Windbags on a mission! Fighting fires with new super-soaker blimps!

THE FOUNDING FISH Eric Swanson Eric Swanson BY JOHN MCPHEE (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25) MCPHEE ON SHAD—what could be better? Famous for luring readers deep into surprising and esoteric subjects, from Florida citrus (Oranges, 1967) to the Swiss Army (La Place de la Concorde Suisse,…

The robo-voices of weather just got (a little) livelier

A famed Texas climbing route gets cloned indoors

An assault by Frodo, one of Jane Goodall's big-screen chimps, results in the death of an African child

Uh, we'll get back to you on that

From Outside's screwup files, a tale of epic miscommunication

Be the first to bag the Seven Plummets—the deepest spots in each of the Seven Seas

By Marshall Sella BEFORE HE VANISHED in Mexico in 1914, never to be heard from again, the formidable writer Ambrose Bierce, whose short stories often explored themes of horror and death, cobbled together his Devil’s Dictionary. It was a fiercely satirical work, filled with definitions such as “fidelity…

“I don’t even think of Tony as an adult,” said Phil Jennings, a 12-year-old I met at the HuckJam. “He doesn’t act like the big man. He’s one of us.”

The scientists were clinging to the side of the ice they’d been standing on, 50 feet above the waterline. In a few seconds, the berg had gone over on top of them.

“I want to get off my pills someday,” Roger says. “I think that if I stay around regular people a lot, maybe that will help me.”

A Wyoming mountain guide sounds off on a famous Teton toilet and the politics of packing it all out

Optional take-it-out policies are cropping up in our parks—but will anyone volunteer?

A Florida cemetery offers die-hard greens the ultimate in recycling—no coffins, no pickling, just a home in the loam

On Truthquest—a spirited version of MTV's Road Rules—teens go wild, but without the pagan excess

BLUE LATITUDES From Our Pages Outside adventure laureate Tim Cahill journeys from Sahara salt mines to a Jamaica yoga retreat in his new collection, Hold the Enlightenment: More Travel, Less Bliss (Villard, ). Pairing lively history with nearly 30 years of vintage photos, Jocko Weyland’s The Answer…


There are easy ways to reach the North Pole—by plane, helicopter, or icebreaker. And then there's the Børge Ousland way. A super-tough son of Norway and the greatest living Arctic explorer, he likes fellow adventurers who ski hard, pull their own weight, and can take a touch of frostbite—no whimpering allowed.

Accompanying Tim Cahill’s tale of adventure among the ancient castles of the Assassins in Iran’s rugged backcountry (“Everybody Loves the Assassins“, October 2002) are images by Manhattan-based photographer Rob Howard. The journey marked the fifth collaboration between the two friends, and Howard’s second visit to Iran. Howard, whom Cahill…

For over 20 years, 47-year-old Grant Brittain has captured images of Tony Hawk pulling off tricks on a skateboard that defy human anatomy, common sense, and the laws of physics. Brittain first photographed The Birdman in the early 1980s while managing the Del Mar Skate Ranch and continues to do…

One of climbing’s most famous survival sagas began on the night of July 13, 1977, after British mountaineers CHRISTIAN BONINGTON and Doug Scott completed the first ascent of Pakistan’s 23,900-foot Baintha Brakk—a beastly massif known as The Ogre. During his rappel down, Scott swung wildly across the face and broke…

Thirteen otherwise courageous writers reveal their deepest, darkest fears in our homage to the creepy, crawly, menacing world of phobias. Prepare to squirm.

On getting lost, GPS, and a farewell to maps

"You never know. After this summer, my whole next album could be about kayaking."

