Editor’s Letter | Welcome to the New Look Mpora & The Wild Issue
Big things have been happening at Mpora this month
A lot has happened in the last few weeks. I’m not talking about the referendum (although the Mpora team was as horrified as anyone when the UK apparently decided to abandon reason and vote leave). But while nothing in the world of adventure sports could ever compare in significance to that decision, in our own modest way big things have been happening here at Mpora too.
If you’re reading this article the first of these will be obvious to you - you’ll be reading it on the entirely new Mpora website. Our team of design and development geniuses have been working flat out for months to create this new-look platform. We hope it will make finding and reading the articles you want a simpler and more entertaining experience. But we’d love to hear your feedback, so please get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.
"If you’re reading this article the first change will be obvious to you - you’ll be reading it on the entirely new Mpora website."
The second significant event of the past few weeks as far as Mpora is concerned is that our Facebook page - arguably the most effective way of communicating with you, our readers - now has over one million ‘likes’. This feels like a significant milestone not just for us but for adventure sports as a whole. Many of our friends, it seems, feel the same way - this community that we are all proud to be part of is big and it's growing all the time.
Part of this growth has been down to the success of Mpora’s monthly ‘issues’, which also get a revamp today. Each month our team produces a raft of thought-provoking, longform articles around a particular theme. These are gathered together in a monthly newsletter (which has also had a redesign) that I would urge anyone interested in adventure, the outdoors or action sports to sign up to.
This month’s theme has been ‘Wild’, and for this issue we’ve learned about celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s wild side (turns out he skis like a demon on speed) and talked to a group of Ukrainian urban explorers who think nothing of climbing a 450 foot high suspension bridge with no ropes and no safety nets.
Associate editor Jack Clayton went wild camping for the first time and experienced the incredible highs - and ludicrous lows - that only walking 20 miles a day and sleeping in a patch of stinging nettles can bring. Meanwhile our resident rock monkey Mike Brindley explored Fontainebleau in France, a place he describes as a true proving ground for the bouldering skills he’d honed on tamer indoor walls.
"He experienced the incredible highs - and ludicrous lows - that only walking 20 miles a day and sleeping in a patch of stinging nettles can bring."
Helen Abramson braved the world’s wildest zipline - a crazy underground contraption buried 400 metres below the surface in a Welsh mine. Meanwhile two of Mpora’s writers went to the ends of the earth - literally - to get their stories for this month. Daniel Wildey spent a week ski touring in Greenland, riding down peaks that no-one had ever named - let alone skied - before. And deputy editor Stuart Kenny jetted off to New Zealand, a country which he discovered (to his delight) is pretty much the world’s best adventure destination.
This month we’ve also published an investigation into the issue of canned lion hunting in South Africa. This brutal industry revolves around domesticating the very symbol of the wild - canned lion hunters hand-rear lions so that they can be killed more easily, like cattle in a slaughterhouse.
The main thing I learned from this investigation, and from talking extensively to conservation experts, is that people’s personal choices - however insignificant they might seem - can make a huge difference to a larger issue. If you truly value something like keeping wild animals wild, it’s worth taking responsibility and doing your bit.
After all, if the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that individual voices really can change things. Whether it’s voting in a referendum or joining a conservation campaign, our choices matter, so let’s use them wisely.
Enjoy the adventure.
– Tristan, Editor-in-Chief
Keep your eyes peeled for our Superhuman Issue, dropping soon