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Be prepared. Be very prepared. For a visit to the Boy Scouts' mountain Valhalla is a return to the half-forgotten geography of adolescence. Every summer 20,000 teenagers trek into the wilderness of New Mexico's Philamont Scout Ranch to test their skills in map-reading, fire-starting, good deed-doing, and the heroic expulsion of intestinal gas. [more]

Informed that the world was about to end, our man stopped off for the last chocolate malt of his life and drove to the top of Steens Mountain in deepest, darkest eastern Oregon. [more]

After 21 young people died this July in a Swiss canyoning disaster, the media message was stereotypically simple: Risk kills. Bu the ethical questions provoked by the accident are far more vexing, as our correspondent finds after a journey to the scene. [more]

Journey to the Center of the Edge

Behold the long lost diary of Colonel Edward Pike, valorous explorer of the tropical frozen heath! [more]

Alex Lowe

Last year's definitive look at the recently deceased alpinist. [more]

Photos and illustration, clockwise from top right: Craig Cameron Olsen, Gerald de Jesus, John Harlin, Larry Ulrich
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