Krakauer's experiences on the mountain back in 1996. I'm guessing he wasn't expecting the response that he got from the best selling author, who did just about everything he could to dissuade the 11-year old from climbing the mountain. We'll see if those words had any impact on Tyler, or his ambitions to climb in the Himalaya next year.

Ueli Steck Wraps Up 82 Summits Project in Just 61 Days

The Swiss Machine – Ueli Steck – has wrapped up his ambitious summer project to climb 82 peaks in the Alps in 80 days. And true to form, he did it quicker than expected, knocking off all of the mountains on his list in just 61 days.

Ueli launched his bid back on June 10 with German mountaineer Michi Wohlleben. The plan was to climb all 82 4000 meter (13,123 ft) peaks in the Alps in 80 days, and to travel between them using only human power. The two men would walk, ski, paraglide, and mountain bike from one mountain to the next before climbing up to the summit. Wohlleben only made it up four of those mountains however, suffering an injury on the descent a few days in. Steck continued on without him, but was joined by several other partners along the way.

One of those partners was Dutch climber Martijn Seuren, who was also attempting to summit all 82 peaks. He slipped an fell to his death back on July 22, bringing an unexpected dose of tragedy to the project.

Known for going fast and light in the mountains, Ueli pressed on once again. And on Tuesday of this week he knocked off the final mountain on his list. That brought his total number of days in the Alps this summer to 61, which is actually one day shy of the record for climbing the 82 peaks. That record was set by Italian climbers Franco Nicolini and Diego Giovannini back in 2008.

What's next for Steck? Only time will tell. After his very difficult and lift threatening solo-summit of Annapurna a few years back, he has expressed little interest in returning to the Himalaya. But, he seems to be having fun climbing in the Alps, and enjoying the challenges he is finding there. Perhaps we'll see similar projects out of him in the future. It certainly is fun to follow his adventures.