Monday, December 28, 2009

Trekking Across Mongolia

British Adventurer Ripley Davenport is preparing for the longest journey of his life – a trek across Mongolia, unsupported. "It stands to become the longest solo and unassisted walk ever completed."

Ripley will attempt the first recorded solo and unassisted traverse across the vast landmass of Mongolia, on foot from east to west, starting in April 2010. The Expedition will involve walking 2750 km (1700 miles) across the Eastern Mongolian Steppe, Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountain Range. He will be hauling provisions and equipment weighing in excess of 200 kg (441 lbs.) in a wheeled trailer specifically designed for the journey, in 90 days or less. In this trailer, he'll be carrying a Gogo LE and Tuo Lite.

Ripley has served in a special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. He served in the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and in the West Indies. He is a renowned adventurer, humanitarian, and motivational speaker best known for his demanding expeditions to the isolated areas of the world, notably accomplished solo and unassisted without any machine or animal, but on foot by hauling or carrying all of his equipment. In 1998, Ripley completed a solo trek across the Karakum Desert in 21 days with one water resupply. Then, in the same year, he successfully crossed the Namib Desert solo and unassisted, with two camels, in 82 days.

Over the course of Ripley’s expeditions, he has raised thousands of pounds for childrens' charities. Recently, he joined the i2P - impossible2Possible team as an Inspirational Ambassador and remains loyal and dedicated in supporting UNICEF and Hope & Homes for Children.

To see how Ripley is preparing himself for this long journey, check out his blog.

To follow Ripley’s trek, starting in April, click here.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy

NEMO ambassador Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff have just completed the first link up of all the major summits above 5000 meters in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy in Colombia, South America. See their journey across 6 summits on a unique adventure in the most remote part of the Andes.

Colmbia Expedition Episode 3 Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. The best kept secret of the Andes from Camilo Lopez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Revenge of the Ice

Cam and NEMO friend (and two-time intern) Matt F. headed out for their first ice climb of the season at the Black Dike (Cannon Cliff, Franconia Notch, NH).

A classic 3 pitch mixed route, the Black Dike gave Matt a beating with falling ice on Pitch 3, but didn't stop him from finishing the climb. A long hike down and eight stitches later, he's all smiles. See the damage below, at your own risk.


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Few More Miles

Our friend Ben from Jetboil has taken a bit of a sabbatical and is traveling from New Hampshire through South America on a 2001 Kawasaki KLR650, lovingly referred to as El Burro. He's also brought along a prototype of next year's Morpho 1P. His latest entry is painfully funny, unfortunately, at his expense. Check out this report from Mexico.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Ice Season Cometh

For both the aspiring and hard core ice climbers, there are a few events coming up worth mentioning. The Ouray Ice Festival is January 7-10. Events over this weekend include climbing clinics (from beginning to advanced), an opportunity to check out the newest gear from equipment manufacturers, climbing contests for the pros and the amateurs, films, speakers, slack line and axe throwing competition (at the same time?), and more. This year, NEMO is donating some awesome gear to their annual auction. Proceeds go towards the annual operating capital needed to run Ouray Ice Park.

For East Coasters, there are two great events coming up. We're helping sponsor the 3rd Annual Smuggler's Notch Ice Bash Jan 30-Feb 1. Come demo great new gear, and attend clinics focused on Ice/Mixed climbing, companion rescue, climbing for skiing, women's only, etc. The party schedule looks full with pre-bash and post-bash events, slideshows, and talks of ladeling out hot chicken soup after a cold day of climbing.

The Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival is February 5-7. The website is currently being updated, but keep current with all the latest news through the blog. All clinics need to be signed up for in advance, so get going on it now!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Solar Energy Raising – The New Barn Raising

Last weekend I attended a solar photovoltaic energy raising in Durham, NH. Never heard of an energy raising? Well, you’re not alone. An energy raiser is much like an old fashioned barn raiser. People from the community get together and volunteer their time and services helping their neighbor install a solar hot water or photovoltaic system. The idea is to pay it back or pay it forward. Volunteer at 3 and you’re up. Already had a raising at your home – volunteer at someone else’s. It’s a pretty simple system. Although, the installation requires some skills.

The idea started about five years ago with a group in Plymouth, NH called PAREI (Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative). To date, PAREI has installed over 119 solar hot water systems in their area. Recently, people in the seacoast area of NH and ME have started their own, SEAREI, (Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative) based on this model.

Interested in checking one out? There’s a hot water raising this weekend in Epping, NH and you can contact SEAREI through their website.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Alaia Surfing, All the Craze

I've been seeing the alaia board all over the place in the last year or so. In fact, just last week while rifling through the used board section at Cinnamon Rainbows in Hampton, I saw a used alaia tucked away in the corner.

The alaia is a kind of 'primitive' finless surfboard ridden back in the day (late 19th/early 20th century) in Hawaii. The geometry of the board is unusual: it is very thin and features a round-nosed and square-tail. This board is the subject of a recent article in the NYTimes, where the author further describes the feeling of riding the alaia:
A modern surfer will find alaias extremely difficult to paddle. Because they are only about 18 inches wide and one inch thick, they provide minimal flotation. I have been a dedicated surfer for more than 30 years and like to think that my arms and shoulders have adapted to paddling the way a marathon runner’s legs have adapted to running, but I was sore and winded by the time I made it out to the waves that day.

But the alaia’s challenge doesn’t end there. Without fins on the board to dig into the water, I went head over heels on my first five waves. On my next 10 I made it down the face, but when I went to turn, the board slid sideways, and I found myself washing to shore, feet first and wildly out of control. It was like learning to surf all over again.
One of the article's most interesting points was finding an analogous relationship for the alaia to traditional surfboards as fixed gear is to cycling or bow and arrow is to hunting.


Tiny Tuo

Steve just cranked out another quick and helpful video for anyone wondering how to pack down their inflatable sleeping pad into that tiny volume that is displayed in the gear stores. It's surprising how effective this method is...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Springtime in Nashua??

We seemed to have skipped over winter here and moved right along to spring.

Not that one aberrant hot day means anything at all, but the average temperature for Dec 3 in Nashua is normally 33F. At least the water temperature is still at a chilly 48F (and dropping).


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Local Wildlife Part 2

Hello again, I wanted to share a few shots of these American Goldfinches that we see around the office. Normally these bird have a very distinct bright yellow coloring. As winter approaches, the color changes to a dirty almost greenish hue. I caught these guys feeding on some berries outside my window today. They are really fun to watch and arrive suddenly in groups, they leave just as fast as they arrive.