Expedition journalist on flawed Guinness Records and the commercialization of 'World First’: “People get mad when I say that”

Ash Routen


"Adventure is utterly pointless, really"

Ash Routen, is a respected expedition journalist contributing to major adventure magazines and newspapers, such as National Geographic, The Guardian, RedBull Magazine, and a regular contributor to Explorer's Web. He believes in giving credit where credit is due and challenges the credibility of expedition records, especially those claiming "world firsts" with numerous qualifiers that are actually not new. Ash, argues that these records, often pursued by "record hunters," prioritize sensationalism over accuracy or relevance.

"You have been the 40th person from your country doing pretty much this"

More and more World Firsts are claimed, yet many of them, according to Ash, are irrelevant in the context of historic exploration and rather a commercial or promotional stunt.

However, it is clear that many of the receord are incredible personal and physical achievements still, but maybe also not more.

His views spark lively debates, facing opposition from those pursuing records.

"There is a lot of critique, but I have gotten used to it."

Find Ash's Explorersweb article here:
Guinness World Records Have Become A Problem For The Adventure Community

Ash Routen Explorers Web Article Guinness World Records

Ash has been guests on our Podcast "Art of Adventuring"

About Ash

Ash Routen is an expedition journalist writing for the Guardian, National Geographic, Explorers Web and more.

More to explore

Sign up to stay updated

by clicking "Sign up" you agree that the World Explorers Collective can use your email address to contact you and use your data in accordance with EU data protection law