The Best Adventure Photography: Exposure 2014

Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Last March, Jorgenson and pro skier James Heim spent three days scouting on Ipsoot Mountain, near Whistler, British Columbia, while filming their latest project, Days of My Youth. “James kept looking for something at his limit,” Jorgenson says, referring to the 400-foot pitch Heim chose. “I couldn’t see the outrun, and it looked really scary from my angle, but he made it look easy.”

THE TOOLS: Nikon D4, 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 125, f/6.3, 1/2,000 second

Photo: Joshua Meador

After seeing a photograph of the frozen spray around Abiqua Falls five years ago, Meador was determined to visit the icy cascade, located two hours south of Portland, Oregon, where he lives. On a freezing morning last December, when he knew the icicles would be spectacular, the photographer hiked in alone to get this shot of the dramatic 90-foot cliffs. “I was the only person out there, which I was definitely aware of,” Meador says. “Once it warmed up, I had to dodge some icicles as they came crashing down.”

THE TOOLS: Canon 5D Mark III, 35mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/125 second

Photo: Krystle Wright

To get this shot of pro slackliner Ben Plotkin-Swing traversing a 181-foot rope strung between two spires at Washington Pass in North Cascades National Park last September, Wright hiked for two hours and set up an anchor while Plotkin-Swing and a friend rappelled into the gully and climbed the opposite spire. “While I was waiting for them to cross the wire, I scrambled up some boulders. By then the view was phenomenal,” says the Australian photographer. “I love places like this where your mobile phone doesn’t work and you have the mountains to yourself.”

THE TOOLS: Canon EOS-1D C, 24mm f/1.4 II USM lens, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/640 second

Photo: Pete McBride

At this year’s Leadville Trail 100 mountain-bike race, McBride wanted to shoot the course from a new perspective—above. “I competed in 2011 but spent a good 30 minutes lying on the side of the trail with miserable cramps,” says the Basalt, Colorado, photographer. “Riding in a helicopter was the antithesis of racing. I got to watch lines of people, all fighting their own personal battles, without any of the suffering.”

THE TOOLS: Nikon D800, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 800, f/13, 1/800 second

Photo: Rob Kerr
Photo: Hansi Johnson

While fat biking in Duluth, Minnesota, last winter, Johnson stood on the edge of an ice shelf above the 33-degree waters of Lake Superior to shoot his friend Casey Krueger riding the floes along the shore. The city had endured the longest string of below-zero days in its history, and the photographer, who lives nearby, wanted to capture the icebergs and gargoyles that had formed along the beaches at Park Point. 
“It looks like we could have been in the Arctic,” Johnson says, “but we were so close to Canal Park that even if I’d fallen in, I could have gotten out and walked to a coffee shop three blocks away.”

THE TOOLS: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24–105mm f/4 lens, ISO 320, f/8, 1/125 second

Photo: Paolo Marchesi

To shoot Missoula, Montana, river surfer Ian Stokes carving this icy wave last June, Marchesi, who lives in Bozeman, traveled to northern Idaho’s Lochsa River. Stokes grew up riding ocean breaks near Tamarindo, Costa Rica, but four years ago he discovered river surfing. “Once you adjust to the fast-moving water, it’s phenomenal,” he says. “It’s like an endless wave. As long as you stay on your feet, you can keep making turns forever.”

THE TOOLS: Canon Mark III, 70–200mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 200, f/10, 1/20 second.

Photo: Wiktor Skupinski

Last February, Skupinski photographed British alpinist Tim Emmett and Slovenian Klemen Premrl on the final pitch of a climb leading out of the Helmcken Falls spray cave in British Columbia’s Wells Gray Provincial Park. The photographer, who lives in Calgary, rappelled down the side of the waterfall until he found an angle where he could capture the scale of the 460-foot plunge. “The falls are so powerful they never really freeze, even when everything around them is coated in ice,” he says. “My camera was getting sprayed the whole time.”

