Editor’s Letter | The Family Issue – December-January 17/18

This month is all about adventures for the whole family

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A couple of days ago I met a friend’s 6-month-old son for the first time. Amid the chat about the sleepless nights and the screaming sessions (which quite frankly didn’t sound like a lot of fun) my interest was peaked when talk turned to his first Christmas (which definitely did).

I spend the festive season with my extended family most years, but it’s been a long time since there were any little people around our tree, and I realised how much I’d missed it. My friend’s son may be too young to appreciate it fully this time around, but for the next few years he’s going to be as excitable as, well, a kid at Christmas.

“Wendy Fisher was expressing breast milk for her first child between runs at the US Extreme Skiing Championships.”

While this time of the year might be made for talking about families, at first glance adventure sports might seem an odd way to do it. After all they usually involve an element of danger, which for many parents would put them a long way down the list of preferred activities. But there are just as many people who view adventure not just as child-friendly, but an essential part of raising healthy, well-adjusted kids, and rightly so.

Take Wendy Fisher for example, who Abi Butcher spoke to for this month’s Big Interview. An “utterly badass” free-skier, she was expressing breast milk for her first child between runs at the US Extreme Skiing Championships, and now regularly takes both her young sons out on the hill.

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Wendy Fisher, who enjoys a career as a professional freeride skier, as well as being a hands-on mother to her two boys. Photo: Dave Kozlowski

She’s more aware than most of the sport’s dangers too – horrifically, she watched her older brother die in a skiing accident when she herself was just a child. “Even though my brother died, this sport is awesome,” she explains, and she wants her kids to enjoy it as she has.

It’s not like kids need slow you down either. Fisher’s two boys now often beat her down the slopes, and in fact, children can be the catalyst for their parents taking on new challenges. This was certainly the case for Jordan Romero’s family who climbed together and then, at Jordan’s instigation, summited Everest when he was just 13 years old – making him the youngest person ever to do so.

The achievement (and the family’s subsequent ascent of the rest of the Seven Summits) didn’t just put Jordan’s name in the record books, it made him closer to his father and surrogate mother, who he misses climbing with to this day.

Of course, taking a teenager up the world’s highest mountain isn’t for everyone, but you can enjoy a similar sense of collective endeavour and achievement closer to home too. This month saw features editor Sam Haddad and a friend taking their kids trekking round the bothies of the South Downs, an experience she documents amusingly for our Great British Adventures series.

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Kiwi brothers Jake & Theo, who feature in mountain bike videos together. Photo: @jaketheobike

As she found out, there’s something about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – whether that’s camping with kids in an English winter or climbing the world’s highest peaks – that brings people together. And while you don’t have to be related to each other to appreciate this (Hugh Francis Anderson had an incredible time at the inaugural IGO Morocco this month with a friend), but it definitely helps. After all, if you’re going to be huddling in a tent in subzero temperatures, or pushing yourself to the extremes of physical exhaustion, it helps to know your companions inside out before you start.

Of course, everyone has family members they’d rather not spend any more time with than is strictly necessary. The stereotypical drunken uncle or borderline racist grandmother are festive-season staples for example. But for all they can infuriate you, it’s worth remembering that the best companions for any adventure you might choose to embark on are often the ones closest to you. So it’s perhaps no wonder that my friend can’t wait until his boy’s old enough to get a snowboard for Christmas.

Here’s hoping this month’s stories inspire you to get outside with your family this festive season.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from all of us at Mpora.
– Tristan, Editor-in-chief

To read Mpora’s December / January Family issue, head here.

You may also like:

Adventure-gram | Theo and Jake, Mountain Bikers
Wendy Fisher Interview | How To Be An Extreme Skier & An Awesome Parent

The post Editor’s Letter | The Family Issue – December-January 17/18 appeared first on Mpora.

Dougie Lampkin | Watch a Legendary Trials Rider Take on an Abandoned Theme Park

There’s no way an abandoned attraction that’s 22-metres high won’t worry you…”

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Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

Love roller coasters? No. Why not? Because UK-based theme parks have had a plethora of terrifying nightmare situations in the last years? Oh. Yeah. Fair enough.

