Come to Happyland
Burma had a brainstorm: Shill the country as a tourist destination, and maybe the world will overlook the human-rights violations and Orwellian subjugation. So as official Visit Myanmar Year dawns, we did just that. Scenes from an utterly lost nation.
By Michael Paterniti
La Matadora Revisa Su Maquillaje
(The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup)
When you’re the best female matador in Spanish history, there remains only one purer goal: to be the best matador, period. Looking into the unique life of 24-year-old Cristina Sžnchez.
By Susan Orlean
The Downhill Report: No More Excuses
A soup-to-nuts smorgasbord of the very latest on the slopes, where it’s all about easier, faster, and groovier schussing. Including: a quiver of skis to suit every condition; a revolutionary new way to turn; bitchin’ retro fashions; powder, mogul, and big-air tips; the biggest innovations in snowboarding gear; how to save a few ducats off your next lift ticket; the best bumps, brews, knee doc, snowboard school, grub, and hot tub; salve for those psychological ski wounds; and more.
And of All the Plagues with Which Nature Is Cursed,
Could It Be Me That’s the Worst?
Welcome to the age of the Outdoorsily Correct, where fishing is frowned upon, climbing is decried, and the conscientious nature-lover is left to ask, Is anything OK anymore? An essay on the ethics of inhabiting the earth.
By Jack Hitt
He’s Still The Coolest
Questions and answers with Old Man Winter, a misunderstood middle-manager in the sometimes chilly Climatological Corporation.
By Bruce McCall
Mush, Mush, Mush, Dammit, Mush!
The Iditarod preps for its 25th anniversary, and against the yipping backdrop of last year’s sled-dog race come fond remembrances of past glories. Like marauding polar bears, picketing animal rightists, random murders.
By Elizabeth Royte
The government is wheeling and dealing to protect some of the nation’s most imperiled landscapes. Is this progress, or are we merely swapping one set of woes for another? Meet 15-year-old Chris Sharma, America’s next great climbing hope. Archaeology goes postmodern: sifting through the twisted artifacts of nuclear testing. A radical new sailboat for the easier-is-better set. The Kiwis concoct yet another dubious thrill sport. Plus: Celebrities lend a spatula to help the gray wolf, the latest in scofflaw snowboarding, quickie-mart technology becomes an Antarctic research tool, a latter-day Neptune sets two more diving records, the tragic tale of the goat who would be mayor, and more..
In places where most go to gawk at the scenery, the volunteer members of NecroSearch venture forth with a decidedly different purpose: using their expertise in fields from geophysics to meteorology, botany to bloodhound-handling, to find the clandestine graves of murder victims.
By Mike Grudowski
Did our man get into the sport’s premier event through the weight of his leadership skills? Yeah, something like that. A report from the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, where the downhill aficionados take their intake seriously.
By Randy Wayne White
The Wild File
Can giardia survive in stream ice? What enables flying fish to fly? If basements, caves, and mines are usually cool, why do animals go underground to keep warm in winter?
The Caribbean less paved: Ever wonder what those resort islands were like 50 years ago? Try Grenada, where healthy coral reefs, solitary beaches, and mountainous rainforest are still abundant, and casinos and cruise ships are not. The case for making a side trip to Carriacou, Grenada’s endearing, oft-overlooked sibling. Snowshoeing and nordic skiing through the ghost towns of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. How to savor the good life and save money on ski trips to the Alps. Plus: Trekking, rafting, canoeing, fishing, and sailing in Chile’s forgotten Lake District; alfresco accommodations in Mexico; a heli-ski adventure in the other Georgia, and more.
Winter weight training, without the monotony: Though you might get an argument from the Body-by-Jake crowd, the way to find a workout that sticks is to think sport-specific. Three-day-a-week regimens for paddlers, cyclists, runners, skaters, and climbers. Breathing techniques to increase your free-diving downtime. The nutritional and gustatory lowdown on weight-gain powders.
Gifts to warm the cockles of your favorite outdoor athlete’s heart, from $1.29 to $2,300. Including: a point-and-shoot from the Rolls-Royce of camera makers; the Harley-Davidson bicycle; fat-free ahi jerky; snowshoes that borrow technology from rafting, cycling, and snowboarding; a briefcase designed for the rigors of the trail; Nikon’s poetic, polished-titanium binoculars; seriously hip swimsuits; the 3.1-ounce cell phone; the fix-anything Buck Tool; a picture frame born from the intersection of art and sport; and more. Plus: Coffee-table books from the Earth’s four corners, including Robert Glenn Ketchum’s Northwest Passage, Chris Rainier’s Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea, and Galen Rowell’s Poles Apart: Parallel Visions of the Arctic and Antarctic.
Between the Lines