#1 Extreme swimming is very on trend as 2018 starts to wind down - just days after Ross Edgley completed his mammoth Great British Swim, Frenchman Ben Lecomte has embarked on an 8,000 km journey across the Pacific Ocean. After setting off from Japan, he plans to swim through the 'Great Pacific garbage patch' to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution, and in particular of the microplastics that form a 'smog' in the water. He will reach San Francisco in roughly 180 days and will wear a shark repellent bracelet along the way.
#2 Alex Honnold's free solo ascent of El Capitan continues to astound and amaze people around the world, but not, apparently, as much as his hands. From "sausagelike digits" to "fingers [that] look like my biceps", Honnold's hands have captivated a global audience, and it's all been documented by Outside (they also chatted to the man himself about Free Solo, the feature film documenting his climb). Incredible.
#3 Iran might not be right at the top of your wanderlust bucket list but this report from adventurer Leon McCarron highlights all the reasons to change that. From incredibly friendly and generous locals to stunning archaeological sites from one of the birthplaces of human civilisation, Iran is a stunning country that's well worth travelling to; McCarron's inspirational imagery is proof of that.
#4 A drone video of a bear cub sliding down a snowy mountainside and battling back to the top and its mother has gone viral, winning the hearts of many viewers around the world who celebrated it as a source of inspiration. Some viewers, though, have questioned the actions of the drone operators as it looks like the bears could be scared by the drone itself. There's no doubt that the bear cub is cute but if it was running away from the drone, it's suddenly much less fun to watch.
#5 Microadventure champion Alastair Humphreys took to the Peak District with beer and takeaway curry for a night spent camping in a cave on Stanage Edge to chat all things adventure and ale with the BeerBods crew. Sound like a perfect evening to you? Then get out there this weekend and experience it yourself!