Come to the light: Nightcrawling the Gifford Pinchot Forest for signs of you-know-who. Is there anybody out there?: Scanning the horizon for the big-footed one. The Bigfoot Hot Zone Thrown of the ape-man!: Rick Noll displays the controversial and anatomically diverse Skookum Cast. They walk among us: BFRO…

A new, portable search-and-rescue beacon may save dozens of lives—and cause dozens of headaches

Turn-offs: Leeches, bad stylists—and spoilsports who mock Team Playboy X-treme

A pricey prep school aims to train next-generation Al Gores

They walked down the aisle—now they're walking the world, retracing man's epic trek out of Africa

The strangest stuff litters the flood-sloshed banks of the Mississippi River and her tributaries: tires by the hundred, refrigerators, automobiles, messages in a bottle, urine in a bottle, and (yikes!) the occasional ice chest containing a severed horse head. When the going gets gross, the man to call is Chad Pregracke, a crusading voyager in the war against trash.

August 15, 2002 So what happens when the summer’s biggest tour lands in the New York City? Concertgoers cut loose, the trials bikers reinvent their show, and someone gets engaged on stage. It’s just a typical day at the Jeep World Outside Festival, but it’s always exciting— especially for…

August 8, 2002 Towering 40 feet above the adventure village, Huck Mountain is one of the most impressive and imposing attractions at the Jeep World Outside Festival. But as remarkable as the giant ski ramp may be, it’s dwarfed by the daring of the athletes who brave its slopes…

August 22, 2002 After a long and exciting summer, the Jeep World Outside Festival, which brought both outdoor adventure and rock and roll to people across the country, has come to an end. Sheryl Crow carves the day away on the snowboard simulator. Star power: Crow and Gwyneth Paltrow…

An Adventure Travel Guide to British Columbia

Nothing comes easy for the riders of the TOUR DU FASO, West Africa's tortuous answer to the Tour de France. Their bikes are beaters, the heat is infernal, la dysenterie is inevitable, and every year the locals get shown up by European interlopers looking to find an exotic thrill. But for Jérémie Ouedraogo and his teammates—proud citizens of the fourth-

July 12, 2002 April McKeen had a lot of questions. Should she ski first and then kayak, or maybe hit the bike track and then cool off in the scuba pool? When did the ski jump exhibition start and where was the climbing wall? Could she do it all…

The Jeep World Outside Festival visits the rain-soaked grounds of Winter Park

World-class athletes are forced to get inventive to stay in shape as the Jeep World Outside Festival rocks on to Seattle

He's no Lance (yet), but former U.S. Postal rider Levi Leipheimer has won the right to lead Rabobank, one of Europe's fastest squads

Illustration by Dan Winters and Gary Tanhauser Illustration by Dan Winters and Gary Tanhauser The thrill of adventure is worth a few calculated risks. But sometimes whitewater rafts flip, bike frames snap, and wilderness guides lose the map. In a society where people are increasingly aggressive about putting…

An Iceland Adventure Guide

George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Interior keeps a low profile, keeps her mouth shut, and never picks a fight. Don’t mistake her for a stiff, though. As the steward of 507 million public acres, she has deftly combined an aggressive, pro-extraction agenda and the Bush administration’s wartime clout…

After 34 years of blazing trails, Colin Fletcher anoints a footloose, gear-crazed successor

Aiming to ditch those pesky antiglobalists, the G8 elite huddle in backwoods Alberta

No one knows how to cut loose in the summertime like Scandinavians

Hey, brah—at the Camp, Southern California's new outdoor-retail supermall, you can catch big air and fill big bags

He's No Lance (Yet), but Former U.S. Postal Rider Levi Leipheimer Has Won the Right to Lead Rabobank, One of Europe's Fastest Squads

Scientists never bought his theories, but Thor Heyerdahl's prove-it-yourself adventures captivated the world

Russia's newest border defense: pissed-off bureaucrats hollering nyet!

Speed hiker Ted "Cave Dog" Keizer has a blistering dream: to climb 140,000 vertical feet in the Adirondacks—in five days

Tearing through the banquet of life, Radish, the author's omnivorous, irrepressible red heeler, was a happy and undiscriminating guest—not to mention a philosophical beast who maybe, just maybe, had it all figured out

#1 You must merge with the living energy of the mountain. #2 That nagging headache may be the result of an avalanche that has just crushed your tent. #3 In order to endure the most dire physical suffering at 25,000 feet, you must inhabit other dimensions free from pain. (Note: Pain returns upon reentry into the body.) #4 You will be compelled to ascend the most harrowing face in the Himalayas, alone. #5 Go home, break both of your legs, and start all over again.

