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National Geographic 100 Greatest Adventure Books

National Geographic Adventure has published their list of the 100 best adventure books. Perusing through the list, it is immediately apparent that the books are all the sort of high quality adventure writing, you would expect in a recommendation from National Geographic.

The books span from the golden age of exploration to the modern day. I see some old favorites (#7 Desert Solitaire, #17 Kon Tiki, #92 The Silent World), some I've been meaning to read (#14 Two Years Before The Mast, #47 Gipsy Moth Circles the World) and some new ones that look promising (#64 News from Tartary, #32 Through the Dark Continent,).

In general, I'm not a fan of these "100 best" type lists. It's a ridiculous way to classify cultural items. It doesn't matter if you are discussing rock songs, movies, or adventure books, it's always a bad idea. Simply calling the list 100 great adventure books would have been sufficient and more than accurate. Every book on the list that I've read is on my personal list of favorite books. I recognized many classics.

Extreme Hiking

Extreme Hiking?

Seems like an oxymoron, but that's the motto of - a website about long, challenging dayhikes. There is a happy egalitarian spirit on this web site that makes you smile. They promote finding adventure wherever you are at a level that is appropriate for you.

From the home page: The Day Hiker philosophy is a minimalist approach to clothing, food, and equipment so the hiker can: go early, go light, go fast, go far, go high, and achieve a personal best in one day, returning to a hot shower, a gourmet meal, a fine wine, and a comfortable bed.

Sailing and Mountaineering Books

I read a lot. I always have. I read fast too and that means I always have piles of books overflowing my bookshelves. Here are some good ones I'm looking at on my bookshelf right now.

Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing, New Edition

by John Rousmaniere.

Helicopter lands on top of Mt Everest

I can't believe this hasn't gotten more press.

A French helicopter piloted by Didier Delsalle has landed on the top of Mt Everest. This is an incredible feat and sets a new world record for the highest helicopter landing/takeoff. Coverage of the story seems to have been supressed somewhat due to the fact that the French expedition team did not actually have a permit to land on Everest and so did not announce their feat until safely back in France. In fact, according to this (report from it looks like the Nepalese government is denying the landing at all and there was some controversy over whether the helicopter actually landed on the summit. However, eyewitness accounts from several expeditions on the mountain at the time and a compelling video shot from the helicopter seems to have dispelled all doubts.

What do people think of this? I think it's amazing. Definitely one of the most impressive exploration feats this year. I would have thought it would have been more widely reported, even in the main stream press. Somehow it changes the way you think about Mt. Everest. I mean if a helicopter can land up there...

Web Site review:

Here is a climbing link I found on the net. It's the company website for a mountaineering and trekking guide service based out of Australia, and is of much higher quality than most of these types of sites that I've seen. They have a fun-to-browse upcoming trip catalog filled with a lot of beautiful expedition and travel pictures as well as interesting stories and pictures from previous expeditions and information on various documentary films they have produced. There are live dispatches from mountaineering expeditions, though I've never been a huge fan of these realtime journals. I prefer reading the more refined post-trip reflections. I suppose they are good for friends and family. Overall the site has good content and reasonable navigation (though too many of the links pop open new windows). It's worth checking out.

Adventure Links

Here are links to some pages that I read on a regular basis. If you have a good link, add it to the comments section below for review. Those that the community deems truly good (as defined by consensus in the comments below) we'll promote up to the top level list.


  • Insider news and great pictures of top sailing races. Excellent discussion forum, but the comments are very technical and probably incomprehensible unless you are an expert racer.

Ed Viesturs climbs all 8,000 Meter Peaks

Ed Viesturs has summited Annapurna on May 12th completing his quest to climb all 14 of the world's 8,000 meter peaks. He is the first American to do so and one of only a handful to accomplish this task without using supplemental oxygen. MSN has the reports here and here. He has also climbed Mt Everest an amazing 6 times.

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