The <em>Outside</em> 100


Nov 21, 2007
Outside Magazine

[91] STILL GOING! Record holders for longest continuous flight using one's own wings: BAR-TAILED GODWITS. Scientists recently tracked one of the foot-long birds as she flew 7,200 nonstop miles from Alaska to New Zealand—in eight days.

[92] Rock? Stump? Orto-vox's new INTELLIGENT PROBE TIP, which screws onto the end of an avalanche probe, takes the guesswork out of snow rescue with a short-range sensor that picks up the signal from a victim's rescue

[93] Since getting into triathlons eight years ago, DESIRÉE FICKER has become one of America's top female Ironman competitors, racing to second place at the 2006 Ironman World Championships and earning a spot as the only American woman on the prestigious Tri-Dubai team. She's also very easy on the eyes and has a mantra meant to intimidate: "If it's hurting me, it must be killing them."

[94] Hats off to the staff and volunteers of MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK. After 18 inches of rain fell November 6–7 last year, creating the worst flooding in the park's 108-year history and causing an estimated $36 million–plus in damages to campgrounds and infrastructure, staffers and 1,700 volunteers worked through the winter to get the main access road and portions of the park reopened by May 5.

[95] CHINA

[96–97] Most intimidating climbing team of the year: In May, the SuperSherpas™, the first all-Sherpa team to climb Everest, was led by APA SHERPA, who has a record 17 Everest summits to his name, and LHAKPA GELU SHERPA, who holds the speed record of 10:56:46. Yes, they made it.

ONCE WE COULD ONLY DREAM of wandering to faraway places. Now we just boot up Google Street View. Since it was introduced in May, nothing has transformed the way we think about travel like this new feature. The Web site had already given us Google Earth, but with Street View you can get intimate, scrolling through a panoramic, photographic, 360-degree re-creation of 14 cities from New York to San Francisco. Soon the site will expand to international cities. It's a model of Googlian efficiency: Fleets of camera-equipped cars cruise streets recording the scene, then the images are assembled automatically back at Google HQ.

Street View isn't in real time—yet—but it's close enough to practically smell the breath of Big Brother. Almost immediately after the launch, frozen for the perusal of Web addicts everywhere, was a dude picking his nose, a guy in front of a strip club, and a cat perched on a windowsill. The cat's owner posted the shot on, a pop-culture Web-zine, and lamented, "I feel like I need to close all my curtains now."

But topping its addictive voyeuristic applications, Street View can show you whether that luxury suite you booked in Miami really does have an ocean view. Getting misty for your bachelor party? Go to ground level in Vegas and cruise the Strip in pixelated 3-D. The experience is transporting in the most postmodern sense. A few clicks of your mouse make you feel like you've momentarily left your sack of meat and bones at your desk and touched down halfway around the globe. And the great Google eye might keep on growing. In September, a satellite that will take images that let you zoom down on objects as Lilliputian as 50 centimeters was blasted into space. Google "thong," anyone?

[99] Austrian MARKUS "HERCULES" STOECKL aimed his mountain bike down a 45-degree ski slope in Chile in September and hit 130.7 miles per hour, a new world mountain-bike speed record.

[100] Steve Fossett
MOST SEARCHES ARE CALLED OFF IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, but it was a full month after stock-trader-turned-adventuree Steve Fossett's single-engine plane went missing in Nevada that rescuers —who'd been scanning the desert for the 63-year-old with high-tech gadgetry like spectral imaging and something called the Amazon Mechanical Turk—finally went home. Why such a rollout of technology and manpower? It wasn't just because Fossett poured millions into his feats, but because he did them with such flamboyance and determination: It took him six tries to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon and flour to swim the English Channel. With all that, people couldn't believe he was dead after only a month in the desert. And that's how we'll remember him: as a survivor, as the holder of more nautical and aeronautical records than would fit on a single page, as someone who finished the 1991 Leadville Trail 100 and turned in a 16-hour Ironman in 1996 even though and "endurance athlete" was just a footnote on his resume. We looked to him as an example of how we might spend our days if we had the time and money. Like anyone who lived large, he was always entertaining, sometimes controversial, and completely irreplaceable.



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