ExWeb Mountaineering Round Table Part 2: Cameras, Video, and Staying Powered Up


Explorers Web has posted the second part of their technology round table, in which they discuss how some of the top mountaineers and explorers in the world stay connected while on their expeditions, while also documenting their adventures for sponsors and social media followers back home. If you missed Part 1 yesterday, and have an interest in how expedition technology works, I’d urge you to check it out here.

The panel consists of some big names, including Italian climber Simone Moro, and American Alan Arnette. Wingsuit pilot Joby Ogwyn is also part of the discussion, as is mountaineer and polar explorer Ryan Waters, amongst others. The panel was moderated by Tom Sjogren from ExWeb, who has climbed many big peaks, and skied to the North and South Pole.

Yesterday, the discussion mainly focused on satellite communications and staying in touch while in remote corners of the globe. The various members of the panel shared their strategies for which devices worked best for them, and what they preferred to carry when they go into the field. Today, the discussion shifts to camera equipment, with most of the panelists saying that they now take action cameras with them on their journeys, including a GoPro or the Garmin Virb. One even recommended the new Sony AX100, which is small, lightweight, and shoots in 4K.

Next, the panel moved on to how they stay powered up while at higher altitude and in base camp. Some, like Simone, carry USB battery packs to keep their gear functioning properly when high a mountain, while others turn to solar solutions from the likes of GoalZero and PowerTraveller. Back in BC, gasoline powered generators are still the best source of power, especially as more people travel with electronic gear, including guides and Sherpas.

Finally, the group talked about how they stay connected for high speed Internet while on their adventures. Most said they used the BGAN or Thuraya IP. These lightweight, yet powerful, solutions allow them to post dispatches, share photos and video, and stay in touch with friend and family. In this modern age, many sponsors want to see their athletes sharing the experience from the field, and these devices are crucial to that process.

The panel wrapped things up by discussing other tech gear that they day with them on their expeditions, including such items as foot warming systems, smartphones, and oxygen saturation meter. Some of the gear they touch on in this last section extends to everything from having proper tents, to their favorite climbing harnesses.

All in all, this two-part series from ExWeb has proven highly educational for anyone who wants to learn about the technology that keeps expeditions moving forward. I found it to be a good read, even for someone who stays on top of this kind of information. If you’re planning a trip of your own, and want to be able to stay in touch with those back home, I’d suggest reading both part.

Kraig Becker