The thing about most accidents on a roller coaster though, is that they’re actually caused by the carriages rather than the rails. So if you just found a reliable carriage of your own – say a trials motocross bike – then you could ride around the roller coaster track no problem. Though you’d have to make sure that you know your way around a motorbike.

Luckily, few people know their way around a bike better than legendary trials rider Dougie Lampkin, who won five consecutive World Indoor titles, seven consecutive World Outdoor Championships and got an MBE for his efforts in 2001.

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

So, what does a dude with an MBE for his services to motorcycle trials do after he’s done winning medals? He hunts out ridiculous settings for sick trials videos of course.

Dougie is no stranger to a viral video. His trials jaunt around a giant igloo on the Tundra trail in Finland is still one of the best watches around:

He also only went and pulled a 60.725km – 37.73 mile – wheelie around the Isle of Man TT course last year, the equivalent of wheelie-ing up and down a regulation-size football pitch 754 times.

…and for his latest trick, Dougie headed back overseas to an abandoned theme park 30km north of Milan. The end result was this awesome video:

GreenLand has been lying baron for years, and Dougie had to not only pick his lines and think up the shots but ensure each of the structures would be sturdy and safe enough for riding. Imagine riding a 22m-high roller coaster with zero guarantees over the overall condition of the structure?

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

The 41-year-old told Red Bull, who sponsor his riding: “What matters is being able to find new places, ones that are more and more interesting and challenging. If the place isn’t open to the public, we can trace out a circuit and then work it.

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s not the obstacles or extreme conditions that make a video spectacular, it’s the ability of the entire team to make the most of the location for filming.

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos / Red Bull Content Pool

“I did need a bit [of training] to prepare for the roller coaster video. There’s no way an abandoned attraction that’s 22-metres high can’t worry you, but the team and I made it as safe as we could – even though the risk factor was extremely high.”

You May Also Like

This Trials Legend Just Nailed Some Ridiculous Moto Stunts… Deep In The Arctic Circle

How To Get Ticket for The Nitro Circus 2018 Tour

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Editor’s Letter | The Search Issue – November 2017

This month’s features are about the search for adventure

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Lead image by Chris Burkard

Adventures, almost by definition, start with a search. In days gone by this would have meant digging out an atlas, leafing through back issues of surf or bike magazines, or drooling over the descriptions in a guide book. These days, it’s more likely to mean typing a few keywords into Google’s search box.

There’s no doubt technology has removed some of the romance from the process – when the whole world’s information is literally at your fingertips, searching is no longer a skill in itself. And there’s no denying the idea of dusting off an old map sounds more appealing than pinching and zooming.

“The idea of dusting off an old map sounds more appealing than pinching and zooming.”

But as anyone who’s booked a trip recently knows, the end result – poring over contours, or working out the time it’ll take to travel between strangely-named cities – is still just as exciting, regardless of whether the map is on an old scroll or an iPhone screen.

Just ask Chris Burkard, who we interviewed for our My Life in Pictures series this month. The photographer cut his teeth at the tail end of the analogue era shooting for print magazines, before becoming one of the first surf snappers to realise the potential of Instagram. He’s since amassed a frankly incredible 2.8 million followers, and a quick read of his comments show that he inspires thousands to go on their own trips with every shot.

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Simeulue, where we headed in search of empty waves. Photo: Matt Carr

Regular contributor Matt Carr is also no stranger to using the latest digital tools in the search for adventure – especially the modern, accurate surf forecasts that the web can provide. This month he travelled to the outer reaches of the Indonesian archipelago because he’d spotted a consistent-looking wave there that, reports said, wasn’t overrun with “hordes of white dreadlocked Australians”. Getting there took some doing, but it was more than worth it.

Perhaps ironically, given the way he’d found out about Simeulue, the island itself turned out to be something of a digital black spot. But that only added to his sense that this was “what Bali was like back in the 70s”.

Closer to home, Judy Armstrong headed to the Isle of Mull, deliberately searching for that sort of digital detox after a hectic few months. As part of our Great British Adventures series, she spent a long weekend sea-kayaking around its secluded coves and eating “seafood as it was meant to be. Fresh, simple, with just the slosh of wavelets as a soundtrack.”

