Editors' Choice

Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...

Feb 14, 2010
Outside Magazine

47. Nepal    Photo: Peter Verkhovensky/Flickr

LL Bean goose-down vest

51. Sledding
If you're over the age of ten or from outside the Midwest, we understand your reticence. But you're wrong. Trust us.

50. Yurts
So round, so cozy, and usually situated someplace excellent, like practically any valley in Central Asia, the base of the Midwest's best little ski resort (Michigan's Mount Bohemia; mtbohemia.com), or beneath a cirque of toothy peaks (as is the case with many you'll find at yurtlodging.com).

49. The Gorge Amphitheatre
Like Colorado's Red Rocks? You'll love this ridiculously, um, gorgeous venue in George, Washington.

48. A Goose-Down Vest
Warm to the core. $49; llbean.com

47. Nepal
Sure, Kathmandu is a tourist junk show, but the locals continue to embrace trekkers. This despite the fact that no Nepali ever walked for fun. Stray just a bit from the rutted Annapurna Circuit or the Everest Base Camp queue and you'll be invited to drink yak butter tea with monks, share the last of a family's rice for the season, or dance drunkenly around a bonfire. Yes, some will see you as a walking ATM, but Nepal remains nothing less than the world's friendliest country. Once, when I found myself alone in a dusty highway town in the southern plains, a gang of teenagers mysteriously took it upon themselves to teach me how to ride a motorcycle. Each night for a week, we lurched around under the stars on a borrowed single-cylinder Honda, a new rider's-ed instructor shrieking commands from the back. Bhutan may be more "authentic," whatever that means, and the Karakoram more stunning. But only in Nepal do the locals say, "Pahuna dyeuta ho," or "A guest is God." Trippy.
--Eric Hansen

46. People Who Never Say Die
People like Casey Fulp, who dreamed of being a Green Beret but was nearly killed in a motorcycle wreck in July 2008. He had a ruptured spleen, damaged lung, torn stomach, broken bones, and brain trauma—and, as a result, was dropped from the Special Forces training program. Today he's gearing up for a 2,176-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail to support other disabled veterans. It's the same spirit I see in Steve Baskis, who lost his eyesight in an explosion in Iraq in 2008. Baskis went on to climb a volcano in Mexico, and last year he ran a half Ironman. These people teach by their example: There are a lot of good reasons to give up—but none trumps the reasons to raise our ambitions even higher. --Eric Greitens, Outside's C.I.O. [Chief Inspiration Officer]