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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Off to Austin, Texas!

Another quick note to let readers know that I'm about to hit the road again for a few days. This time, I'm returning to Austin, Texas where I'll be once again visiting with Yeti to learn about their latest products, tour the company's Innovation Center, and generally enjoying a visit to my old stomping grounds. I was fortunate enough to live in Austin for nine years, so a return visit feels like going home.

I'll only be away Thursday and Friday of this week, and hope to have some time to post a few brief news updates during that time. But if not, I'll resume posting next week, although things may be a little disrupted with the 4th of July holiday here in the U.S. We'll still find a way to muddle through however, and continue our usual coverage of all things adventurous.

Thanks for being patient with the regular disruptions around here. I'll be back soon, and hopefully you'll enjoy a few adventures of your own while I'm away.

Video: Climbing El Cap with Alex Honnold Using Google Maps

Most of us will never get the chance to climb an iconic rock face like El Capitan, let alone do it with world-class climbers Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, or Alex Honnold. But, it turns out we can join that trio through he use of technology, as Google Maps has provided a virtual ascent of El Cap that lets us follow along. This video shows us why this is such a special place for climbers the world over, and it gives us insights into what it is like to go up wall. Check it out below, then go make the 3000-foot climb yourself, all without leaving home.

Video: How to Use a Compass

REI has been cranking out some great videos recently, with their instructional clips being especially helpful. For instance, this one is a short tutorial on how to use a compass, something that you would think more people would already know how to do. If you've always been curious as to exactly how a compass works, or you just need a quick refresher course, give this video a look. You'll probably come away with a few new tips to help you navigate through the backcountry.

Outside Posts 2017 Summer Gear Buying Guide

If you're in the market for some new outdoor gear, you're in luck. Outside magazine has just published its 2017 Summer Buying Guide, and as usual it is filled with tons of great gear to see you through your outdoor adventures. In fact, the guide contains more than 330 products in categories that include hiking, fitness, bike, float, run, and travel. In other words, there is plenty to like here, no matter what your outdoor passion happens to be.

Each of the different categories is broken down further into subcategories, with the best options for that type of gear listed there. For instance, under the hiking category you'll find the best summer hiking boots and the best summer jackets, with some amazing options to see you through the warmer months ahead. That same category is home to the best backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags as well, amongst plenty of other options.

With so much interesting gear to sift through, it could take hours to read about it all. But, as usual Outside has covered all of its bases, offering up the best options for just about anything you could possibly be shopping for. For instance, under the Fitness category you'll find the best watches and the best energy snacks, while visiting the travel section reveals the best new cameras and the best luggage too.  If you want to sort through everything, you might want to grab a beverage and some food, and get comfortable for awhile.

As a gear nerd myself, I always enjoy reading Outside's choices for the various categories and this buyer's guide didn't disappoint. It provided plenty of insight into some products that I've already seen – and even tested – as well as quite a few I haven't used as of yet. It also reaffirmed my belief that the outdoor industry is making some of the best, most innovative gear ever at the moment, making it harder to choose what to buy exactly, but delivering so many good options that no matter which way you go, you'll probably come away satisfied. For outdoor enthusiasts, it is a good time to be alive.

Check out the entire guide here.

Two Climbers Go Missing on Nanga Parbat

Troubling news from Pakistan today, where the summer climbing season is still ramping up. ExWeb is reporting that Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galvan have gone missing on Nagna Parbat and a search and rescue operation is now underway. The two men were climbing along the very difficult Mazeno Ridge prior to their disappearance.

Last week, on June 19, the Argentine and  Spanish climbers set off to make a summit bid on Nanga Parbat, ascending to 5600 meters (18,373 ft) on their first day. But the weather made a sudden shift, bringing heavy snows along with it. This forced them to stay tent-bound for several days, not emerging until June 23, at which time they moved upwards to 6000 meters (19,685 ft). The following day they were once again on the move, with their GPS tracking device showing them climbing as high as 6270 meters (20,570 ft), but shortly there after the tracker stopped at 6112 meters (20,052 ft). It held that position until the device presumably powered itself off later in the evening on June 24. Neither Alberto or Mariano have been seen since.

Earlier today a helicopter was scrambled to fly over their last known location to see if the two men could be spotted. That search proved fruitless however and so far there have been no signs of the climbers. It is possible that they have continued along their route and may have dropped the tracker at some point during the climb. They had expected the Mazeno Ridge to take roughly a week to complete, and had scheduled two days for bad weather as well. That would mean that if they are still climbing they are probably getting low on supplies, as the bad storm that hit on their second day out of Base Camp kept them in place for one day longer than anticipated. Hopefully that is the case, but until they are spotted or make contact, we'll just have to wait to see how things unfold.

