Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival | Mark Beaumont and Sarah Outen MBE Among Speakers at Annual Edinburgh Event

Scottish cyclist Beaumont to talk about cycling the world in an astonishing 78 days…

Photo: Cyclist Mark Beaumont

Photo: Cyclist Mark Beaumont

The 15th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is set to bring round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont and MBE adventurer Sarah Outen to the Scottish capital early next month.

The festival will be running over 3-4 February and will also see professional climbers Pete Whittaker and Kelly Cordes appearing as guest speakers as well as Outen and Beaumont.

Mark Beaumont is probably the most famous long-distance cyclist in the world right now.

In 2008 he broke the world record for a circumnavigational bike tour of the World, travelling an 18,000 mile route that began in Paris and passed through 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australasia and North America before he finished the tour 195 days later.

“Amazingly, he completed it ahead of schedule, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes”

In the summer of 2017 he followed up the expedition with another trip around the planet, with the aim of reclaiming his world record after it was taken by Vin Cox in 2010 and built upon from there.

Almost 10 years after his initial trip, he made a similar circumnavigation in just 80 days for the ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ challenge.

The idea was of course inspired by Jules Verne’s story ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ and if it went to plan Mark would have beaten the current world record by over 40 days. Amazingly, he completed it ahead of schedule, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes. Mark is an Edinburgh local and will be talking about his trip around the world.

Sarah Outen MBE meanwhile spent more than a year rowing solo across the oceans of the world, and cycled the land in between. Her trip took a full four and a half years and the aim was to get herself around the planet using only human power.

Outen finished the journey in 2015 having travelled a massive 20,000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere and will be talking about her journey at the festival.

Of course as well as the special guests there will be the usual range of short, slightly longer, and ever-inspirational adventure films showing at the event, and tickets are on sale now from the official website.

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Most Dangerous Mountain In The World | Top 5

Statistically speaking, what is the deadliest mountain for climbers?

annapurna-dangerous-mountains

Pictured: Snow at Annapurna base camp. Photo via Getty Images.

It goes without saying that climbing big mountains can be dangerous, and that some mountains are considerably more dangerous to climb than others. But what is the most dangerous mountain in the world? You might be forgiven for thinking that because Everest is the highest mountain in the world, it’s also the deadliest. However, in terms of the percentage rates of people who die attempting to summit it Everest is actually comparatively safe when you put it next to some of the other mountains on this list. Which is not to say that the world’s highest mountain isn’t without its dangers, as anyone who’s read up on the gruesome subject of dead bodies on Everest will tell you.

Anyway, based on death-to-summit ratios here are the five deadliest mountains on the planet.

1) Annapurna

annapurna-most-dangerous-mountain-in-the-world

Pictured: Morning view of Annapurna from its south face base camp. Photo via Getty Images.

At 8,091 metres high, Annapurna might only be the 10th highest mountain in the world but when judged purely on fatality risk the massif’s main peak has, over the years, established itself as the planet’s most dangerous mountain.

As of 2012, Annapurna I Main (the mountain’s official title) had seen 191 summit ascents and 61 climbing fatalities. This puts Annapurna’s fatality-to-summit ratio at an astonishing 32%, meaning that for every three climbers trying to make it up and down the mountain one will die attempting it.  The south face ascent is particularly notorious, and is considered by many to be the most difficult climb in the world.

“This puts Annapurna’s fatality-to-summit ratio at an astonishing 32%”

Despite being the first of the 8,000 metre peaks to be summited, in 1950 by Frenchmen Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, Annapurna is to this day the least-climbed of all the mountains over 8,000 metres high. Everest, which is almost 800 metres higher than Annapurna at 8,848m, has been summited over 6,000 times whereas Annapurna has been climbed less than 200 times. A perfect illustration, we think, of the sheer difficulty and danger involved with climbing it.

In October 2014, at least 43 people were killed when snowstorms and avalanches hit Annapurna and the surrounding area. This is on record as being the worst trekking disaster in Nepal’s history.

2) K2

k2-most-dangerous-mountains-in-the-world

Pictured: K2, the world’s second highest and second most dangerous mountain in the world. Photo via Getty Images.

With about one in four climbers dying in their attempts to summit it, it’s fair to say that K2 has earned its nickname the “Savage Mountain.” The second highest mountain in the world, and the mountain with the second highest death-to-summit ratio, K2 is literally right up there whichever way you look at it.

