Ed Viesturs, America’s hardest-working thin-air mutant, heads back to the Himalayas for another lucrative whirlwind climbing season. Two star-crossed skaters tough-love each other into the record books. Satellite dish owners scan the heavens for hundreds of channels and extraterrestrials. Joie de vivre triumphs over hard-core at the Raid Gauloises. The stink in Tanzania over Mary Leakey’s missing-link footprints. Plus: Robyn Erbesfield takes her fourth straight sport-climbing world championship, Greenpeace files suit against–but of course–the French, more travails for the Iditarod, the Al Capone of Anasazi grave robbing goes to prison, and more.
How do you prove you’re the planet’s best angler? With boxers around his ankles and a fire in his belly, the pride of Florida takes on the Ironman Fly-Fishing Championship of the World.
By Randy Wayne White
The Wild File
Why can’t we get syrup from oak trees? Since the earth’s core is constantly losing heat, should we be worried about global cooling? How do boomerangs work?
Paddling the high waters of spring: whether you like your rivers at a scenic simmer or a screaming Class V boil, runoff-fed jewels for everyone from expert kayakers to guided rafters to kiddie-toting canoeists. Nine of North America’s best paddling schools. How to rent the farmhouse, cottage, or villa of your European-vacation dreams. Plus: Climbing, rappelling, spelunking, rafting, and trekking in Borneo, crewing on a 397-foot tall ship in the Mediterranean, and more.
The newfangled, old-fashioned total-body workout: With a few challenging twists, simple calisthenics can build both power and stamina. The latest strength-training regimen for those who prefer their backyard to the health club. An indoor trainer that finally cuts the monotony. Plus: How to make the most of your in-line skating jaunts, and the word on those funny-looking nasal strips.
High-performance in-line skates: With much-improved handling and acceleration, the new generation promises not just to keep you up, but to keep up with you. Eight of the best urethane-wheeled vehicles around. Streamlined protective skate gear to keep skin from pavement. Plus: The waterproof, lightweight Blue Ridge Camping Hammock, Slingshot’s no-compromise folding mountain bike, Who Owns the West? by William Kittredge, and more.
Between the Lines
After spending most of his life in the shadow of legendary father Jacques Cousteau, estranged son Jean-Michel figured he was entitled to a little love and respect. How wrong he was. A tragic tale of ego that is splitting apart the first family of undersea exploration.
By John Brant
Bodies of Evidence
Photographic proof that athletes are different–or at least certain parts of them are.
By Cory Johnson
The Red Badge of Make-Believe Courage
What’s it like to die slowly and alone on America’s deadliest battlefield? Only the tubby bearded guys know for sure. Marching the hills and dales of Gettysburg, Confederate Boy asks: Are these Civil War reenactors heroes, zeroes, or belly-full-of-beer-o’s?
By Jack Barth
The rain-drenched, sweat-soaked, mud-splattered, yet highly civilized fat-tire primer: What you need to know before taking to the trails this spring.