F E A T U R E S
Outside's New Legends
Our annual high-flying A-team of the 25 most inspiring men and women in the outdoors. From athletes like Picabo Street, Marcus "Flash" Austin, and Chris Sharma to brainiac trendsetters (gear inventor Mike Blenkarn, coach Chris Carmichael) and visionary crusaders (eco-architect William McDonough, environmentalist Michael Fay, filmmaker Eric Valli), each of these über-achievers continues to shatter the boundaries of what's possible in sports, the environment, and adventure.
In this exclusive excerpt from the new afterword to Erik Weihenmayer's book, Touch the Top of the World, the first blind climber to summit Everest speaks frankly about the risks and rewards of high-altitude mountaineering—and returns fire to every doubting expert who said he had no business roping up.
One Nation, Under Ted
America's brashest media tycoon is also the nation's largest, most ambitious private landowner, with enough species-rich acreage to constitute a 51st state. Now Ted Turner and his son Beau have set out to rewrite the rules of stewardship, creating a 21st-century third way that combines pre-Columbian biodiversity, good old-fashioned capitalist splurge, and a dash of tooth-and-claw wildness that's making a few of their neighbors out West a little nervous.
By Jack Hitt
Peru's Cotahuasi River flows through the world's deepest canyon in a relentless boil of Class IV and V rapids. Fast, frigid, and deadly, this whitewater gauntlet rips into a blasted realm of Inca ruins, earthquakes, and landslides. If you can't handle the splash, there's only one way out—an 11,000-foot climb, straight up.
By Peter Heller
The Holiday Guide to Gear and Style
A Blizzard of Good Cheer
You want it, you need it, and you get it all in our overstuffed holiday goody bag: a personal backyard snowmaker, a 17-pound titanium Litespeed time-trial bike, the ultimate telemark rig, the coolest soft-shell snowboarding rags, the best digital cameras, the toughest backcountry-ready handhelds, trick watches, luxe car-camping accessories, and much, much more.
D E P A R T M E N T S
S P E C I A L R E P O R T
More than a thousand mountain rescuers, smoke jumpers, and cavers were deployed to New York in the aftermath of September's terrorist attacks. As Patrick Symmes learned at Ground Zero, lower Manhattan's pile of rubble and steel was the harshest wilderness they'd ever encountered.
Despite the onset of war and the risks of flying abroad, Americans haven't given up on adventure travel—and U.S. outfitters are still ready to hit the road.
Plus: Itching to get out there? Here's where to get up-to-the-minute worldwide security information.
The Wild File
Does an animal feel more pain if it has a large brain? Why do packs of small birds love to attack larger birds? How does a propane lantern make light? Taking into consideration the rest of the universe, how fast are you moving if you're standing still on the equator?
By Brad Wetzler
The Hard Way
Our ever-restless recon agent was about to board a plane for a six-week expedition in Afghanistan when terror struck America. Taking a sober look at the differences between war and exploration, he decides that sometimes adventure has to wait.
By Mark Jenkins
Jungle Fever: Honduras's newest national park is home to raging whitewater, 8,000-foot cloudforested peaks, and one of the spiffiest eco-lodges north of the equator. Pico Bonito is heaven for birders, climbers, and paddlers alike, but stay close to your guide—El Sisimite, Central America's Sasquatch, lives here too.
Plus: Beat the crowds and high prices with a winter trip to one of three Southwest national parks; tackle an inaugural mountain-bike tour across Baja; and forgo flatware by registering for an exotic honeymoon instead.
Chills and Thrills: The new breed of winter endurance races will challenge your biking, skiing, and snowshoeing fitness in some of the nation's wildest backcountry terrain. Learn how to train right, dress warm, play hard—and make tracks for a stronger, faster, fitter you.
Stay ahead of the pack in the country's coldest competitions.
Plus: Six reasons to add green tea to your morning ritual; the latest in performance-boosting insoles.
Between the Lines
Active Traveler Directory
F E A T U R E S