Today's helicopter search was eventually called off due to poor weather conditions, but flights are expected to resume tomorrow. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the men turn up safe and sound, but have just been out of communications for several days. More to follow as we the story develops.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Video: The Lofoten Islands of Norway

Remote and wild, the Lofoten Islands in Norway are a gateway to the Arctic. In this video we travel to this incredible place that is seldom visited by outsiders, but holds a raw, untouched beauty that calls out to the adventurous explorer in all of us. The short film is just two-and-a-half minutes long, but is offers some wonderful scenery from this part of the world.

Norway - The Lofoten Islands from Rodrigue El Hajj on Vimeo.

Video: This is Not a Beautiful Hiking Video

Most of the adventurous videos that I share here at The Adventure Blog are all about the amazing journeys that a filmmaker goes on when creating that clip. They seldom show the difficulties that they had to overcome and the hardships they've faced along the way just to get the beautiful shots that make up the film. That is not this video. Here, we join Peter Hochhauser as he sets out on a five month journey to hike the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail, covering some 2650 miles (4264 km) in the process. This fantastic video essay shows us the ups and downs he faced along the way, and spoiler alert, it turns out it was a fairly beautiful trip nonetheless. Enjoy.

Honnold and Ozturk Abandon Attempt on Mt. Dickey in Alaska

Back in April I wrote about an upcoming expedition that would send Alex Honnold and Renan Ozturk to one of the toughest free climbs in North America. The duo were planning to head to Alaska, where they would attempt a tough route called the Wine Bottle on the East Face of the 2909 meter (9545 ft) Mt. Dickey. The route has only been climbed once before, and it promised to be an incredibly technical and demanding ascent, even for a guy who just free soloed El Capitan.

Fast forward a couple of months, and Alex and Renan – along with renowned alpinist Freddie Wilkinson, are in Alaska, but they have abandoned their attempt on the Wine Bottle route. The trio made camp on the mountain last week and waited for several days for the East Face to dry out before beginning their ascent. But, the weather has been unpredictable this spring and summer, with lots of precipitation over the past few weeks. As a result, the team has pulled the plug on what would have been an interesting project to follow for sure. Apparently they did make one attempt, but it was more of an exploratory climb rather than a full-on assault on the wall.

But all is not lost. According to Men's Journal, the team is now looking at other potential projects in the area and hope to do some other interesting climbs while they're in Alaska. Hopefully we'll hear more about their plans in the days ahead.

After all of the media coverage and hype surrounding Honnold's big climb from earlier in the month, many people wondered what he would do next. Apparently the answer was fly to Alaska and take on some big walls there. The Mt. Dickey climb would have been the perfect follow-up to such an iconic moment for the sport of climbing, but for now it will have to wait. I'm sure these three very talented climbers will come up something equally intriguing soon.

Watch Men's Journal's Adventure section for more updates.

British Solider to Attempt to Become Youngest to Ski Solo to the South Pole

The calendar may say that it is late-June, but it is never too early to look ahead to the Antarctic expedition season, which will get underway in November. This year, the ranks of South Pole skiers will include a man by the name of Scott Sears, who will attempt to become the youngest person to ever ski solo and unsupported to the bottom of the world.

Sears, who is a member of the First Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles in the British Army, has been planning this expedition for more than two years now. In November of this year, he will fly from the U.K. to Punta Arenas, Chile, where he'll hop a flight over to Antarctica and embark on a 1100 km (684 mile) journey across the frozen expanse to reach the South Pole. He'll begin at Hercules Inlet and follow the classic route to 90ºS, dragging his 90 kg (198 pound) sled behind him the entire way.

The junior officer is undertaking this expedition for two reasons. First, he wants to become the youngest person to complete the journey solo and unsupported, and second he is hoping to attempting to raise £25,000 ($31,915) for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, an organization that provides support for vets that have served in that venerable and well respected military unit.

As far as I can tell, the current record for the youngest person to ski to the South Pole is held by another Brit. Luke Robertson made the same journey back in 2015-2016 at the age of 30. I haven't been able to track down just how old Sears is, but his website says that he was "born in the 90's," which would lead me to believe that he could be as old as 27 when he launches the expedition later this year. It should also be noted that there have been plenty of people to reach the South Pole that are younger than that, but they haven't done the full distance, nor have they traveled solo on those journeys.

