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ACM’s Distraction In Action #15
Avalanche survival, a punk-rocker turned river pollution warrior, and more high-carbon sponsor controversy: five links that are dominating our chat right now
Your new Distraction In Action email from All Conditions Media is here. Scroll away to get a look at the latest links and talking points from our team chat, so they can successfully distract you from work just as much as they did us…
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1. REVISIT OUR HUGE NEWS ABOUT AVALANCHE SAFETY
In last week’s newsletter we led with a risky opening gambit about avalanche survival stats and asphyxiation. Not exactly what the outdoors-loving procrastinators of the world were expecting to take their minds off end-of-week deadline terror, and probably not headline advice in the handbook of newsletter engagement either. Oh well. The launch of the SBX avalanche survival system by our new clients and potential lifesavers Safeback is huge news for anyone with even a passing interest in backcountry riding. And seeing as that’s an audience we’re actually part of here at ACM, we’re hyped to be getting out word of the biggest innovation in avalanche survival for 25 years. Revisit last week’s chat with Safeback here for all the impressive need-to-knows.
We learned: The Norwegian Army’s School of Winter Warfare took the SBX out for some live in-the-field R&D. So it’s totally legit.
2. BE INSPIRED BY RIVER MAN FEARGAL SHARKEY
When it comes to unexpected lane changes in later life, Feargal Sharkey’s shift from the voice of punk-pop perfection to river pollution warrior with River Action UK is up there with Rod “The Mod” Stewart’s move into model railways and a pub bouncer becoming Pope. But it’s only Sharkey’s role as head bullshit detector when it comes to river pollution that has got politicians, water company CEOs, Defra, and the Environment Agency alike gnashing their teeth. A man after the heart of our own senior copy slinger, Sharkey is a lifelong fly fisherman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of our waterways, and he’s raging about their ecological napalming. Hear him let rip on the topic on this episode of The Rest Is History pod.
We learned: 85% of the world’s 225 chalk streams are in southern England – and they’re all in extremely bad shape.
3. SEND A CWTCH TO THE SNOWDONIA SURF CREW
It’s probably not enough to put an end to the pun-makers’ fondness for a “wave new world” headline when it comes to posting about the inland surf industry, but news that the world’s first-ever public wave park – which opened wayyy back in 2015 – has switched off its left- and right-handers should give everyone pause for thought. “The machine has cost us a fortune in downtime, repairs and loss of business,” explained Surf Snowdonia, proving it’s not just a case of building it and they’ll come; wave pools take a hell of a lot of relentless, herculean effort to keep pumping.
We learned: When one barrel closes, another one opens. The Lost Shore Surf Resort, near Edinburgh, is set to open in 2024.
4. DIG INTO THIS HIGH-CARBON SPONSOR CONTROVERSY
The organisers of Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc have embroiled themselves in a spot of high-carbon bother by partnering with SUV makers Dacia, and renaming the race the Dacia UTMB. And just like the whiplash caused by Shell’s involvement with British Cycling, the news hasn’t gone down at all well with runners including Hillary Gerardi and 2,000-plus others who’ve demanded a rethink. In her heartfelt Instagram post, Gerardi calls out Dacia for “greening” their image by using the link between outdoor sports and the environment to sell gas guzzlers that use on average 20% more fuel than regular cars. She also calls on UTMB to harness its “significant capacity to make change for good and lead by example”. This one is bound to, ahem, run and run.
We learned: If the 330 million SUVs on the world’s roads were a country they would rank as the sixth most polluting.
5. GET INTO THE HELMETS-IN-SURFING DEBATE
Surfers on the shore at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, let out a 120-decibel “oof” and “eeesh” recently after big-wave buckeroo Matt Bromley got it square in the noggin from his 9’6er in the spot’s notoriously heavy 10-15ft surf. According to this report, the South African emerged relatively unscathed apart from a gory gash and bruising far too close to his eye for comfort, but it does up the ante on the question: why the hell aren’t helmets normalised in surfing yet? When there’s not a lot stopping nature face-slamming you into rock, or throwing a board at you with all the fury of Thor, overcoming the reluctance to wear protection in the line-up is a bit of a head-scratcher that needs solving.
We learned: Despite the best efforts of Owen Wright and others advocating for helmets, the discussion around them is still stalled by notions of cool and masculinity.
CREW TO DO LIST
Every fortnight, one ACMer reveals the tasks that’ve been getting their head cogs whirring, so we can
all make sure they’re working hard enough introduce our super talented crew and showcase what they bring to our creative process. This week it’s the turn of ACM’s newest climbing nerd and account director, Amy Chapman…
You made it all the way down here? Here’s a gift for your troubles:
END OF THE ROADER’S BONUS NUGGET
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