Long Reads

Long reads are the longform articles our readers know and love. These features showcase our strongest writers, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors.

Nordic Skiing Has an Addiction to Toxic Wax

Fluorinated glide wax is being banned from elite competitions, and big brands like Swix say they’re searching for environmentally friendly alternatives. But the seductively speedy—and noxious—compounds are unlikely to loosen their grip on the sport anytime soon.

Bill Donahue
Jan 24, 2020

The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town

As one of the northernmost settlements on earth, the Norwegian hamlet of Longyearbyen has become a magnet for adventurous souls looking to start a new life. But when an unsettling crime happened, it brought home a harsh reality: in the modern world, trouble always finds you.

David Kushner
Jan 13, 2020

Rickey Gates Is the Rambling Poet of the Running World

It's not easy to make a living as a professional mountain runner, but the globe-trotting Coloradan is doing it on his own terms. We sent our writer on a weeklong bus trip with Gates (and a bunch of sweaty strangers) to find out more.

Martin Fritz Huber
Jan 9, 2020

I Loved Bike Touring—Until I Got Paid to Do It

Seduced by the idea of turning my hobby into a paycheck, I led bike tours across the U.S. throughout my twenties. As I learned, some passion pursuits are best left pro bono.

Caitlin Giddings
Dec 30, 2019

Fame, Romance, and a Second Chance on the PCT

Cory McDonald's main goal was to restore his health on the Pacific Crest Trail. Becoming a YouTube star, getting stalked, and meeting the perfect girl were just exhilarating extras.

Taylor Gee
Nov 7, 2019

Cornhole Is a Pro Sport Now

The American Cornhole League wants to turn a game that's typically played with one hand holding a beer—and possibly named for an indecent part of the human body—into an international spectator sport

Eric Barton
Oct 31, 2019