“The second highest mountain in the world, and the mountain with the second highest death-to-summit ratio”

Despite not quite hitting the same physical heights as Everest, anyone who knows anything about mountain climbing, will tell you that K2 is far more difficult to summit. Over the course of a single year, Everest, for example, might see more than 500 climbers reach the summit. Whereas K2, due to its more challenging and extremely technical nature, might go many years without anyone making a successful ascent of it. It is thought of as the “mountaineer’s mountain.”

In August of 2008, K2 saw its worst ever mountaineering accident – with 11 climbers dying, and another three suffering serious injuries. The series of deaths, that occurred over a Friday ascent and Saturday descent, were the result of a climber’s fall, subsequent attempts to rescue him, and four separate incidents involving large blocks of glacier ice breaking off.

 

3) Nanga Parbat

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Pictured: Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. Photo via Getty Images.

At 8,126 metres, Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world. It is a notoriously difficult and dangerous mountain to climb and, thanks to its 22% fatality rate, is known in climbing circles as “Killer Mountain” and “Man Eater.”

Considered, alongside K2 (also on this list), to be one of the planet’s most technically difficult mountains; Nanga Parbat is home to the 4,600 metre high Rupal Face – the largest and most intimidating rock wall on Earth. Needless to say, deadly features of this size require huge quantities of courage, dedication, and mountaineering skill to overcome.

The Nanga Parbat Disaster of 1934, which claimed the lives of 10 climbers, was at the time it happened the worst mountaineering tragedy in history. Willy Merkl led the well financed expedition, one that was fully supported by Germany’s newly instated Nazi government.

“the worst mountaineering tragedy in history.”

Mountaineer Alfred Drexel perished early doors, with matters only getting worse for the party from that point on. When a severe storm kicked in, the climbers attempted a desperate retreat down to safety but six Sherpas and three Germans, including Merkl himself, would never make it back alive – dying from exhaustion, exposure, and altitude sickness. Last man standing, Ang Tsering spent seven days battling through the storm and was the only one who lived to tell the tale.

In Joe Simpson’s book ‘Dark Shadows Falling’, it is said that the 1934 Nanga Parbat Disaster: “for protracted agony, has no parallel in climbing annals.”

Austrian climber Hermann Buhl became the first man to summit Nanga Parbat, in July 1953. At the time of his expedition, the mountain had already claimed 31 lives. Buhl, who’d ascended by himself under the influence of pervitin (a drug based on the stimulant methamphetamine used by soldiers in World War II), lost a crampon on the way down and had to sleep upright in a bivouac while holding onto a small handhold. In the history of 8,000m first ascents, Buhl is the only person to have done one solo.

4) Kangchenjunga

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Pictured: The first light of sunrise hits Kangchenjunga. Photo via Getty Images.

Kangchenjunga’s summit is a whole 8,586 metres above sea level. It is the world’s third highest mountain. Located along the border that separates India and Nepal, the mountain is infamous for its frequent avalanches, extremely cold weather, and highly unpredictable weather patterns. As deadly as it is difficult, this is not a hill to be taken lightly.

“Their bodies have never been found.”

The Kangchenjunga fatality-to-summit ratio is about 20%; meaning that for every five climbers who make the summit one, on average, will die. Interestingly, whereas most mountains appear to be getting safer due to improvements in climbing gear recent statistics appear to suggest that this particular mountain is becoming increasingly dangerous to climb.

Back in May 2013, five climbers including Hungary’s most accomplished mountaineer Zsolt Erőss (a man who summited 10 of the 14 peaks over 8,000 metres) reached the top of Kangchenjunga but disappeared during the descent. Their bodies have never been found.

5) Dhaulagiri

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Pictured: Dhaulagiri at Sunrise from Poonhill, Nepal. Photo via Getty Images.

The seventh highest mountain in the world, the top of Dhaulagiri sits 8,167 metres above sea level. It has a fatality-to-summit ratio of about 16%, making it one of the hardest and most dangerous climbs in the mountaineering world.

“In 1969, five American climbers and two Nepalese were killed in an avalanche.”

