Outposts

Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Daredevil sports

BMX rider Jed Mildon lands first-ever triple back flip

Jed Mildon made sporting history Saturday, becoming the first BMX rider to land a triple back flip.

"This is the perfect result to three intensive months of practicing and training for this moment," said Mildon, 24, who completed the stunt at the Unit T3 Mindtricks BMX Jam, an exhibition event in Mildon's hometown of Taupo, New Zealand.

Among the estimated 2,000 spectators was a Guinness World Records representative, on hand
to witness and certify the groundbreaking stunt.

"The impact and implications hasn’t sunken in yet, but I’m so pumped to have aimed for something once deemed impossible and made my dream a reality," Mildon said. "Once I was in the air, it felt like time stood still and I could see each rotation perfectly.

"Landing with both wheels on the down ramp was the most amazing feeling in the world!”

-- Kelly Burgess
Twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video credit: YouTube

'Jetman' Yves Rossy completes Grand Canyon flight

Swiss daredevil "Jetman" Yves Rossy successfully completed his flight along the Grand Canyon in his jet-propelled wingsuit on Saturday.

Swissinfo reports that Rossy, 51, launched from the side of a helicopter at about 8,000 feet and, flying at speeds of up to 190 mph, remained airborne 200 feet above the rim of Grand Canyon West for more than eight minutes before deploying his parachute and safely descending to the canyon floor.

This was the first U.S. flight for Rossy, who had previously completed flights over the Swiss Alps and the English Channel. Originally planned for Friday, the Grand Canyon flight was postponed because of issues with Federal Aviation Administration permissions.

"My first flight in the U.S. is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life. Not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands." Rossy said in a press release. "Thank you Mother Nature and the Hualapai Tribe for making my lifelong dreams come true."

-- Kelly Burgess

twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video: Swiss "Jetman" flies over Grand Canyon. Credit: YouTube

Swiss mountaineer Erhard Loretan, 52, dies in fall

Swiss mountaineer Erhard Loretan, in a 1998 file photo. Loretan, one of the few climbers to reach the summits of all 14 of the world's peaks above 8,000 meters, died Thursday in a climbing fall on his 52nd birthday. Swiss mountaineer Erhard Loretan, one of the few climbers to have summited all 14 of the world's peaks above 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), died in a climbing accident on Thursday, his 52nd birthday.

The Associated Press reported that Loretan was leading a Swiss client up the summit ridge of the Gruenhorn, in the Bernese Alps, when the pair fell for unknown reasons at a height of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) up the 4,043 meter (13,264-foot) peak. Police from the Swiss canton of Valais said that Loretan died at the scene, while his 38-year-old client was flown to a hospital in serious condition.

Loretan, originally from the canton of Fribourg, began climbing at age 11. He ascended his first 8,000-meter peak, Pakistan's Nanga Parbat, in 1982. It took him 13 years to climb the other 13, summiting the Himalayan peak of Kangchenjunga in 1995.

Loretan was the third person, behind Italian climber Reinhold Messner and Polish mountaineer Jerry Kukuczka, to summit all the 8,000-meter peaks.

Loretan was also renowned for his 1986 ascent of Mt. Everest in only 40 hours, climbing by night without the use of supplementary oxygen.

Loretan's acclaim was marred by the tragic 2001 death of his 7-month-old son, who was killed when Loretan shook him to stop his crying. Loretan pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter and was given a four-month suspended sentence. The case's notoriety led to new research showing that infants can die from being shaken.

-- Kelly Burgess
Twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Erhard Loretan in 1998. Credit: Associated Press / Keystone / STR

 

A dizzying look at the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo bike race

The video above is from this year's Valparaiso Cerro Abajo, an urban bike race held annually on the streets of Valparaiso, Chile.

Race winner Filip Polc, from Slovakia, is seen navigating the crazy course during his qualifying run, braving jumps and flights of stairs and avoiding myriad obstacles, including an almost-unlucky dog.

Polc's helmet-cam really provides a unique and dizzying perspective of what has to be one of the craziest urban downhill races around.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video credit: Filip Polc via YouTube

Jeremy Lusk memorial ride Wednesday at Pala Raceway [Updated]

Jeremy Lusk Wednesday marks the two-year anniversary of the death of freestyle motocross star Jeremy Lusk, who died Feb. 9, 2009, as a result of head injuries sustained in a crash during a competition in Costa Rica.

To celebrate the memory of the popular rider, Metal Mulisha will be hosting the second annual "Lusk Memorial Ride Day" from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pala Raceway in northern San Diego County.

[Updated, 5:06 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated this was the inaugural Ride Day. This is actually the second year it is being held.]

Metal Mulisha has a flyer available on its website, which can be printed for a $5 entry discount to the event.

