Martin Hewitt and Louis Rudd will attempt
Adaptive explorer Martin Hewitt and polar guide Louis Rudd embarked on a 620-mile trek from the Antarctic Coast to South pole on Nov. 14, 2021; (photo/Shackleton Apparel)

Para-Athlete Heads for Polar Record, Skier Pops 1440 Double Cork, and More Can’t-Miss Stories This Week

From the inspiring to the tragic, ‘Adventure News of the Week’ presents a wrap-up of top news in the world of exploration and adventure. Here’s what you missed this weekend, and a few things to look forward to.

Martin Hewitt, an adaptive explorer, set off for an unsupported, 620-mile trek from the Antarctic Coast to the South Pole Sunday morning. Louis Rudd, an accomplished polar explorer, will join him. The two are hauling all food and supplies for the 45-day pilgrimage in a ski pulk.

If successful, Hewitt will be the first para-athlete to do so and only one expedition away from completing the Adaptive Grand Slam. Named for the charity founded by Hewitt, the Adaptive Grand Slam requires that challengers climb the highest peak on every continent and walk to both the North and South Poles.

Freeskier Eileen Gu became the first woman to land a 1440 double cork. The 18-year-old Chinese athlete landed the trick this week while training for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Earlier this year, Gu became the first Chinese citizen to win the X Games.

At 105 years old, Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is the first female athlete in the 105+ track and field bracket. She ran the 100-meter dash at the Louisiana Senior Games in 1:02:95, but she’d been hoping for a few seconds faster. “It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends. But I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” reported NPR.

The centenarian was a cyclist all of her life before taking up running at the age of 100 because cycling lacked competition.

Officials have located the body of the missing Seattle deputy fire chief, Jay Schreckengost.  Chief Schreckengost vanished while scouting for elk in eastern Washington on Nov. 2. The widespread search involving 60 agencies and organizations came to an end on Sunday, 12 days after the chief’s disappearance. We at GearJunkie extend our condolences to those impacted by the loss.

SCARPA is doubling down on its Green Manifesto heading into 2022 by partnering with climate nonprofit Protect Our Winters (POW). Every boot in the best-selling Maestrale or Gea RS or Maestrale and Gea ski-boot family will now incorporate Grilamid Bio and Pebax Rnew, plastics made with renewable resources. One dollar from each sale of the sustainably redone boot goes to POW.

SCARPA’s Road To Sustainability with Chris Davenport from SCARPA North America on Vimeo.

The Western States 100, America’s most iconic and formative ultra, will join the UTMB World Series. “[I]n 2023, elite athletes will have the chance to double qualify for UTMB and Western States through the integration of those select Western States Golden Ticket races,” writes iRunFar.

Stio Mountain Studios are coming to three new locations in the U.S.: Boise, Idaho; Freeport, Maine; and Bend, Oregon. Stio is a climate-neutral mountain-geared apparel brand based out of Jackson Hole. The company currently has four venues: Boulder, Colo.; Park City, Utah; and Jackson and Teton Village, Wyo. It’s currently hiring at stio.com/careers.

man skiing while wearing winter gloves
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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.