You can find out more about Scott, his life, and the expedition by visiting his website. Of course, in the fall we'll be following the expedition closely as well. Good luck Scott.

Climber Sets New Women's Speed Record on Denali

While we've been tracking the summer climbing season in Pakistan fairly closely thus far, up in Alaska there has been plenty of action on Denali as well. The mountain is seen as a good training ground for Everest thanks to its technical nature, high latitude, and unpredictable weather, so as a result hundreds of climbers make the attempt each climbing season, which usually lasts from May into July.

This year, the weather has been worse than normal, which has led to a low success rate on the mountain. But alpinist Katie Bono didn't let that get in the way of her summit bid, which actually resulted in a new women's speed record for Denali.

According to Outside online, Bono set off from Base Camp for the summit at 3 AM on June 14. She reached the top around 8:46 PM that evening, then turned around and headed back down, returning to BC later that evening. All told, her round-trip journey took 21 hours and 6 minutes, making it the third fastest time ever on Denali.

The 29-year old climber had to overcome a number of challenges en route to the summit. Outside says that she ran low on food and water, which made a long day an even longer one. She also had to abandoned a previous summit attempt do to poor weather and at one point she had to assist a climbing partner who had taken ill off the mountain as well. Despite those setbacks however, Bono was able to remain focused and patient, which eventually paid off for her.

Congratulations to Katie for not only setting an impressive speed record but also making a successful summit on a very tough mountain. That is an impressive accomplishment all around.

And for the record, the fastest known time on Denali belongs to Kilian Jornet, who made the round trip journey from BC to the summit and back in 11 hours, 40 minutes back in 2014.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Video: Miles Daisher Sets New World Record with 63 BASE Jumps in a Day

Last week, on June 21, the summer solstice occurred here in North America. That's marks the longest day of the year, and to celebrate BASE jumper Miles Daisher set a new world record, making 63 unassisted jumps in a 24 hour period. The biggest challenge in his quest? Climbing out of a narrow river valley 62 times, racking up some serious vertical over the course of the day. Check it out below.

Video: How to Choose a Pair of Trail Running Shoes

When it comes to trail running, the most important piece of gear is without a doubt your running shoes. But, with literally hundreds of different models to choose from, it can be extremely challenging to figure out which ones work best for you. To help us sort through this challenge, our friends at REI have created a video to help us learn how to choose the right shoes. If you're looking to get started in trail running, or are a long time veteran of the sport who'd like to know more, check out the short clip below. It could save you a lot of pain and difficulty.

Aleksander Doba Makes Mid-Atlantic Repairs to Kayak to Continue Paddling Towards Europe

It hasn't been an easy start to Aleksander Doba's third expedition across the Atlantic by kayak. After first embarking from New York City back in early May, he soon found himself pushed back ashore in New Jersey a few days later. The 70-year old Polish adventurer then waited out poor weather before returning to the water once again, only to find himself struggling to make much progress. Eventually he paddled south to reach the Gulf Stream waters, which he had hoped would push him on towards Europe, only to have another challenge arise in the form of a damaged boat, which once again created some setbacks. 

A few weeks back a massive storm hit Doba's position, tossing his boat about in the heavy waves. The poor weather conditions caused severe damage to his rudder, which became entangled in the boat's sea anchors. With no rudder to help keep the boat steady forward progress became very difficult. In fact, the kayak actually lost ground and was pushed back towards the coast of North America for a time. In the first few days following the storm, it looked as if expedition might be over.

Fortunately, Aleksander is a resourceful man and he was able to find a way to fix the rudder even while he was at sea. Few details have been provided on what exactly the repairs entailed, but it seems that Doba has been able to right the ship so to speak, and continue to press onward once more.

According to the last update on his website, the Polish kayaker is now about 650 nautical miles (748 miles/1203 km) off the U.S. coast and 2350 nautical miles (2704 miles/4325 km) from Lisbon, Portugal, the eventual destination for this kayak journey. If successful, it will be Doba's third crossing of the Atlantic in a kayak, although the previous two journeys he traveled east to west, while this time out he's headed in the opposite direction. 

Originally it was believed that Aleksander would reach Portugal sometime in September of this year, although that now seems unlikely. Progress has not been as quick and easy as he had originally hoped, so unless something dramatic changes, its going to take longer than originally planned. For now though, he is happy to have a fully functional kayak once again, and continues to make his way back across the pond. 

