A First for Everything: Adventures that Inspire

We live at a time when it’s easy to believe that everything that’s to be achieved in exploration and adventure has been achieved. That all mountains have been climbed, and all points on the globe have been reached. Every first has been seconded, and there are oldest, youngest, fastest, least-assisted claims on anything worth standing atop. Continue reading

The Blinding Lure of Everest

In my very first blog entry I wrote that this site wouldn’t be all about Everests. I even suggested it might never be about Everests. Yet here it is, looming above me; today I’m writing about Mt Everest. To bastardise the words of another, somewhat better scribbler however, I come not to praise Mt Everest, but to bury it. Continue reading

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galapagos Islands

I needn’t bother introducing the Galapagos Islands. Some bloke named Darwin beat me to it. Then Vonnegut. Then Attenborough. I suspect even Billy Connolly might have triked across them at some point. But even when you have an expectation of the Galapagos Islands, they can overwhelm you. Continue reading

The Wild Side of Home

In his elegant book The Wild Places, Cambridge fellow Robert Macfarlane set out to explore the notion of wilderness by travelling to remote remnants of the British Isles. After wandering through the likes of Coruisk and Rannoch Moor, he came to the conclusion that wilderness could be as near as it is far – that a remote mountain range could be wild, but so too could a hedgerow. The wild world is not just some grand and craggy other, existing far from our everyday lives. Continue reading

The Power of a Photo: Saving Tasmania’s Franklin River

Thirty years ago, big business tried to change Tasmania’s natural landscape, promising to dam the wild Franklin River and hand back electricity in its place. Instead, the Franklin River changed the Australian political landscape, helping overturn a government and giving the nascent Green movement legitimacy and support. Continue reading

Walk this Way

I’m not the first to believe that footsteps, pedal turns and paddle strokes can feel like the essence of life. Never does my mind function better, or my soul feel more connected to some sort of natural order, than when I’m hiking on a mountain, cycling an empty road, or kayaking along a wild strip of coastline.

“I can only meditate when I am walking,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote. “When I stop I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.” Friedrich Nietzsche was even more resolute on the subject: “Only those thoughts which come from walking have any value.” Continue reading