Los Angeles photographer Carlos Serrao has shot a host of star athletes, from Usain Bolt to Kobe Bryant. But photographing decathlete Trey Hardee ("Notes From an Alchemist") presented new challenges. "The idea was to get him doing all of the decathlon events," says Serrao, "but it was impossible, because there are so many." Instead they focused on some of the more recognizable ones: javelin, shot put, and high jump. "We had him do the high jump from a standstill so he didn't have to run each time," says Serrao. "At first the bar was at his wasit, and he was like, 'Let's raise it.' So he raised it to his chin and, from a standstill, he just flops over it with no problem. Everyone watching was like, 'How is that even possible?'"
To report "The Vanishing," about the disappearance of at least 18 women over the past four decades on a remote stretch of highway in northern British Columbia, Bob Friel, who lives on Washington's Orcas Island, visited many of the places where the missing were last seen. "It's a gorgeous, atmospheric area," says Friel, whose latest book, The Barefoot Bandit, was excerpted in Outside's March issue. "But you get sucked into the creepiness of the story." One of the more vivid characters: the road itself. "It's desolate, it's rain-slicked, it winds around dark cliffs, and there's often thick fog flowing in from the Skeena River," says Friel. "When you've got all this going on, plus these unsolved disappearances, the road takes on a haunting personality all its own."
Research editor Ryan Krogh performed triple duty on this issue: reporting "Notes From an Alchemist," our cover profile of decathlete Trey Hardee; interviewing swimmer Ryan Lochte; and serving as our dog-training expert for "The Ultimate Outdoor Companion" To do it all, he was forced to bail on a backcountry ski trip and gear test in April that saw 17 inches of fresh powder. "I felt like I was the only one in the office," says Krogh, who oversees the magazine's fact-checking department. "It was terrible." We asked Outside's fact-checkers to confirm that he was the only one stuck at his desk that weekend. Their response: a resounding yes.