Skis balanced delicately over one shoulder, we climbed higher. The weight of each laboured step in heavy boots caused the metal frame of steps to shudder, and a clanging noise to reverberate around the valley. This was no mountaineering ascent. Instead, we were traveling back in time…
High above the bustling valleys and roads, and the packed, groomed ski slopes of the European Alps, there is a more tranquil, albeit challenging way of getting around. Ski touring between the two most recognisable summits in Europe, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, a route exists, connecting the historic capitals of mountaineering, Chamonix in France, and Zermatt in Switzerland.
It feels strange. Sitting in a coffee shop, warm, dry and with endless food and drinks if we want them. No more daily rations of dehydrated food and energy bars, filtering water or continuing along this summer's daily trend of making progress each day as we move to the next camp spot - making progress in latitude, longitude and mileage…
This is a very different update to the one we had hoped to provide.
We are safely in Utqiagvik / Barrow - where we had aimed to reach - but we're not here by kayaking as planned.
Despite making great progress along the Arctic coast, over the last few days of paddling through the historical inland route, we've witnessed some very real and hugely significant changes to the dynamics of the landscape up here.
The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) is excited to announce the appointment of two new Explorers in Residence. Luke and Hazel Robertson were appointed as the society’s Explorers in Residence on Thursday 20th April, joining Craig Mathieson who also holds the title.
As daffodils spring up all across the country, they provide a sign of hope; a burst of colour and light after the dark winter months, reassuring us that spring is here and the warmer summer months will soon be upon us.
As with lots of exciting journeys, it started off with a map, a wild idea and with a lot more questions than answers.
With less than 2½ months before we take the first stroke in the Pacific Ocean at the start of a 2000 mile journey to reach the most Northerly point of the USA, we’re busy dreaming of the best and planning for the worst.