THE TOOLS: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 17–35mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 200, f/4, 1/320 second

Photo: Daniel Sohner

In May, Sohner and his girlfriend, Janelle Huelsman, traveled from their Denver home to traverse the Via Ferrata, a horizontal climbing route in Telluride, Colorado, consisting of a series of step-like iron rungs embedded in the rock face. As she made her way across, Huelsman, who was new to climbing, found her stride. “I don’t think she looked back once,” says Sohner, who shot her with the 365-foot Bridal Veil Falls visible in the distance.

THE TOOLS: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24–70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/60 second

Photo: Jordan Manley
Photo: Theo Allofs

During a trip to Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve in March, Allofs was hoping to take a few bird’s-eye shots of the area’s wildlife from a powered paraglider, 600 feet above the ground, when he noticed these fairy circles. While some scientists believe they’re etched into the landscape by desert termites, the photographer’s vantage gave them an expressionistic appeal. “The patterns were so otherworldly,” says Allofs, who lives in Santa Fe. “I felt like I was shooting a 15-mile abstract painting.”

THE TOOLS: Nikon Coolpix P7000, 28–200mm f/2.8–5.6 lens, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/250 second

Photo: Krystle Wright
Photo: Charlie Munsey
Photo: Jeremy Koreski
Photo: Francois-Xavier De Ruydts

Photographer: Francois-Xavier De Ruydts ( Model: Caver Nicolas Borchers This photo was taken during a French caving expedition in the Fengshan County, Guangxi province in China, in January 2014. The cave system we were exploring is called Jiangzhoudong.The exploration work lasted 9 days. All together, 35 pitches were explored down using rope technics and 5 were explored up using the climbing technics. 9 232 m of new cave passages were surveyed and 2 tributary to the subterranean river discovered. Jiangzhoudong is now a 46 km long cave and the total amount of cave in this areas is 80 km. The total length of cave for Fengshan county is 150 km.

Photo: David Fleetham

This green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, an endangered species, is having it's shell cleaned by a school of goldring surgeonfish, Ctenochaetus strigosus, off Maui, Hawaii.

Photo: Woods Wheatcroft

Woods Wheatcroft didn’t have to travel far to get this shot of his friend Andy Feuling paddling under the Long Bridge, on Lake Pend Oreille, during low water last fall. “This spot is almost in my backyard,” says the photographer, who has lived on the banks of the 43-mile-long lake for the past 13 years. “It’s like a big playground. I’m not sure I’d live here if it weren’t for the lake.”

THE TOOLS: Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm f/2 lens, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/250 second

Photo: Michael Hanson

CADDO LAKE, TEXAS, USA. Two men float down a tunnel of trees in search of a good fishing hole.

Photo: Tom Folks
Photo: Chris Werner
Photo: Franck Berthuot
Photo: Paris Gore

© Paris Gore 2013 This image may not be used, distributed, copied, printed, published, or displayed without the prior written permission of the Photographer (Paris Gore / Paris Gore Photography). Doing so without prior written permission will result in a charge of 3 (three) times the Photographer's customary fee for such usage.

Photo: Michael Hodges

In one of the most magical moments I've ever had, a squirrel enjoys the sunrise view at Glacier Point, Yosemite.

Photo: Jordan Manley

John Irvine kayaking on the Seymour River, North Vancouver, BC

Photo: Klaus Thymann
Photo: Nathaniel Wilder
Photo: Scott Rogers
Photo: Andy Anderson
Photo: Eric Parker
Photo: David Clifford

Aspen Highland Bowl clearing storm on the epic powder day of 2013

Photo: Jim Martinello
Photo: Jan Kasl
Photo: Krystle Wright

During the final day of travel on the Steppe back to Ulaanbaatar, the team pack up camp after spending the night with a local nomadic family. The local family are self sufficient and make extra income from selling home made butter and vodka distilled from fermented milk.

Photo: Grant Gunderson

Josh Daiek skiing powder at Mt. Baker

Photo: Thomas Senf

Stephan Siegrist klettert nachts am Voringsfossen Eisfall, der mit Fackeln beleuchtet wird.

Photo: Patrick Branch