Outsiders of the Year: Forty-two athletes, activists, hustlers, makers, movers, and rule breakers who shaped our world in 2019, from the champion soccer team fighting for equality in sports to the teenager inspiring a wave of global climate activism to the humble farming couple reminding us where food really comes from.
“At Bottom. Repeat. At Bottom.” Multimillionaire Victor Vescovo committed himself to one of the world’s craziest remaining adventure quests: to reach the deepest points in every ocean, in a dangerous mission called the Five Deeps. What does it take to get there? A radically high-tech, $30 million Triton submersible, a team of crack engineers and scientists, and one very gonzo explorer. —Susan Casey
In the Land of Vanishing Giants: At a time of unprecedented mass extinctions, no animal epitomizes the global biodiversity free fall more than the Asian elephant. Paul Kvinta travels to Laos to visit a moon-shot project aimed at saving the country’s 400 remaining wild elephants—and to investigate the strange wildlife-trafficking underworld threatening their very existence.
Final Exam: Le Probatoire is one of the toughest tests in the outdoors, used for decades to pick mountain professionals in Chamonix, France, the legendary hub of glacier skiing, alpinism, and deadly terrain. Only the strongest make it, but Simon Akam wonders: Is selection by ordeal still the best way to groom competent guides?
Ski Films: Is this the end of annual shred flicks? Plus, the complicated backstory of Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season.
Portfolio: Todd Antony’s images of the Cholitas Escaladoras, who can do everything male climbers can do—in skirts.
Destinations: With collective mega-passes, more direct flights, and super-dialed snow forecasts, it’s never been a better time to plan a ski trip. Our up-to-date guide has you covered for packing the most into a weekend getaway.
Training: Customized sports drinks and shakes are the latest innovation in the quest to boost performance. How much can they help an everyday athlete?
Wellness: Emerging research suggests that saunas could be a boon for mental health.
Fuel: Upgrade your morning meal with a new spin on a classic.
Moves: A desk jockey’s guide to spine care.
Holiday Gift Guide: Presenting our highly refined selection of the year’s best goodies, curated for the unique adventurers on your list.