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Four years ago, the president of Gabon announced the creation of an unprecedented 13 new national parks. Ready for a visit? On a grueling first descent down the Djidji River, ROB BUCHANAN checks in on the world's most ambitious conservation plan and discovers a pristine wilderness unmatched in its magic—and a country not quite ready fo

No other alpinist in America has knocked off as many coveted ascents—or picked as many fights—as Steve House. But after finding a new climbing partner and conquering one of the most daunting routes in decades, is the world's most outspoken mountaineer finally ready to make nice?

Footloose Scots will tell you there's no such thing as trespassing in the Highlands. And no one is more passionate about possessing these craggy, heather-painted mountains than the "compleaters" who summit the Munros—all 284 of them.

Flush with tech-boom cash and answering to no one, 'Alpinist' chronicles the exploits of a loosely aligned group of climbers known as the Brotherhood, who devote themselves to difficult routes, minimal gear, and big-time pain and suffering. Are these guys just a holier-than-thou elite—or the salvation of mountaineering?

How I honored tradition by taking a vicious beating in the East's toughest rowing race

In the nearly four decades since Jeff Hakman first rocketed down the face of a 20-foot wave at Oahu's Waimea Bay, he's been on a dazzling and harrowing journey. There were his golden years as the sport's premier competitive superstar. He went on to make millions as cofounder of the surfwear juggernaut Quiksilver USA. And then he almost lost everything to heroin

When Stephen Koch set out to snowboard the insanely steep Hornbein Couloir on Everest, he knew he might die trying. He chose life.

It seems like all God's creatures have lost their way in the Holy Land. But a few hopeful Israeli and Palestinian conservationists are tracing a new path along the flyways and wildlife corridors of the Jordan Valley—and rediscovering an ancient road map that leads from terror to peace.

Ten years ago, extreme snowboarder Stephen Koch cooked up a media-savvy plan to become the first to climb and ride down the Seven Summits. Now there's only one mountain left to conquer: Everest. And for his grand finale, Koch is determined to fling himself down the most dangerous descent possible.

With his supreme skills on rock, hypercompetitive intensity, and new-age bag of tricks, Dean Potter scrambles up big walls faster than any man alive. So what's the trajectory of all this velocity?

Something happens in the high latitudes around Cape Horn. Eighty-knot williwaws blast down from the surrounding peaks. Thiry-foot waves rear up. Ships are tossed around like ice cubes in a blender. Why embark on a wind-powered expedition in these waters? For one sailor, it's a pilgrimage to the place where his great-grandfather came to grief in 1875—an

Beyond Kenya's endless plains lie the mythic Loita Hills, home to one of East Africa's last great swaths of wilderness. To a young Masai who gave up his birthright for the hustle and blare of Nairobi, a journey to the pure heart of Masailand offers a vision of what he left behind—and a glimpse of his people's fearful future.

And deliver us pronto to these 44 island Edens—if they were any more perfect we'd be in heaven

As the Last Cool Place becomes an adventure-travel magnet, the scientists and bureaucrats who run the show are feeling crowded. Is this big, beautiful continent big enough for everybody?

Once you've made a name for yourself in the burly world of ski mountaineering, astonished your buds, bagged a few sponsors, shot some sick footage that had Banff buzzing—in short, once you're at the top of your game, can you actually take a vacation? The author investigates in Peru's Cordillera Blanca, where six adventurers scramble to beat "poachers" to f

Close encounters of the bear-human kind are skyrocketing, though actual attacks remain few and far between. Hopefully, new outreach education efforts will keep things that way.

Struck by an urge to leap off a tall building? Pack your chute and head for Malaysia.

Cam Lewis says he knows the risks—and he's ready. Ready to sprint 25,000 miles in one of the fastest wind-driven vessels ever to grace the ocean, and become the first American skipper to set a round-the-world speed sailing record. That is, if he and his boat make it back in one piece.

Guy Waterman had climbed every peak in the Northeast high country—in winter, and from all the cardinal directions. With his wife, he had co-authored four scrupulously principled books on New England wilderness, and he was revered as the conscience of the mountains, a beloved teacher and friend, a paragon of Yankee self-reliance. Why, then, did he hike to the to