"Jeremy impacted so many different people's lives in a positive way," said a statement posted on the Metal Mulisha site. "Come ride with the Metal Mulisha and friends to celebrate 'The Pitbulls' legacy."

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Jeremy Lusk. Credit: Metal Mulisha

Big-wave surfer Mark Visser takes on Maui's 'Jaws' at night

 

Professional big-wave surfer Mark Visser made history early Thursday when he took on 30- to 40-foot waves at Jaws, off the shore of Maui. That's because the 28-year-old Australian went out surfing in the dark. Using specially engineered LED lighting built into a buoyancy vest and on the surfboard, Visser became the first to night surf the infamous break.

"It wasn't until I saw the pictures I realized how big it was," Visser said. "I had to go off feeling. It was the scariest but most exciting thing I have ever done."

With the guidance of a helicopter team overhead, which had a spotlight, Visser was towed in by Jet ski to take on the waves. The project, two years in the making, utilized lighting technology especially created to ensure the wave and board were lighted without hindering the vision of Visser, the Jet Ski drivers and the helicopter pilots.

"I am so pumped to achieve something that no one thought possible and that I was told couldn't be done," Visser said.

The action -- including glow-in-the-dark wipe-outs -- was caught on video, which already has more than 550,000 views since its posting Thursday on GrindTV.com.

This feat, called "The Night Rider," is the first of a series of extreme adventures for Visser, which will be compiled into a documentary titled "9 Lives," scheduled to be distributed in late 2011 or early 2012.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

 Video: Chris Mauro via GrindTV.com

Outposts looks back at 2010: Unusual news

With the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Toddler using Barbie fishing pole lands 20-lb. muskie

Ella Haag caught a 20-pound muskie with her Barbie fishing pole. Two-year-old Ella Haag was fishing with her grandparents at Round Lake near Randall, Minn., on May 15 when she landed her first fish, using her pink Barbie fishing pole.

Her grandfather grabbed a net and soon they pulled in a 30-inch muskie weighing in at a little under 20 pounds -- a fish bigger than the angler who caught it.

Screen grab: Fox 9 News Minnesota video

 

American adventurer crosses English Channel using helium balloons and a chair

American cluster balloonist Jonathan Trappe became the first person to cross the English Channel in a chair attached to helium balloons. In a stunt definitely from the "don't try this at home" category, American adventurer Jonathan Trappe crossed the English Channel on May 28 in a chair attached to a cluster of helium balloons, touching down safely in a French field.

When asked what had inspired him to make the journey, Trappe replied, "Didn't you have this dream, grabbing onto a bunch of toy balloons and floating off?"

Photo: Gareth Fuller / Associated Press

 

Wingsuit base-jumping video well worth watching

Wingsuit base-jumper displays some daring moves. This video, on YouTube since June, is awesome to watch. The wingsuit base-jumper displays some daring moves as he navigates cliffs and mountaintops before opening his parachute.

One thing I keep wondering is: How does one test such a suit to make sure it works as intended before jumping?

Screen grab: YouTube.com/JokkeSommer

Continue reading »

Outposts looks back at 2010: Passings

With the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons, 32

Andy Irons Legendary surfer Andy Irons died at the age of 32. The three-time world champion passed away during a layover in Dallas en route from Puerto Rico to his home in Hawaii. His body was discovered in a hotel room Nov. 2, after he failed to respond to a wake-up call.

Irons, who was raised on Kauai, became ill during an ASP World Tour event in Puerto Rico. He was apparently suffering from symptoms similar to those associated with dengue fever.

Photo credit: ASP


Capt. Phil Harris, 53, of 'Deadliest Catch'

Capt. Phil Harris Phil Harris, the hard-talking captain of one of the crab-fishing vessels featured on the Discovery Channel series "Deadliest Catch" died Feb. 9 after suffering a stroke Jan. 29 while in port offloading his boat, the 128-foot Cornelia Marie. Harris was 53.

Harris captained the Cornelia Marie for 18 years and had two sons, Josh and Jake, who worked as deckhands on the vessel.

Photo: Discovery Channel

 

Extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson, 35, falls to his death scaling K2

Fredrik Ericsson Fredrik Ericsson, one of the world's leading high-altitude skiers, fell to his death Aug. 6 while attempting to scale and then ski from the 28,251-foot summit of K2. Ericsson was 35.

Featured in a June Outposts item, the extreme skier was on a quest to ski down the three highest peaks on the planet -- K2, on the border between China and Pakistan; the Himalayan peak of Kangchenjunga; and Mt. Everest, on the border of Nepal and Tibet.