Deserted, storm-washed beach near Uisken

Sea kayaks drawn up on a deserted, storm-washed beach near Uisken on the Isle of Mull. Photo: Judy Armstrong

Her quest for peace and quiet is something Erling Kagge, who we spoke to for this month’s Big Interview, would certainly relate to. After all, he’s literally written the book on it. Now an international bestseller, Silence: In the Age of Noise includes the tale of how the explorer and author once spent 50 days hiking to the South Pole alone and unsupported. Not only did he find the complete silence he craved, he also discovered things he didn’t expect – about the landscape he was passing through, about the ice beneath his feet and most importantly, about himself.

This of course is the whole point of adventure. If you only ever found what you expected to find, travelling would be a pretty boring experience. What turns a trip or an expedition into an adventure is the unexpected, those things you never even dreamed you’d come across when you started your search.

Remote mountain peaks, of the sort actively sought by explorer Erling Kagge. Photo: Erling Kagge

Remote mountain peaks, of the sort actively sought by explorer Erling Kagge. Photo: Erling Kagge

Has technology made this easier? Kagge, would probably argue not. An avowed technophobe, he deliberately threw away the batteries in his radio when walking across the polar ice cap to make sure he had no outside distractions. But as Chris Burkard and Matt Carr’s stories show, new ways of searching can help inspire new adventures. Using the web might help you pinpoint exactly what you’re after more easily than an atlas, but it also makes it far easier to stumble across something you’d never expect to find.

Here’s hoping you find something unexpected in this month’s issue, which inspires you to further searches of your own.

Enjoy the adventure.
– Tristan, Editor-in-chief

To read this month’s Search Issue, have a look here.

You May Also Like:

Searching for Silence | Norwegian Explorer, Erling Kagge, On Trying to Clear Your Head in a Hectic World

Surfing Simeulue | Searching for Empty Waves in a Remote Corner of Indonesia

The post Editor’s Letter | The Search Issue – November 2017 appeared first on Mpora.

Editor’s Letter | The Dark Issue – October 2017

This issue is all about the darkness

Main image by Thomas Windisch

The first time I saw a disused petrol station I felt a strange mix of sadness and unease. I say this as someone who loves cycling and has very little love for cars.

But there was something so forlorn about seeing the rusted-up pumps and empty forecourt that still sticks in my mind today. I was captivated by it. By the dramatic contrast between how bright and busy it had once been with the state of decay it was now in. It was as if civilisation had an arrow next to it and it was definitively pointing down.

“Like moths working in reverse, we’re often drawn to the dark side of things.”

This issue we take on the theme of darkness. Like moths working in reverse, we’re often drawn to the dark side of things. Why is that? Is it the result of reading too much apocalyptic fiction? Or tv shows? Or just the shrill war-cries on the internet, that gives us an unshakeable sense we’re living in dark times, never more than three beats away from it all crashing down?

Evening sun on Laguna Chaxa in the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos (National Flamingo Reserva). Around one tenth of the flamingo population are now white, and will be ostracised from their colony

Sometimes these worries are justified. As Abi Butcher found when she went to the Atacama Desert in Chile to see with her own eyes the consequences of our quest for green energy

Yet sometimes these worries are justified and important. As Abi Butcher found when she went to the Atacama Desert in Chile to see with her own eyes how our quest for green energy, and our insatiable appetite for updating our phones and laptops, is causing chronic water shortages for local people and destroying the flamingo population.

Or when Guillem Sartorio Teixidó and David Meseguer had the experience of meeting up with Kurdish smugglers who hike across mountains as their economic survival depends upon it. A humbling photo story, which reminds us how lucky we are to choose to climb mountains for kicks rather than because our lives require it.

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Kurdish smugglers hike across the mountains for economic survival rather than for pleasure as many of us are lucky enough to do

When Stuart Kenny went skiing in Val di Fassa in the Dolomites, a place of historic World War I battles that once saw an enormous loss of life, he gained the kind of perspective and insight you don’t usually get on your annual snow holiday.

