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  • Photo: Matthew Salacuse

    Over the past year, highly organized, well-funded teams pulled off an astounding number of firsts, sending a Hollywood director to the deepest spot in the ocean, landing a drone on Mars, and equipping a skydive from the edge of space. Presented here are our adventurers of the year. Enjoy!

  • The Hybrid

    Photo: Damien Rosso

    The Hybrid

    Kilian Jornet is a Spanish endurance star who merged ultrarunning and high-altitude climbing into a mashup sport with a thrilling, painful ethos: get up and down the mountain as fast as possible.

  • The Stalwart

    Photo: AP

    The Stalwart

    After four failed attempts, 63-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad remains determined to swim the 103 miles from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. Even if it kills her.

  • The Visionary

    Photo: Joe Pugliese

    The Visionary

    The director of Aliens and Terminator 2 continues to push the boundaries of adventure both fictional and real. This year James Cameron designed and piloted his own submarine, the Deepsea Challenger, to the lowest known point in the ocean.

  • The Globetrotter

    Photo: Ryan Heffernan

    The Globetrotter

    At 51 years old, Erden Eruc completed a 1,026-day human-powered circumnavigation of the globe, and nearly lost his mind in the process.

  • The Savior

    Photo: Ryan Heffernan

    The Savior

    Sherpas don’t make as many headlines as their visiting Western companions, but Lakpa Rita has summited Everest 16 times and has saved dozens of lives in his 20-plus year career.

  • The Stuntman

    Photo: Matthew Salacuse

    The Stuntman

    The Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner captured the world’s attention last year when he leapt from a space capsule at nearly 130,000 feet and broke the sound barrier on his way down.

  • The Space Hacker

    Photo: AP

    The Space Hacker

    Bobak Ferdowsi, the mohawked NASA engineer, is willing to do anything to get American’s interested in space again, whether that means getting insane haircuts or guiding the Mars rover to new frontiers.

  • The Queen of Rock

    Photo: Grayson Schaffer

    The Queen of Rock

    In 2011, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner made history by becoming the first woman to bag all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks … without supplemental oxygen. We’d like to see RGIII pull that off.

  • The Auteur

    Photo: Mattias Fredriksson

    The Auteur

    If a skier crushes a mountain and no one sees it, did it really happen? Meet Dave Mossop, the filmmaker who’s attempting to revive what he believes is a ski film industry gone stagnant.

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