Photo: FredrikEricsson.com

 

Continue reading »

Ken Block brings Gymkhana racing to U.S. with Irwindale debut

 

An exciting new style of racing is hitting the U.S. for the first time later this week, when rally-car driver and DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block brings Gymkhana Grid to the Southland with the Ken Block Gymkhana Invitational, Friday and Saturday at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

Derived from a Hindi term, Gymkhana is used to describe a sport that tests the ability of competitors to negotiate a pre-designed route boasting a complex design. As a motorsport, it's essentially a cross between drifting and rally-car racing.  Gymkhana courses feature obstacles such as cones, tires, barrels and K-rails, where drivers compete in a head-to-head battle with the goal of negotiating the course as fast as possible with the least amount of course infractions.

The inspiration for creating the competitive race series was born after Gymkhana videos became an Internet sensation, garnering about 90 million viewers to date and making Advertising Age magazine's list of Top 10 all-time viral videos. The above video, "Gymkhana Three, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome, France," is the latest and has been viewed by more than 18 million people since its Sept. 14 release. The video takes one's breath away, as Block literally drives the tires off his Ford Fiesta.

"Ever since we filmed the first Gymkhana clip, I've been itching to not only get my professional racing friends to be able to come and play with me in this incredibly fun, sideways and technical motorsport, but also to make it possible for amateur drivers to participate, too," Block said. "And Gymkhana Grid does exactly that."

Toyota Speedway gates open at 10 a.m. both days, with practice and qualifying rounds on Friday and practice and head-to-head elimination rounds Saturday (a complete event time schedule is available here).

A two-day ticket is $30 and a Saturday-only ticket is $25. Both can be purchased online (which includes an "early-buyer" discount) or at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video: Ken Block's "Gymkhana Three, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome, France." Credit: YouTube

Travis Pastrana makes the jump to NASCAR

 

Action sports phenom Travis Pastrana is making the leap to NASCAR in 2011.

Pastrana, 27, has signed with Michael Waltrip Racing with inital plans to race Toyotas in seven Nationwide Series events in 2011 and 20 races in 2012 for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing, a new team owned by Pastrana, Michael Waltrip Racing and Gary and Blake Bechtel.

"I’ve been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport, with competing in the sport a lifelong dream," Pastrana said. "I decided it was time to try and turn that dream into reality and with the help of the Bechtel family, Michael Waltrip Racing and Wasserman Media Group I’m now one step closer!"

Waltrip, a a two-time Daytona 500 champion, noted the importance of the youth demographic Pastrana brings to NASCAR.

"Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world," said Waltrip. "As a race team owner, we are always looking for ways to deliver to our partners and engage our fans better. This is an opportunity to showcase our company and our sport to a new generation of young fans. We’re also looking for that next big star.  Travis already is one and action sports is full of talented athletes. Having Travis as a part of our program adds another great dimension to our team and NASCAR."

Pastrana has won 16 X Games freestyle motocross gold medals and also has multiple supercross, motocross and rally car championships under his belt. Pastrana also stars in MTV's "Nitro Circus," which includes the television series, live tours and a soon-to-be-released feature film.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video: Travis Pastrana gets ready for NASCAR. Credit: Pastrana Waltrip Racing via YouTube

Daredevil adventurer descends into live volcano and has the video to prove it

 

The above video certainly fits into all the subhead categories on Outposts -- Outdoors, Action and Adventure.

Entitled "Most Incredible Volcano Footage Ever," the video shows extreme adventurer Drew Bristol as he ventures into Marum volcano on Ambrym Island in the South Pacific.

Bristol was part of a team led by New Zealand filmmaker/vulcanologist Geoff Mackley on an expedition 10 years in the planning.

On his website, Mackley describes the experience: "The incredible noise ... the heat ... the toxic gas ... the falling rocks ... the danger, nothing else in life will ever compare to the mind blowing rush of being  so close to a spectacle like this!"

44-year-old Mackley told the Daily Mail Online that while the video has gone viral on the Internet, it has also brought out the skeptics.

"I don't fake things," he said. "What would be the point of me traveling around the world to film volcanoes and earthquakes and then faking the footage?"

"Of course, you can fake anything in a studio these days, but that's not for me," added Mackley. "What you see from me is real."

The men are believed to be the first people who have ever dared venture so close to Marum volcano, located in the Vanuatu archipelago about 400 miles from Australia.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video credit: YouTube

Wingsuit base-jumping video well worth watching

The above video was sent to my attention recently. Although it's been on YouTube since June, it's still awesome to watch.

Makes me wish I knew more both about the wingsuit and the man wearing it. He certainly displays some daring moves as he navigates cliffs and mountaintops before opening his parachute.

One thing I keep wondering is: How does one test such a suit to make sure it works as intended before jumping?

Hope that Outposts readers enjoy watching this as much as I did!

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Credit: YouTube.com/JokkeSommer

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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