Despite Dhaulagiri’s first successful summiting occurring in 1960, nobody to this day has been able to summit it via the the south face. Some legendary names, such as Reinhold Messner, have tried and failed to make it up this way; illustrating perfectly just how difficult this approach is. For one of mountain climbing’s greatest, yet to be overcome, challenges… look no further than Dhaulagiri’s south face.

In 1969, five American climbers and two Nepalese were killed in an avalanche. Six years later, in 1975, two Japanese and three Nepalese were killed by an avalanche as they slept at Camp I. These tragic incidents are by no means the only dark days in Dhaulagiri’s history, with the mountain suffering over 70 fatalities down the years.

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The Vans Versa Hoodie DX Is Released

Vans release their new Verda DX, proving that not all hoodies are created equal

Vans Versa Hoodie DX is released

Ah, the simple, yet ubiquitous hoodie. Is there any item of clothing, maybe aside from a pair of classic Vans skate shoes, that goes hand-in-hand with skateboarding quite like a hoodie? No, we can’t think of one either. Trends come and go, but the hoodie endures.

So, when Vans release a new hoodie we get rather excited. You would, of course, be forgiven for thinking that when you’ve seen one hoodie, you’ve seen them all. However, take one look at Vans new Versa Hoodie DX, and you’ll soon realise that not all hoodies are created equal.


With this new release, Vans have managed to combine a whole load of smart innovations, yet kept a clean, classic look about the Versa.

“The Versa Hoodie DX is designed to withstand abrasions, which is handy when you find yourself careering towards Morrisons car park elbows first”

Vans Versa Hoodie DX is released

The first thing you want from any hoodie is comfort. Vans know this, and the Versa Hoodie DX delivers. It’s made from a fabric blend that’s just as warm and snug as it looks, and is available in three colourways, cement heather, old gold and classic black (or grey, yellow, and black, if you prefer).

However, beneath those good looks is a serious piece of gear that, once you wear, you’ll wonder how you’ve coped for so long without. That comfortable fabric blend? It’s a heavyweight, super durable fleece, designed to withstand abrasions. This is particularly handy when that flip-trick you tried goes wayward and you find yourself careering towards Morrisons car park elbows first.

The Vans Versa Hoodie DX also utilises something called StormCotton which, despite sounding like somebody from TV’s Gladiators who didn’t quite make the final cut, is actually a Hydrophobic shield that prevents water from soaking into the hoodie. Instead, it beads on the surface and rolls off, giving the Versa enhanced water repelling properties.

If you’re doing most of your skateboarding in California, this sounds like it might be handy, but it’s an absolute Godsend if you ever try skating in Manchester.

Vans Versa Hoodie DX is releasedVans Versa Hoodie DX is releasedVans Versa Hoodie DX is released

The material is also designed to be super breathable, ensuring you stay comfortable when you start to get warm. The more comfortable you are, the longer you’re going to want to skate for. Ideal.

Of course, being designed and built by Vans, you know skateboarding functionality is at the very heart of this hoodie. The people who’ve made it know what’s really needed by skaters. In an age of touch screen phones, keeping that oh-so brittle black mirror from shattering is key. With this in mind, the Versa has a hidden media pocket where you can secure your iPhone , Samsung, or whatever, without fear of it flinging out, mid trick.

Vans Versa Hoodie DX is released

The Versa Hoodie DX also features subtle reflective details on the pocket, hood, and lower back that allow light to shine back from them at multiple angles when it’s dark, and by day just look like part of the design.

The Versa Hoodie DX is available now at selected Vans’ dealers. Learn more about the Versa Hoodie DX at Vans.com

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Vans 2018 Authentic™ Chino Range Is Released

Hard-wearing, odour-resistant… Vans are leading the way once again

Vans 2018 authentic chino range is released

Since people started to sit up and take notice of the Z-Boys skateboarding around Dogtown and beyond in the mid 1970s, where skate style led, the rest of the world followed. In 2018, maybe more so than ever before, the world seemingly looks to what skateboarders are wearing before copying them. And, since day one, leading the way in skateboarding are Vans.

For decades, the California-based company have been making gear designed to stand up to the rigours of hard skating, but that also looks good. So when Vans announce a new range is dropping, you’re forgiven for getting a little bit excited.

2018 sees Vans launch new offerings from their Authentic™ Chino range. If you’re in the market for a good looking pair of skate pants (nee: trousers) that are super tough, designed specifically with skateboarding in mind, and still have that classic silhouette, then look no further.

