The Best Climbing, Hiking & Extreme Sport News Of 2015
As we’re at the end of the year, we thought we’d do a bit of a round-up of some of the most notable news from the world of climbing, skiing, hiking and other extreme sports. Here’s what’s been going on in 2015…
Free climbers scale El Capitan
This amazing climb technically started last year on the 27th December, but it wasn’t completed until 19 days later on the 15th January 2015.
US climbers Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell had been planning the climb up California’s El Capitan, the world’s largest monolith (pictured above), for eight years, and many claimed it was a climb that couldn’t be done.
Scaling the most difficult of the faces, known as the Dawn Wall, the only equipment they used was safety ropes, and they slept in special tents they could attached to the rock face. A quite astounding feat.
See more about the climb, including videos, here.
Eiger Paraclimb 2015
Many might think that climbing is something that can be done by only the most able-bodied, but that really isn’t the case, as the Eiger Paraclimb team have demonstrated.
A team of British paraclimbers successfully scaled the West Flank Route to the summit of The Eiger in Switzerland to raise awareness of paraclimbing. The team featured John Churcher, who has only 3% vision and needs hearing aids, Alex Taylor who has multiple sclerosis, and Jay Owen who is autistic.
Jay commented on the climb: “I believe climbing helps with positive attitude to life and is mentally and physically. The Eiger was a massive goal and a life changing experience – showing the world out there that we can overcome challenges we face on a daily basis. What we are doing is all about diversity.”
You can see read more on the Eiger Paraclimb blog.
Blind hikers cross mountain range
This is another amazing achievement by people who are physically impaired. In July, a group of five blind hikers successfully negotiated a French mountain range using only their white canes and an innovative GPS system.
The group trekked for 50 miles over six days in the Vosges range near the German border. The smartphone app was developed by Strasbourg University and warns of bends and turns at regular intervals.
Sean Conway’s Triathlon of Britain
Zimbabwe-born endurance adventurer Sean Conway completed the final part of his triathlon of Britain, running from John O’Groats to Land’s End, a journey of nearly 1,000 miles in six weeks, the equivalent of 38 consecutive marathons.
Sean had already run and cycled the length of Britain previously, with this leg completing the ‘triathlon’. He took more 1.5 million steps and averaged around 25 miles per day.
Here’s a quick video Sean made about the start of his run…
World Snow Awards 2015
The World Snow Awards 2015 took place in November with plenty of people and companies honoured from the world of skiing and snowboarding.
Perhaps most notable was former British ski racer and four-time Team GB Olympic alpine skier Chemmy Alcott picking up a lifetime achievement award. Other winners included Les Alpes 2 as best resort of the year and Les Menuires as best family resort of the year.
See more at the World Snow Awards website.
First ever BASE jump off Kilimanjaro
Slightly off-piste for us here, but we thought this was pretty impressive. A 50 year old Russian man became the first person to BASE jump from Mount Kilimanjaro. Valery Rozov summited Africa’s highest peak before jumping off from the nearest suitable exit point.
He travelled a horizontal distance of around 3km after freefalling for more than a minute. Rosov has previously BASE jumped from Mt Everest.
Check out the video from his jump…
Unfortunately we don’t sell any BASE jumping gear. Maybe one day.
Naked tourists blamed for earthquake
In perhaps one of the most bizarre stories of the year, a group of young tourists who scaled Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu and subsequently posed naked at the top, were blamed for causing an earthquake by angering the gods and subsequently arrested.
Related: The Best Rucksacks For Hiking
The group were fined and sentenced to jail, although this was back-dated so they didn’t actually serve time in prison. Mount Kinabalu is considered sacred and the group were found guilty of causing a public disturbance.
Skier survives 1,600ft fall
We thought we’d conclude with an amazing story about pro-skier Ian McIntosh who survived falling nearly 2,000 feet in under a minute.
A very lucky man. Watch the video below…