Magazine article Geographical

From the Editor

Magazine article Geographical

From the Editor

Article excerpt

The death of Ellie James on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo has drawn attention to the issue of safety while taking part in intrepid pursuits. Sadly her demise was not an isolated event; shortly before Amelia Ward died while abseiling in Africa, and in recent years there have been several high-profile reports of people killed while whitewater rafting, skiing and canyoning. So should adventurous sports and activities be left to the experienced few rather than ordinary people seeking an escape from humdrum daily routines?

The millions of people who have safely experienced the thrill of adventurous activities around the world would certainly disagree. Taking part in pursuits such as mountaineering, speeding down rapids or simply exploring a jungle can boost self-confidence, create new friendships and open visitors' eyes to new environments and cultures. The tragedies arise when uninitiated visitors suddenly find themselves in hostile situations with little or no knowledge of how to get themselves out.

Part of the problem, I believe, is the media's lighthearted portrayal of potentially dangerous situations. Recent programmes such as Survivor and The heat is on have cast ordinary people into potentially life-threatening situations in the name of entertainment. …

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