Vans 2018 authentic chino range is releasedVans 2018 authentic chino range is released

The new release sees the already much loved Vans’ Authentic™ Chino range expanding, with new colourways in the Authentic™ Chino Stretch and Authentic™ Chino Pro.

“They’re not going to disintegrate when you go sliding across the B&Q car park”

Skateboard performance and innovation are paramount in the design of the classic chino pant, which feature comfortable fit and Vans’ Sturdy Stretch twill fabrication. The result is a range of trousers that have a timeless workwear feel, and combine skateboard functionality with a toughness that ensures they’re not going to disintegrate when that 15th attempt at a flip trick results in you sliding across the B&Q car park.

The folk at Vans know skateboarding, so they know what skaters needs from a pair of chinos. As a result the Authentic™ Chino are packed with smart features, including double chain stitched flat felled seams to stop your friends from splitting their sides when you split your sides, sewn bar tacks for reinforcement, curved slant pockets and a hidden coin pocket to, well, hide your coins.

Vans 2018 authentic chino range is releasedVans 2018 authentic chino range is releasedVans 2018 authentic chino range is released

The Authentic™ Chino Stretch features a modern fit and the Authentic™ Chino Pro features a straight fit, treated with SILVADUR® anti-microbial finishing to protect the fabric and minimize odour. Stinking up the bus after an evening rolling around will be a thing of the past.

Vans looked to their legendary professional skateboarding team to gain insight into refining an everyday staple that provides all-day comfort and shape retention, while maintaining Vans’ classic style and functionality.

Vans 2018 authentic chino range is released

New this spring, Vans introduces the Authentic™ Chino Stretch in frost grey and copen blue, as well as the Authentic™ Chino Pro in asphalt.

The Authentic™ Chino is available now at select Vans’ dealers. Learn more about this Vans 2018 Authentic™ Chino range at Vans.com

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Next Level Riding | Is This Mountain Bike Trail in Canada “the Hardest Trail in the World”?

“It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be…”

Hardest trail in the world - BCpoc

The hardest trail in the world? Watch the full video below. Photo: BCPov / YouTube Screenshot

A lot of the time when you watch footage of a ridiculous downhill mountain bike run, what you’re watching is a rider sail effortlessly over every rock and root, round every corner and over every jump no problem at all.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen first time. What’s probably happened a bunch of times before the footage you’re watching is excruciating track checking from the rider, practice run after practice run, maybe a few over-the-handlebars, and no doubt a whole lot of runs where at the very least not everything went absolutely according to plan.

That’s why we like this video from the BCpov crew. The video is titled ‘The Hardest Trail in the World?’ but it’s not just GoPro footage of a professional sending it accompanied by AWOLNATION – Sail. The footage sees the group stopping to check out the feature and talking through how to ride it before our narrator gives it a try; not with the best success.

“It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be…”

It’s a bit like being on an actual group ride, really. It’s one hell of a trail no doubt, but it’s still a lot more relatable – the build-up at least! – to normal riders than your average headcam footage from Red Bull Rampage anyway.

The guys in the video don’t list the exact location of the trail, stating that it’s under the radar and they “wouldn’t want anyone to be on the trail who shouldn’t be on the trail” – which is fair enough.

It’s somewhere in British Columbia in Canada anyway, which obviously narrows down the possibilities massively if you are trying to find it (though a comment says “If you ask around in the Sea to Sky area and are a good enough rider, someone would probably show you it”).

The video is a long old watch, but we’re betting that once you start, you won’t be able to look away:

“The title says that this trail might be the hardest trail in the world,” says the narrator. “It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be.”

So what is it that makes the trail so hard? It’s tight and it’s steep… and it’s tight… and it’s steep. Even on camera the trail looks scary, so just imagine how difficult this looked in real life, and the narrator’s eventual fall wouldn’t inspire a lot of confidence in some people (glad to read in the comments that he’s okay!).

The video also shows two-time Canadian downhill mountain biking champion Matt Beer sending it (albeit successfully), but that should show you the level this trail is at.

It also looks like a hell of a lot of fun, though. It’s definitely one of those which after watching a lot of people would want to get out and ride… which we’re guessing is why the narrator omitted the trail name!

Let us know what you think. Know a trail harder? Give it a shoutout!

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