I'll continue to follow his progress and post updates when important news arises. 

Chasing the Ghost of Shackleton on South Georgia Island

Regular readers of The Adventure Blog probably already know that I spent the better part of March traveling in the Southern Ocean with Lindblad Expeditions visiting the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. For me, this was the trip of a lifetime, taking me to a place that I had heard about for years, but didn't think I'd ever get a chance to see. So far, I haven't shared too many details of that journey here on the blog, but that's because I was there on assignment for Popular Mechanics, and I wanted to ensure that they published my story before I wrote about it on any other outlets. Last week, they finally posted that article online, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

The article focuses mostly on South Georgia and the time that I spent there. I'm sure most readers are already aware of the role that the island played in the amazing story of Ernest Shackleton and the crew of his ship the Endurance. For me, that is one of the greatest tales of exploration and adventure ever, and it has been a fantastic experience not only sharing that story with the readers at Pop Mech, but also getting the chance to visit that iconic place for myself. South Georgia is indeed a special place filled with natural wonders, history, and mystique. In the days ahead, I'll have a lot more to share on that story, but for those who are interested in reading more now, I'd love it if you headed on over to the PM website and took a look at the article that is posted there now.

I'm especially proud of this particular article as it blends my love of history with my own experiences while traveling. If you're a fan of Shackleton and his ill-fated expedition, I think you'll enjoy the narrative that I've written and put together with the help of my editors at Popular Mechanics. They did a great job of using my words and photos, along with some fantastic historical images, to help me weave an amazing tale. Hopefully you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. And as always, thank you for your support.

Pakistani Climbing Season Ramps Up on K2 and Elsewhere

Before I took off for Outdoor Press Camp last week, the climbing season in the Karakoram was just starting to heat up. Now, most of the teams have settled in to Base Camp on their respective mountains, and are preparing to begin their acclimatization efforts. Right now, it looks like it will be quite a busy summer season, as more commercial teams head to K2 and Broad Peak in particular.

Speaking of K2, Venessa O'Brien is back this year to make another attempt on the mountain. This is her third attempt on that particular peak, which has a summit that remains elusive to even some of the best climber in the world. According to reports, Vanessa and her teammates, led by Dreamers Destinations, arrived in BC yesterday and are now getting settled. They'll soon be joined by a team of Himex climbers as well, as the commercialization of K2 continues.

A number of the squads that are focused on K2 this season will first tune up on Broad Peak, where things are already starting to get interesting. According to Alan Arnette, the Furtenbach Adventures has already spent the night at Camp 3 as part of their acclimatization schedule, which should put them on track to perhaps launch  a summit bid later this week, weather permitting of course. Spaniard Oscar Cadiach is also in Base Camp on BP, where some reports indicate that there is heavy snow on the higher sections of the mountain, which could make things difficult and stall out any potential plans for now as well.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Off to Outdoor Press Camp Next Week

I'll close out the week with a quick note on next week. I leave Monday for Park City, Utah, where I'll be attending the 2017 edition of Outdoor Press Camp. While there, I'll be meeting with some major outdoor brands, learning about a wide range of new gear and products, and connecting with other writers. It is a full, busy week with lots of activities, which means that The Adventure Blog will likely be on hiatus for the entire time. Should any major news break, I'll try to post an update, but I'll likely resume regular stories on Monday, June 26. 

In the meantime, the weekend is here and its time to get outside and have some fun. Where I'm at, its a bit warm and humid at the moment, but that won't be keeping me inside in the air conditioning for too long. I already have a long run planned for today and possibly some mountain biking tomorrow. Hopefully you have some similar ideas on how to enjoy a few days off as well. 

I'll be back soon!

Video: Pro Kayaker Drops 70-Foot Waterfall on an Inflatable Pool Toy

We've seen some pro kayakers make big drops over massive waterfalls before, but we've never seen anything like this. Here, Rafa Ortiz takes an inflatable pool toy over a 70-foot waterfall in Washington State. Before hand, Rafa gives a tongue-in-cheek interview about how he feels this is the future of his sport, before taking the plunge with a bright orange inflatable lobster. Fun stuff for a Friday.

Men's Journal Gives Us 43 Big Adventures for the Summer

Summer doesn't officially begin until the middle of next week, but for most of us it is already in full swing. To take advantage of the season ahead, Men's Journal has posted an article that provides us with 43 big adventures for the summer, offering up some amazing suggestions on where to go, what to do, and how to get there.

