Adventure Quickies: Italian Town Threatened By Melting Ice, Good News for Antarctic Penguins, and More

This is my weekly round-up of stories, gear deals and reviews, and travel blog posts that I simply couldn’t find the time or space to share elsewhere. Think of it as a recap of the things you might have missed over the past seven days, but will likely still find very interesting. Here are some items that caught my attention.

  • Residents and Travelers Evacuated From Italian Town: Visitors and residents located in the Italian municipality of Courmayeur were evacuated a few days back due to fears of a collapsing glacier. Temperatures in the region soared above 80ºF (26.7ºC), creating the possibility of massive chunks of ice tumbling off the glacier and down the mountain, creating an unsafe situation. As the warming trend in the area continues, this could be a threat throughout the entire summer.
  • Satellite Images Reveal New Penguin Colonies in Antarctica: Scientists studying the impact of climate change on Antarctica have used satellite images to identify as many as 11 new Emperor penguin colonies there. The species has been considered to be endangered and dwindling in numbers, but this discovery leads researchers to believe that they have relocated, possibly due to melting ice. That said the frozen continent remains at risk, as do these penguins, although it is good to know that they still exist in larger numbers that suspected.
  • Canada’s Last Remaining Untouched Ice Sheet Has Collapsed: Speaking of disturbing climate change trends, officials in Canada announced this week that its last untouched ice sheet has collapsed under an intense Arctic heatwave. According to reports, it lost 40% of its mass in just two days.
  • Passage of “Great American Outdoors Act” Leads to New Holiday: Earlier this week, Congress and the Trump Administration passed the Great American Outdoors Act to bring much needed funding to America’s national parks. To commemorate this occasion, the park service has declared August 4—the date of the signing—will be an annual holiday, with free entrance into all of the parks.
  • Man Thought to be Dead Emerges From Woods 5 Years Later: Put this one int he “strange, but true” category. It seems a man who disappeared five years ago under unusual circumstances, and thought to be dead, emerged from living in the woods near his hometown in England this week. He is alive, relatively healthy, and no doubt has a story to tell. What lured him back to civilization Why Facebook of course!
  • Backpacker Goes Deep on Blue and White Blazes: Ever notice those colored swaths of paint that mark trees along many hiking paths? They are there to help keep hikers on the right path, which seems like a fairly simple and easy to understand concept. But as Backpacker shows us, as with most things in life, there is more to the story than you might think.
  • Diving 36,000 Feet Under the Sea: Over the past few years, there have been several visits to the Challenger Deep, the lowest point on the surface of the Earth. As you can imagine, that isn’t the easiest place to reach and The New Yorker has a long, and fascinating, look into how it happens.
  • ExWeb Tells Us How to Travel the Sahara: Planning an expedition across the Sahara Desert? If so, you’ll want to have a look at this article from Explorers Web, which provides some insights into how to safely do just that.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Kraig Becker