From the inspiring to the tragic, this is GearJunkie’s wrap on exploration and adventure news of the week. Here’s what you missed and a few things to look forward to.
A team of 22 kidney donors will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet) on March 10. Officially organized under the name “Kidney Donor Athletes,” the group of active organ donors first got the idea during an online Yahtzee tournament in 2020. Member Sarah Hawkins invited the rest of the Kidney Donor Athletes to join her and her husband on an upcoming trip to Tanzania.
“We thought, ‘How about if we use this climb to raise awareness and show everyone that you can still lead a healthy and active life if you donate a kidney?’” Bobby McLaughlin, 54, told The Washington Post.
More than 100,000 people sit on the U.S.’s kidney transplant waiting list at any given moment. An average of 13 die every day, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
“This is a way for us to display a powerful message of advocacy and hopefully convince more people to become donors,” McLaughlin said.
Learn more at kidneydonorathlete.org/one-kidney-kili-climb.
Yellowstone National Park reported its deadliest season ever for its wolf population. More than a fifth of the park’s wolves have been poached since autumn 2021. In fewer than 6 months, hunters have shot, trapped, and dismembered 25 wolves.
Park officials have called it the most serious threat yet to any of the park’s wildlife species. Forensic experts have been tapped to investigate the spree.
If you or someone you know has information regarding foul play against Yellowstone wildlife, report it immediately to the 24-hour Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132. All callers will remain anonymous.
Two exquisite sends in the climbing world last week. First, American Carlo Traversi became the third person ever to send the 5.14c trad route “Magic Line” while placing gear on the redpoint. Lonnie Kauk established the splitter granite line in Yosemite circa 2018, followed by Hazel Findlay in 2019.
Then, the one and only Adam Ondra ticked yet another long-term project in Arco, Italy. Ondra envisioned and bolted “La Bomba” 5.15b 10 years ago.
The crag savant has been on quite a roll lately. “La Bomba” is just one of many 5.15 routes he’s knocked out since the fall of 2021. Read more on Ondra’s latest send at ExplorersWeb.
The Transgrancanaria Ultra Marathon kicked off in the Canary Islands on Friday, March 4, and the top runners broke tape Saturday. Spain’s Pablo Villa took first in men’s, running the 78-mile course in 13:37:30. Dutch athlete Ragna Debats claimed first in women’s, finishing in 16:00:14. Read the full race report at iRunFar.
Busy weekend for the surfing elite at the Rip Curl MEO Surfer Pro Fest in Portugal. Sunday, March 6 saw rapacious octofinal and quarterfinal rounds. The major upset? GOAT Kelly Slater fell in round 16 to countryman Griffin Colapinto. Colapinto went on to win his quarterfinals round, too.
Semis heat up on Monday, March 7, with Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) versus Lakey Peterson (USA) and Carissa Moore (HAW) versus Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) on the women’s side. The men’s comp will see Italo Ferreira (BRA) versus Filipe Toledo (BRA) and John John Florence (HAW) versus Griffin Colapinto (USA).
Check out Sunday’s highlights below and see the current standings at worldsurfleague.com.
Climbing fans of Joshua Tree, take note: The Access Fund will host a virtual panel discussion concerning the current threat to J-Tree climbing on Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m. PST. Anyone can attend; just register ahead of time at accessfund.org.
For International Women’s Day, Zwift is hosting a virtual Women’s Ride and Run event. The challenge kicks off on March 8 and runs through the end of the month. Learn more and register at zwift.com/womens-ride-and-run-series.
On March 13, Burton is celebrating the life of founder Jake Burton Carter. The company invites everyone to participate in remembering Jake. Ride, hike, bike, ski, board, surf, walk — your choice. All Burton asks is that you commemorate your motion on social media with the hashtag #RideOnJake. Learn more here.