F E A T U R E S
LET'S ALL CHILL
Sixty miles on skis is no big deal—unless they're the last 60 miles to the North Pole, your fingers are bleeding from frostbite, and the guy in front of you is Børge Ousland, king of the coldest ordeals on earth.
By Stuart Stevens
WHAT SCARES ME
Thirteen otherwise courageous writers reveal their deepest, darkest fears in our homage to the creepy, crawly, menacing world of phobias. Prepare to squirm.
FREEZING When the ice starts to crack, somebody's going in.
By Stewart O'Nan
SLEEPING BAGS The demons that haunt your snooze sack.
By Michael Perry
SWIMMING He's afraid of water—exquisitely afraid.
By John Updike
LIGHTNING If an electric bolt catches you outside, you're toast.
By Katie Arnold
JUMPING Forget vertigo. How do you handle the urge to leap?
By Pico Iyer
ARMADILLOS Tiny dinosaurs may lurk under the porch.
By Bucky McMahon
LIMA BEANS One man trembles before the sinister legume.
By Bruce McCall
WHITEWATER Once you almost drown, you're always underwater.
By Donald Katz
BATS Hell hath no fury like a million flying creatures in a cave.
By Jack Hitt
TICKS They exist for one reason: to drink your blood.
By Jane Smiley
BEING BURIED ALIVE Rest assured—you will never be found.
By David Rakoff
SNAKES When a cottonmouth hits the ground, run like hell.
By Jo Ann Beard
STARS Why the night sky is infinitely terrifying.
By Mary Roach
THIS IS THE SITUATION. THIS IS THE CONFUSION. THIS IS ANGOLA.
After 27 years of civil war, rapacious diamond mining, and ecological devastation, one of the loveliest countries on earth prepares to rise from its own deathbed. Can Angola flower again?
By Mark Jacobson
D E P A R T M E N T S
Will a new voluntary PACK-OUT-YOUR-OWN-WASTE-POLICY clean up our smelliest national parks, or should rangers enforce a backcountry hygiene regime? PLUS: PICKUP GAMES for the willing; The bold NEW FACE OF BOULDERING wears lipstick—and climbs like a man; rest in peace (and fertilize trees!) at America's newest ECO-CEMETERY ; a spirited version of MTV's Road Rules TAKES TO THE PAVEMENT ; Outside continues to keep its EAR TO THE GROUND in Hollywood; BOOKS by Tony Horwitz, Timothy Ferris, and Olivia Judson; and more.
THE WILD FILE
Can a mockingbird and a robin mate? Why are planets round? Are there any whirlpools south of the Equator?
By Brad Wetzler
THE HARD WAY
Thanks to GPS technology, the lowly printed map (and its inspiring beauty) seems destined for decorative wallpaper, right? Not so fast.
By Mark Jenkins