This article is from Edition 17: Transition
Sam Firman
Written by Sam Firman
Published on 22nd October 2023
4 min read

Researching Editions and Adventure Ramblings newsletters surfaces more thought-provoking adventure stories than we can share. Thankfully, many involve transitions – including the articles, recordings, and films below, which all speak to ongoing issues in the adventure world. Enjoy!


Last Blast, by Chris Hamper

In 2015, climber Chris Hamper was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Eight years on, he’s leaving what he calls the “honeymoon period” of effective drugs and relatively normal functioning. In this context, he travels to the Peak District for what may be one last grit climbing outing. A hilarious, moving account of climbing through profound change.

Skateboarding’s environmental reckoning, by Sam Haddad

Though skateboarding culture is entwined with many social issues – many highlighted in our 2022 conversation with skate polymath Neftalie Williams – surfing and snowboarding have been more prominent in environmental conversations. But as Sam Haddad reports for Huck, there is an emerging conversation in the skate community, starting with concrete but broadening into community and wider sustainability.


Image courtesy of Rachele Honcharik

Are space balloons the next frontier of space travel? By Jessica Camille 

Depending on your perspective, space travel (distinguished from purely scientific space exploration) is either a thrilling, morally necessary hedge against planetary destruction, or a laughably phallic preoccupation of middle-aged men with far more money than is healthy. But could the emergence of space-balloon travel – for now an exorbitant luxury – turn it into something in between? Jessica Camille Aguirre asks the question for Afar.

How ski resorts are meeting the existential threat of climate change, by Isabelle Gerretsen

With ski season fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, ski resorts are dying. Glaciers are receding, snow thinning, wildfires encroaching. From water-intensive artificial-snow machines to outlandish glacier blankets and pivots to other mountain activities, Isabelle Gerretsen asks how resorts are managing their own demise.

First-person accounts of fleeing a hometown engulfed by wildfire, by Ken Pite and Gage Smithe 

2023 was the most devastating wildfire year in Canadian history. An area larger than Greece was torched, including many settlements. Earlier this summer, The Tyee published a series of heart-wrenching interviews with people who had to flee their homes in Lytton, as the town burned to the ground. “One of the realizations I had was, ‘Ken, there’s nothing you can do about this. This is it. This is going to burn everything,’” recalls Ken Pite in this conversation. “There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever.”

Flying into the hurricanes, by Alka Tripathy-Lang 

Next time you fly through turbulence, heart leaping into your mouth as the plane shakes and drops, spare a thought for Heather Holbach As a hurricane researcher, Holbach and fellow scientists spend much of the summer flying directly into the eye of hurricanes to collect essential forecasting data. Here’s how it all happens.

Did humans evolve thanks to psychedelic mushrooms? By Suzannah Weiss 

Homo erectus evolved into homo sapiens by tripping on magic mushrooms, which helped us develop larger brains and more intellectual capacity. At least, so goes the Stoned Ape Theory – contender for the trippiest (evolutionary) sliding-doors moment of all time – first proposed by Terence McKenna. But what does the evidence say? Suzannah Weiss does some digging for Double Blind Mag.


Plummeting into adulthood on Easter Island

Each year, in early February, around twenty men on East Island bind two banana-tree trunks together with rope and stakes, sit on top, and slide down Maunga Pu’i volcano at speeds of up to 80kmph. Originally thought to be a ritual marking a young man’s passage from adolescence into adulthood, the Haka Pei was revived in 1981 as part of the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival.

The Forest Beyond, by Jeremy Seifert and Fred Bahnson

The Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon have lived in relationship with the rainforest for millennia. But colonisers and corporations are razing the landscape, detaching forest from community. The Forest Beyond documents Shipibo woman Senen Kaisi travelling to the retreating edge of the ancestral forest.

The resistance climbers of Palestine

Writing this as a humanitarian disaster unfolds in Palestine, it almost seems blithe to bring adventure into a picture. But the emergence of a Palestinian climbing scene – documented in Reel Rock film Resistance Climbing (paywalled) and this short piece – is a story that offers one way into the bleak political context. (The climbing community is currently fundraising.)


Breaking the taboo around death and grief in snowboarding, with Kimmy Fasani and Matt Barr

One potential role of adventure athletes with a platform is to destigmatise taboo subjects. For better or worse, we’re more likely to listen to somebody who shreds. Snowboarder Kimmy Fasani is a fantastic example, discussing first motherhood, and now mortality, with openness and clarity. This conversation with Matt Barr, for the Looking Sideways podcast, moves through deep, open terrain.

From What to What If? With Rob Hopkins and ?

‘What if?’ is a powerful question. It’s a classic in design spaces, and an animating question behind the ‘moral imagination’ movement. It’s also at the heart of this conversation with Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network, for the Forest of Thought podcast. It’s a great introduction, if you’re not familiar. This critique by Ted Trainer, and Hopkins’ response, is also a good back-and-forth.

How and why to trespass as an act of civil disobedience, with Jon Moses

The call to trespass as a form of nonviolent civil disobedience has been a key tactic of the Right to Roam movement, which is highlighting the deep injustices of land enclosure. In this Adventure Podcast episode, Jon Moses offers a call to legs, and a practical guide to crossing the fence.