Mayday: “Being kidnapped by pirates,” the e-mail read. Then: “Message me as soon as u can. I’m really shaken.” The notes were from Ali Carr Troxell’s father, who was halfway across the Pacific on the first leg of his solo attempt to sail around the world. Was he really under attack? Or was isolation playing tricks on his mind? The clock was ticking, and there was no easy way to find out.
The House of Mourning: In May 1986, twenty students and chaperones from the Oregon Episcopal School set out on an expedition to summit Mount Hood. In a few days, nine of them would be dead, victims of a springtime blizzard that came through like a hurricane. Pauls Toutonghi revisits a tragedy that remains one of the worst climbing disasters in North American history.
The Upside of Danger: Cody Sheehy was only six when he wandered off during a family picnic and got lost in the woods. What was it inside the boy that allowed him to walk alone for 18 hours and as many miles—falling into a creek, dodging coyotes, and moving through darkness on instinct alone—until he found help? —Emma Marris
The Stranger in the Shelter: In the spring of 1974, two idealistic young friends set out to hike from Georgia to Maine. On their second night out, they made it to a place called Low Gap—but someone was already there. Earl Swift reconstructs the terrible untold story of the first murder on the Appalachian Trail.
Plus: Six more frightening true stories of survival.
Hikers, Meet Hunters: In today’s political climate of red versus blue and rural versus urban, it’s never been more important for the outdoor-recreation community to unite with the hook and bullet crowd. —Steven Rinella
Portfolio: Jimmy Nelson’s iconic portraits of indigenous people celebrate our common humanity.
Australia and New Zealand: The 12 greatest adventures Down Under and beyond, from trekking wild Tasmania to diving with psychedelic sea slugs off the Kiwi coast.
Base Camp: A luxe new backcountry chalet just ten miles from Denali.
Watch: A high-flying timekeeper that will last for generations.
Skis: Whether you charge on frontside hardpack or scout for sidecountry fresh, our annual roundup has the best sticks for you.
Snowboards: This season’s rides push the limits with their ability to carve and surf.
Ski Essentials: Bamboo poles, a soft wool onesie, and everything else you need to stay warm and go fast.
Gear Protection: Racking up all the best ways to carry and store your winter cargo.