Adventure Ramblings, November 2023
A journey through the borderlands where adventure meets social and environmental change
Curated by, Adventure Ramblings is how Adventure Uncovered shares thought-provoking adventure stories. It follows in the footsteps of the seventeen Editions we published between 2020 and 2023.
If you have something you think we should include, email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
🎬 Extended deadline for Adventure Uncovered Film Festival 2024
With amazing films still flying in, we’re extending the AUFF 24 submissions window to December 31st. So if you’ve made a film connecting adventure and the outdoors with social or environmental issues, or know somebody who has, send it our way and get involved with the only adventure film festival totally dedicated to stories with social and environmental narratives.
Meghann O’Brien weaving (photo by Brian Hockenstein)
📂 AU archives
Art, indigeneity, and a new mountain philosophy
Professional snowboarder Meghann O’Brien was living the dream of backcountry trips, travel budgets, freestyle comps, and film parts. But the commerciality was wearing her down. In 2020, we spoke about how weaving helped her reconnect with her indigenous Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw heritage and reframe her relationship with snowboarding.
In search of the heart of the world
Just 50km from South America’s second oldest Spanish city, in a cacophonous mountainscape of tropical jungle and alpine glaciers, live the uncolonised Kogi tribe. Recounting his journey to seek permission to enter El Corazon del Mundo – The Heart of the World – this fine Aeon essay by Nick Hunt reflects on the places we cannot go, the things we cannot know, and the role of travelling storytellers.
Following the first African to visit Greenland
In 1957, Tété-Michel Kpomassie fled his village in Togo to pursue an improbable dream of exploring the Arctic. Eight years later, he disembarked in Greenland. This year, Nigerian-born Noo Saro-Wiwa joined an expedition team to retrace Kpomassie’s steps. This wonderful piece tells the story.
A complex tale of surfer colonialism
In the 1970s, two Aussie surfers stumbled upon a sweet wave on the Indonesian island of Nias. Rebecca Coley’s new documentary, Point of Change, blends archival footage, animation, and interviews to tell the complex story of the damage that followed. It’s currently riding the festival circuit, so until it surfaces online, this Huck interview will have to suffice.
Point of Change prelude, by Rebecca Coley
The latest Stone Age women to paddle the Thames
As experimental archaeologists, Theresa Emmerich Kamper and Sarah Day recreate ancient technologies to learn about our ancestors. Thus, flying the flag of research, they embarked on a 255km voyage in leaky cowhide canoes, wearing buckskin dresses and sleeping on reindeer fur in a leather tent. But as Keridwen Cornelius reports, a true Stone Age voyage may well have been easier.
La Foixarda: Barcelona’s urban climbing tunnel
For supposed clusters of culture and creativity, cities are remarkably unplayful. La Foixarda shouldn’t feel so unusual, so utopian. Spearheaded by guerrilla urban route-setter Manuel Sánchez Paner, this old quarry tunnel is festooned with free boulder problems and bolted roots – some using conventional climbing holds, others a delightfully weird array of artistic appendages. Climber and YouTuber Noah Kane checks it out in this short film.
Are lift-free resorts the future of skiing?
Alright, it’s unlikely. But amidst ballooning prices, shrinking snowfalls, and an urgent need for low-impact adventure, skiing needs to experiment. Hankin-Evelyn – a lift-free, low-cost, community-driven backcountry ski ‘resort’ here in British Columbia – has been quietly doing just that. As similar examples pop up in North America and Europe, this Salomon TV film takes a closer look.
From skateboarding to shepherding
When injuries ended Bradford skater Lois Pendlebury’s career, she did what anybody would and became a shepherdess in the French Alps. In this Element short, Lois reflects on the transition, and the gifts and hardships of a slow alpine life.
A thoughtful chat about adventure storytelling
I’ve sufficiently recovered from the FOMO of missing Kendal Mountain Festival to recommend this podcast: a live-recorded conversation about outdoor storytelling. The Looking Sideways X Adventure Podcast collab features Matt Barr, Matt Pycroft, Soraya Abdel-Hadi, Lauren MacCallum, and Adam Rajah. It’s emotional, thought-provoking, and necessary.
Examining sustainability in the outdoor industry
What does sustainability really look like in the outdoor industry, as both a current reality and a future vision? This Duct Tape Theory episode, featuring reps from Patagonia, Finisterre, and Billabong, dives into the contradictory weeds.
Wage slave on Monday, free man on Sunday
Next time you’re out on the trail – perhaps even participating in some trespass activism – stick this song on. Folk singer, rambler, and Young Communist League member Ewan MacColl wrote The Manchester Rambler in 1932, inspired by participating in the Kinder Scout trespass. Just don’t follow his wedding-day example.
A trio of photography competitions
We are bombarded by photography. More photos is good, for the most part, but it surely desensitises us to powerful images, and distracts us from lingering for long. One value of awards, then, is that they encourage us to carve out a little more time to ponder what a photo says and where it invites us. The Guardian recently featured fantastic highlight reels of both Nature Photographer of the Year and Environmental Photographer of the Year. And Oceanographic’s Ocean Photographer of the Year is just as spectacular, with Adventure one of the many sub-categories.
Thanks for reading Adventure Ramblings! We’ll be back next month. Subscribe for free if you haven’t already, and forward this to your likeminded friends.