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The Best New Podcasts of 2017

As chosen by our editors—and you

(Outside)

As chosen by our editors—and you

The world of outdoor podcasts is already robust— (see our list from last year for some more favorites), but we discovered some newcomers this year that are worth a place on our subscribe list.

Best Single-Topic Podcast: 'Threshold'

In its first season, the podcast Threshold uses the topic of bison to dive deep into conservation, politics, and the history and future of the U.S. I binged hard on this one—the storytelling and engrossing topic will make you think about bison and our country in a new and complex way.

—Abigail Wise, online managing editor

Best Sports Podcast: '30 for 30' 

ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcasts launched earlier this year, and the catalog is full of fantastic, well-told sports stories. New York Magazine’s Vulture called it “This American Life, but for sports,” which is pretty accurate. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my favorite episode so far was “On the Ice,” about the first all-women’s expedition to the North Pole. But the series casts a very wide net—featuring stories about Olympic decathletes, poker, and boxing—so there’s a little something for everyone.

—Molly Mirhashem, associate editor

Best “Celebrity” Podcast: ‘Stages’

Anyone who really follows Lance Armstrong knows he’s already been a prolific podcaster since 2016 with The Forward  (which is ongoing). But his brief Tour de France side podcast from this year, Stages, is worth revisiting even now. Look, we know everyone has their own opinion on Armstrong, but it is fascinating to hear commentary on the TdF from someone with his particular experience and psychology. Give it a try. 

Best Environmental Podcast: ‘Terrestrial’

Outside reader (and Beyond Books Club member) Riordan Skirzenski pointed us to Terrestrial, a new NPR show that explores the effects of climate change one individual story at a time. Host Ashley Ahearn is a great guide, curious and empathetic. Get a taste with this episode: “His Fellow Conservatives Call Him a ‘Green Decoy.’ Here’s Why.

Best Podcast We Missed Last Year: ‘The Sharp End’

The American Alpine Club tells true stories of incidents straight from the pages of Accidents in North American Climbing, deftly appealing to morbid curiosity while providing solid advice on staying safe in the mountains. How did we miss this when it debuted in 2016? 

Podcast We’re Most Looking Forward to in 2018: ‘Afterglow’

Afterglow is hosted by Brendan Madigan, owner of Tahoe’s Alpenglow Sports shop and friend of many in the outdoors world. No surprise, then, that he’s enlisted a slew of heavy hitters for hour-long conversations about being an athlete in the mountains. The first episode is a conversation with Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards. Future guests include Tommy Caldwell, Doug Robinson, Emily Harrington, and Hilaree O’Neil. 

Correction: This piece originally stated that 'Threshold' was affiliated with NPR. 'Threshold' is a completely independent production of the non-profit Auricle Productions.

Filed To: Podcasts / Media / Culture

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