After the Crash
With big improvements in outdoor gear and dizzying advances in action sports, everyone from superpipe riders to weekend warriors is taking bigger risks than ever—and more severe blows to the head. Marc Peruzzi investigates the catastrophic trend of traumatic brain injuries.
The Zoich Olympics
Vladimir Putin has transformed Sochi, Russia, into his personal proving ground for the Best Winter Games Ever. So shut up already about the clamor of jackhammers and the ruined wetlands, and give Barsik the snow-boarding snow leopard his due. By McKenzie Funk
He's fought the Taliban, been arrested in South Sudan, and delivered ambulances from London to Malawi. None of which did anything to prepare 31-year-old British adventurer Levison Wood for his craziest mission yet: strolling the length of the 4,175-mile Nile River. By Jed Lipinski
When the Luck Ran Out in El Reno
Tornado chasers endure end-less miles of smoky motel rooms and gas-station food to get a front-row seat at the most beautiful and destructive show on earth. But last May, Oklahoma's deadly El Reno tornado changed their pursuit forever. By Grayson Schaffer
The Disrupters: Meet the bold men and women who shook up our world in 2013, from big-wall climber Alex Honnold, who plans to scale the planet's second-tallest building—unroped, on live TV—to a solar entrepreneur giving green energy a shot in the arm.
Plus: The year's biggest moments, starting with Oprah's grilling of you-know-who.
Ski Resorts: Make the most of this year's trends, from expanded backcountry access to powder guarantees to slopeside food trucks. Also, our favorite ski flick, travel bag, and bloody mary.
Health: As medical costs skyrocket in the U.S., growing numbers of banged-up athletes are making a radical decision—surgery abroad.
Moves: Trampoline training for ski season.
Fuel: Not milk? Try these power-packed alternatives.
Injury: CrossFit's painful secret.
Pulse: Energy-bar-of-the-month clubs, and the surprising benefits of watermelon.
Holiday Gift Guide: This year, give 'em something they'll use. Our picks for the world traveler, adrenaline junkie, gadget geek, and rugrat on your list.