IT WAS JUST ANOTHER QUIET BRAZILIAN EVENING, IN JUST ANOTHER PORT. THE BOAT WAS JUST ONE MORE SLEEK YACHT, bristling with electronics and expensive gear. The pirates were just another band of small-time water rats. And after the shoot-out, there was just one man dead on board the Seamaster. But…

Who knows best the cost of rowing solo across the Atlantic? She who finishes last.

In her new autobiography, Lynn Hill looks back on three decades of big climbs, big falls, and bigger egos

Chris Swain intends to swim the Columbia from source to sea. His goal? Save the river, then sell the rights.

To make his mark in Europe's toughest races, George Hincapie needs more than guts. He needs an old friend.

HELP ON THE WAY THANK YOU for your cover story on search and rescue (“Masters of Disaster,” February). I’m a member of Deschutts County SAR in central Oregon, a close-knit volunteer group that completed 112 missions last year. Your article will help make people more aware of…

How does a caffeine-loaded energy drink become a billion-dollar brand? RED BULL's creators inject their product with the adrenaline-by-association of extreme sports, and they never stop in the quest for buzz.

The New Faces Revolutionizing Adventure Sports

The Brightest Stars of Stage and Scree

Paddlers Who Set the High-Water Mark

WILL GADD is a world-class adventurer who wants his exploits to pay off. He tackles breakthrough climbs all over the planet (sounds good), makes so-so money doing it (less good), and could easily get killed every time he goes to work (sounds bad). Is this any way to make a living?

Joe’s hand began to tingle, and he called the group together. The toxins would leave his system in 48 hours, he said. He’d be conscious the whole time.

We've been researching the world's best adventures for 25 years. To see where we're been and where you'll soon want to go, we've culled our archives and created a list of recent favorites.

Murdered by pirates at 53, a champion long-haul sailor leaves behind a legacy of inspiration

What does it take to steer across the Bering Strait? Guts, persistence, and—oh yeah—a seven-ton SUV.

HAVING LONG HELD A PLACE America’s heart for its endearing 1950s nerdiness (you gotta love those hats), the National Park Service will select a group of its rangers to look a tad dorkier this April when they start tooling around on Segway Human Transporters—those much-hyped self-balancing scooters, also known as…

The respect of the men can be a cruel mistress and a harlot. But at other times it can be a nice mistress and a happy slut. You can't think about it too much.

UPDATE On April 7, 2002, at 3:13 P.M., British explorers Steve Brooks and Graham Stratford triumphantly drove Snowbird 6 across the International Date Line in the frozen Bering Strait and into Russia. Ice Challenger Coverage PREVIEW: Strapped behind the wheel of an amphibious snowcat, two lunatic Brits try to…

IMAX mogul David Breashears aims for another really-big-screen hit with Kilimanjaro

The just-in-time, let's-party, fear-no-evil Winter Olympics get ready to rip in the country that needs 'em now more than ever

SAR tales from veterans who were there.

What's that smell? It's a teeming avian sanctuary—and a sump of troubled waters. It's a mess that we created—and a puzzle we can't solve. It's California's Salton Sea, a hypersaline lake that kills the very life it shelters.

The marines' mountain warfare training center is the ultimate test for some of the world's toughest troops: a make-it-or-leave regimen of backcountry ski combat, torturous night maneuvers, and deadly cold. Any volunteers?

Two decades ago in Sarajevo, Bill Johnson won America's first Olympic gold medal in the downhill with an astonishing kamikaze performance. Now, in the wake of a comeback attempt that almost killed him, skiing's crash-course survivor struggles with the consequences of a life lived too fast.

Want to explore the world and a higher calling? Volunteer.

Twelve trips to change your life—and make a difference

A world-class mountain biking, surfing, and boardsailing hideout awaits in Baja. All you have to do is find it.