MJ's list is long and varied, with options for readers who want to stay close to home in the U.S. or the more adventurous type who is looking to escape to another country. There are suggestions on where to go climbing, hiking, biking, paddling, and more, with plenty of tried and true classic adventures to go along with some interesting new alternatives too.

Half the fun of a list like this is discovering what is on it for yourself. But, a few of the options that caught my attention included fly-in mountain biking in British Columbia, going for a hike in the Tri-Peaks region of Arkansas, and exploring the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, a place that has on my "must-see" list for a very long time.

Some of the other adventures involve setting some new traditions for yourself, like entering a trail run race, going on a long road trip, or taking a camping outing. Others come from suggestions from people like basketball great Kobe Bryant and John Burke, the president of Trek bikes. You'll find trips that are meant to inspire and motivate, and others that are all about relaxation. In short, no matter what you're looking for out of your summer, you'll probably find something that can scratch your adventurous itch on this list.

In the end though, it doesn't really matter where you get your inspiration for an adventure, but rather that you embrace the opportunity and set off on one. A good adventure is great for the body, mind, and soul, and chances are you'll come home refreshed and eager for more.

Read the entire MJ list here and start planning your escape.

Summits on Nanga Parbat to Start Summer Climbing Season

The summer climbing season in Pakistan is barely underway and there is already stunning news from Nanga Parbat. ExWeb is reporting that eight climbers have already summited that mountain this week, a good month ahead of the usual schedule and even a couple of days before our official preview.

According to the story, the team consists of climbers from Iran, China, and Nepal who had come directly from Kathmandu, arriving on May 28 following a full climbing season in Nepal. That meant they were already acclimated to the altitude and could begin the climb almost immediately. The group was led by Dreamers Destination staff, and not long after reaching the mountain they were able to start their ascent. 

With the Sherpa team already acclimated, the squad immediately went to work on fixing ropes. By June 10 there were nine people at Camp 3 on Nanga Parbat, including four Sherpa, four foreign climbers, and one Pakistani high altitude porter. The following day they moved up, recording one of the earliest summit bids ever. They all descending safely to Base Camp, and they have already left the mountain, with some members of the team now proceeding on to K2 as well. 

This is some incredibly surprising news. Most of the teams planning to climb in Pakistan this summer are still arriving in the country, with a few en route to Base Camp. Most won't be settled on their respective mountains for another week or two, let alone beginning their acclimatization process. Summit bids are still a long way off, with most taking place in late July or even later. But this team took advantage of the fact that they had already acclimatized in Nepal before arriving, and knocked off the mountain in rapid fashion. 

Amazing work to all that were involved and congratulations to the entire team. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Video: Iceland in 4K

Take a beautiful journey across Iceland in this wonderful video, which captures the stunning landscapes found there in 4K, making them feel in more lifelike than ever before. The clip shows us towering mountains, wild coastlines, incredible waterfalls and so much more. This is one of those clips you simply want to sit back and enjoy. So turn up the music and do just that. And if you have a 4K monitor, even better.

ICELAND 4K from Tomas Aamli on Vimeo.

Video: Speak Out for Your Public Lands

A few days back I shared a video that explained exactly what was meant when discussing "public lands." In the wake of that post, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that he would recommend to President Trump that the Bears Ears National Monument be reduced in size. This is seen as a bit of a blow to conservation efforts in Utah, and potentially elsewhere, as a number of other national monuments are also under review. This video reminds us that we need to speak out for our public lands and let our thoughts be known on this subject. We have until July 10 to express our opinions, which can be done at UnitedForPublicLands.com.

Elon Musk Outlines Plans for Sending People to Mars

Billionaire tech-wizard Elon Musk has big ambitions for Space X, the company he founded to make commercial space travel a reality. In the past, he has talked openly about the potential for making routine flights into Earth orbit (something Space X is already doing, albeit with unmanned spacecraft), and he has even announced plans to send travelers to the moon as early as next year. Beyond that however, Musk has waxed philosophically about colonizing Mars, which has seemed like a pipe dream for many of us who have longed to see man step foot on another planet. Many have been dismissive of those plans, but now Musk is offering up insights into how he could make such a project a reality.

Musk has published a story in this month's issue of New Space magazine that provides an outline of how he is approaching the potential for a colony on Mars. To do that, he must first bring the cost of space travel down significantly, something that Space X is working on all the time. Musk estimates that by today's standards, a flight to Mars would cost about $10 billion, making it far too expensive of an undertaking. But, he would like to see that cost reduced to about $200,000 and he has a plan for how to make that happen. 

