Advances on the web changed the we heard about adventures, breaking news, and victories. Tweets and posts and friends and low budget videos changed the way we shared stories with our readers. We checked into airports the night before with our laptops and flashed credit card passes over gas pumps on road trips. We guzzled Red Bull to meet tighter deadlines. iEverything rose in popularity as news about attention span and networking flashed on Google news and then disappeared. Even with all of those advances, the best adventure story of the decade involved face-to-face contact, cash, pencils, and paper.
10. Cold Cups
Bode Miller took the men's World Cup overall twice in the two biggest highs of a roller coaster decade. Shaun White ruled and revolutionized snowboarding, in the process getting more crossover sports love this decade than any other extreme athlete. But Lindsey Vonn takes the top spot in winter sports for dominating skiing the last few years with an unmatched toughness. America's best chance for downhill gold in Vancouver competed in her first World Cup on November 18, 2000 and kept moving up. During the second half of the decade she overcame serious crashes and an unlucky incident with a champagne bottle and won two big crystal globes, becoming the first American woman to win two World Cup overall titles. Here's hoping she starts off 2010 by overcoming her recent hand injury and doing well in the Olympics, so people in this country give her due credit.
9. Noteworthy Survivor
Aron Ralston brought the conversation starter around campfires to a new level after his survival story broke in May of 2003. Five days into a solo hiking and canyoneering trip in Utah he cut off his own arm with a pocket knife because it was trapped underneath a boulder and he'd run out of water. We told the story after the event and published an account in Ralston's own words. The moral? Always leave a detailed note or tell friends and family when you head out in the wilderness. Ralston didn't. The moral of Ralston's life story? Keep going. He now guides and counsels at risk youth and veterans on wilderness expeditions. We can't wait for the movie.