Adventure Quickies: Mother-Daughter Traverse of Iceland, Polar Bear Fatality in Svalbard, and More

It’s Friday, which means its time for my weekly round-up of all of the unique and interesting stories that I didn’t have the space or time to cover elsewhere. That can include new from the world of exploration and adventure, gear and travel deals, or news about the environment. Either way, here are a few things you might have missed this week:

  • Mother-Daughter Team Completes Traverse of Iceland: The mother-daughter team of Iðunn Bragadóttir and Þóra Dagný Stefánsdóttir recently completed a 32-day, 786 km (488 miles) journey across Iceland. The duo began their journey on the Reykjanes Peninsula along the southwest shores of the country, then proceeded to trek northeast before ending Langanes Point, making this one of the longest possible  journeys across Iceland. ExWeb has more here.
  • Polar Bear Kills Man in Svalbard: Norway’s remote Svalbard island is known as one of the best places to spot polar bears in the wild. Earlier this week however, residents of the village of Longyearbyen were reminded just how dangerous those creatures can be when a man camping outside of the town was attacked and killed by a bear. Witnesses nearby shot the animal, which fled the scene and was later found dead too. This is the first such fatal attack since 1971.
  • 4-Year Old Girl Rides Inflatable Unicorn Onto the Ocean: A few days back, a 4-year old girl got the shock and surprise of her young life when the inflatable unicorn that she was floating on at a beach in Greece was suddenly pulled out to sea. Her parents could only look on helplessly as they couldn’t reach her in time. Fortunately, she was later picked up by a passing ferry and was returned to them unharmed. The video of the incident is certainly worth a look.
  • Journey to the North Pole Surprisingly Easy for Researchers: We’ve covered the ongoing Arctic research survey being conducted aboard the ship Polarstern several times on the Adventure Blog. This week, the team aboard the vessel revealed that it recently traveled to the North Pole, which in and of itself isn’t all that surprising. What stood out on this voyage however was how easy it was for the ship to reach the top of the world. The crew were able to take a direct route heading north from Greenland and made it to 90ºN in about a week, which is alarmingly fast. Why was it so easy? Quickly vanishing sea ice of course.
  • Backpacker Has Late Summer Gear Recommendations: The calendar says that summer is quickly fading, but there is still plenty of time to get outdoors and enjoy some warm weather before autumn arrives. To help with that, Backpacker magazine has provided a handy rundown of the best gear for use on late-summer adventures.
  • REI Launches Labor Day Sale: If you’re lucky enough to have an REI store nearby, or can shop on the company’s website, it has started its annual Labor Day Sale with some substantial savings on a lot of outdoor gear.
  • Outside Examines the Joy and Agony of Running in the Heat: Speaking of summer, anyone who is a regular runner knows exactly how grueling it can be to lace up your shoes for a hot weather workout. This week, Outside took a look at what it calls “The Sublime Agony of Hot-Weather Running,” something I know I can relate to.

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

Kraig Becker