According to Elon, there are several things that need to happen to make a spaceflight to Mars more approachable. First, the entire spacecraft needs to be reusable, including the rockets, second stages, capsule, landing craft and so on. This is a major element to what Space is already doing, and it's helping to make the company's rockets a cost effective way to deliver payloads into space. 

Beyond that however, Musk says that the interplanetary craft used to travel to Mars would need to be refueled in space in order to efficiently make its way towards the Red planet. Next, it would also need to be able to be refueled on Mars as well. To do that, the Billionaire says that methane might be the answer, as it is inexpensive and easy to reproduce. 

Finally, Musk also provides some rough details about the spacecraft itself, describing its design, interior, propulsion system, and so on. He even discusses a timeline for such a project, which is still years away of course, but something that he has clearly put some serious thought into. 

The entire New Space article is based on Elon's presentation entitled "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species," which you can watch below. While this project is obviously near and dear to his heart, and it is still a long way off, I do applaud his efforts to take us further out into space. It will be interesting to watch this unfold. 


Aleksander Doba Catches Gulf Stream on Attempt to Cross Atlantic by Kayak

When we checked in with Aleksander Doba last week he was struggling to make headway across the Atlantic. The 70-year old Polish adventurer had set out a few weeks back on his third crossing of that ocean, this time going west to east. But, after paddling for days, he still remained within 100 miles (160 km) of the U.S. coastline and the expedition looked like it could be jeopardy. But now, a little more than a week later, things have taken a turn for the positive and he is making progress at long last.

With the winds, currents, and weather working against him, Doba had decided to paddle further south with the hopes of catching the Gulf Stream, a fast Atlantic current that could help push him along. It was a bit of a desperate measure that he hoped would allow him to finally begin making progress towards Europe, his eventual landing space. Fortunately, his efforts have payed off, and Pole is now firmly surrounded by that current, as a result he is picking up speed and finally headed in the right direction.

Despite finding his way into the Gulf Stream, the challenges of the expedition are far from over. High winds are still making it difficult for Doba and his 23-foot ocean kayak. On previous Atlantic crossings he found himself rowing in circles at times, and that could definitely happen again here. Still, he has shown his grit and determination on past long-distance journeys and that should prove useful once again.

If he is successful in this crossing, Aleksander will have covered approximately 5000 miles (8046 km) and likely have spent 4+ months at sea. He will also turn 71 during the crossing as well, proving that for him, age is just number. 

I'll continue to monitor his progress throughout the journey and post updates as the news warrants. 

A 118-Year Old Painting Has Been Found in the Antarctic

Here's an amazing story that is also a bit of a mystery. The New Zealand Antarctic Trust has discovered a 118-year old painting in Antarctica that was painted by Dr. Edward Wilson, a member of the ill-fated Scott Expedition that set out for the South Pole in 1911. Wilson was known for being an artist of natural history paintings and drawings, and there is even a museum in his hometown Cheltenham, England that proudly displays his work. But the discovery of this particular piece of art came as a complete surprise.

The painting was found in a portfolio that was recovered from one of the Antarctic huts that the Trust oversees on Cape Adare in the Antarctic. The portfolio was recovered, along with a number of other artifacts, and taken back to New Zealand for examination. It was reportedly covered in penguin excrement, dust, and mold, but when the Trust's conservator Josefin Bergmark-Jimenez was sifting through the documents contained within the portfolio she came across the work of art.

“I opened it and there was this gorgeous painting… I got such a fright that I jumped and shut the portfolio again. I then took the painting out and couldn’t stop looking at it - the colours, the vibrancy, it is such a beautiful piece of work. I couldn’t believe it was there.”

At first it wasn't clear who the artist was, but it was believed to have been someone from Scott's expedition from 1911 or a Norwegian team that had been at Cape Adare back in 1899. But Bergmark-Jimenez later attended a lecture on Wilson and his work and recognized the art style immediately.

But just how the painting found its way into the hut remain a mystery.

“It’s likely that Wilson painted it while he was recovering from tuberculosis in Europe. Clearly, he could have taken the painting to Antarctica on either of Scott’s expeditions but we think it’s more likely the artwork travelled with him in 1911, and somehow made its way from Cape Evans to Cape Adare.”

We'll probably never know exactly how it got there, and once the Trust is done restoring the huts, all of the artifacts will be returned to it. But, it certainly is another interesting slice of Antarctic history.