Sometimes we go looking for darkness and get what we came for, along with perhaps a deeper understanding of the world as shown in the features above. Other times we go looking for darkness but instead find light. As Jack Clayton discovered when he went “champing” – that is camping in a deserted church at night. An experience he expected to find terrifying but somehow didn’t. For the most part anyway.

“Thomas Windisch loves to rediscover places humankind has forgotten about. For him there is always beauty in decay; light in darkness…”

We interviewed the Swedish skateboarder and photographer Sarah Meurle, primed to hear how hard it was to shoot photos in a Nordic country, with such long dark days throughout winter. But she told us she thought it was a boon for creativity there.

We also interviewed Thomas Windisch, who specialises in taking pictures of abandoned places. He told us it’s not an easy time to be an explorer when so much of the world is mapped, so he loves to rediscover places humankind has forgotten about. For him there is always beauty in decay; light in darkness.

We hope reading this issue will leave you feeling the same way.

Enjoy the issue.

– Sam Haddad, Senior Editor

Tristan Kennedy is away

You may also like…

Hike or Die | We Meet the Kurdish Smugglers Climbing Mountains to Survive

White Flamingoes & Water Shortages | Is Green Energy Destroying This Corner of the Planet?

 

The post Editor’s Letter | The Dark Issue – October 2017 appeared first on Mpora.

How To Get Ticket for The Nitro Circus 2018 Tour

Dirt bikes, dare-devils, and danger… The Nitro Circus 2018 tour is going to be insane

Nitro Circus Tour 2017

Tickets for the Nitro Circus 2018 live tour are finally here! Travis Pastrana and the wildest show on the planet are back, and they’re bringing the Nitro Circus to the UK and Europe, and we’re absolutely frothing.

It only feels like five minutes since the Nitro World Games were beaming into living rooms around the world, but the Nitro Circus team are back for the You Got This tour.

Expect a non-stop riotous spectacle of gigantic jumps, ill-advised stunts, and a whole host of Never Been Done tricks as an all-star cast of action sports athletes hurl their bodies and often their unconventional forms of transport through the air for our pleasure.

Travis Pastrana told Mpora “With You Got This, I’m putting all of my best – and worst –
ideas into one huge show. Everything I’ve ever wanted to see live, we’re taking on the road. Expect bigger, brand-new ramps and even more ridiculous stunts. It’s going to be unreal. Look out, though. There might be a few rough landings.”

If you want to get your hands on some Nitro Circus tickets, then you’re in luck. Pre-sale opens on Wednesday 4th October 2017, with tickets going on general sale on Friday 6th October. Head over to NitroCircus.com to get your hands on tickets now, because they’re going to sell faster than a man in a bathtub on wheels, halfway down the Gigant-a-ramp.

‘I Want to See Something That’s Never Been Done’ | The Travis Pastrana Interview

Nitro Circus Tour 2017

“But Mpora,” we hear you cry, your phone flying across the room in excitement, “where can I see the Nitro Circus tour?” Fear not! Travis and the gang have a packed schedule which sees the Nitro Circus pitch up its tent in a whole bunch of places in Britain and Europe later in 2018.

Things get off to a riotous start at the Birmingham Barclaycard NIA on 19th November, and the non-stop action continues around Britain for the next 10 days before hitting up Europe.

The Nitro Circus 2018 UK Tour Dates

Monday 19th November – Birmingham Barclaycard NIA
Tuesday 20th November- Birmingham Barclaycard NIA
Wednesday 21st November Glasgow Hydro
Thursday 22nd November – Manchester MEN Arena
Friday 23rd November London O2
Saturday 24th November – London 02

The Nitro Circus 2018 European Tour Dates

Tuesday 27t November – Stockholm Tele 2
Friday 30th November – Paris AHA (Bercy)
Saturday 1st December – PAris AHA (Bercy)
Tuesday 4th December – Munich Olympiahalle
Thursday 6th December – Zurich Hallenstadion
Friday 7th December – Zurich Hallenstadion
Saturday 8th December – Mannheim SAP Arena
Sunday 9th December – Antwerp Sportspalais

The post How To Get Ticket for The Nitro Circus 2018 Tour appeared first on Mpora.