Big Adventure: going high, going solo, saving your neck, and some boozing.

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Here in the dog days of winter it's fun to learn how some adventurous people have been spending or plan to spend their time.

For starters alpinist Apa Sherpa is planning to go for a record twentieth successful ascent of Mount Everest this spring. Nepal native Sherpa, 50, now resides in Salt Lake City.

Meanwhile after setting the world record of 1,000 days at sea (that's 2 years, 7 months and 4 days), New York Artist, adventurer and ace sailor Reid Stowe has decided to stay afloat until June 17, 2010 at which time he'll sail into New York harbor.

The previous record for continuous sailing without touching land was a mere 657 days. When he set off, Stowe's girlfriend was with him. When it became apparent that she had become pregnant, a rescue boat was called in to retrieve her. The couple now have a 19-month old son.

Moving onto snow, American Ryan Waters (27) and Norwegian Cecilie Skog (35) have completed the first unassisted ski traverse of Antarctica. The 840-mile trip took them 70 days.

About the time Waters and Skog were off on their ski adventure, a group of Aussie scientists in Antarctica found the wreckage of the first plane ever flown there in 1912.

And what would an adventure story about colder climes be without something about the epic Ernest Shackleton expedition of yore.

A team of New Zealanders recently uncovered ten crates of whiskey and two crates of brandy stashed by the expedition. Which leads to speculation as to the fact that the booze may have been the thing that kept Shackleton's crew alive while they were stranded for a year.

Finally, for those who venture into the backcountry to ride or ski, there are two new avalanche airbag products to consider.

The first, from German company ABS, can be wirelessly activated by a guide or fellow member of your skiing party. The company claims a 98 percent survival rate among the product's users to date.

The other new airbag to the North American market comes Swiss company Snowpulse.com.

When deployed from its pack, this bag covers the skier/rider closer to the neck and head.

Snowpulse's literature states: "You must not take more risks just because you have a Snowpulse airbag." Good advice. Any airbag is just an added form of avalanche insurance you never want to have to use.


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