Outside Magazine, Mar 1999



For the preternaturally talented Alex Lowe, world's best climber, the path to every summit passes directly through his family room. Which, he's discovering, is a tricky route to take.

A gusty adventure in the wilds of Patagonia, both on bike and very suddenly off.

This year's World Extreme Skiing Championships will feature two types of descent: Hail Mary and Mother of God

  March 1999

Adventure Special
Out on the Edge of Never Been Done
It's hard to hear behind the clamoring games and shrill shills, but the heart of extreme is actually very quite and very real. As are its residents.

Looking at X Rays in the Garden of Eden
Suppose that beneath the Egyptian pyramids sat a wealth of pricey ore. Would you tear through the art and history to get at it? In Australia's wondrous Kakadu, they're doing just that.
By David Quammen

Our Business Is People. Well, People and Trout and Some Ancillary High-Margin Items …
They say there's a story behind every fish in the river. But frankly, who gives a fatty whoop? It's the stories from the gang at Pools and Riffles outfitters — Stan, Steve, Potter, Bethany-Anne, and President Jimmy C. — that you'll really want to hear.
By Ian Frazier

S P E C I A L   F E A T U R E
Live to Ride
A call to arms — or legs, really — with a simple if revolutionary creed: one man, one bike, one damn fine way to break a sweat.


  D E P A R T M E N T S
Dispatches: News from the Field
At the World Extreme Skiing Championships, a new generation of competitors breathes life into a do-or-die contest.

In China, an unlikely crusade to create one of the world's largest national park systems.
From a grove of trees named Happy, Comfrey, and Frodo, a pungent clan of Oregon activists keeps the chainsaws at bay, for now.
Robotic Austrian ski hero Hermann Maier shows spark — and ends up in handcuffs.
Hawaii's radical new watersport may sound like child's play. But trust us, it's not.
P L U S : World champion surfer Kelly Slater (barely) keeps his five-year winning streak alive, brides-to-be catch flak from wildlife advocates, and more.

The Wild File
What kinds of matter does Earth leave behind in space? What's the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? How does frost form? Are baby snakes really more poisonous than their parents?

Out There
In search of the solace that only violence can provide, our man stretches his legs among the bellicose fauna of Argentina's Vald‰s Peninsula — and finds that the "them" is disturbingly like the creature we call "us."
By Tim Cahill

Field Notes
The only thing to fear is fear itself? Not on a camping trip in Yellowstone's grizzly alley, where there's plenty of time to obsess over that "minty fresh" bear bait concealed in your pack and ponder that most perversely exhilarating of emotions.
By Patrick Symmes

Destinations: Welcome to the real Bali Hai
Maroon yourself on Vanuatu and you'll find idyllic South Seas adventure right outside your door. An island hopper's guide to world-class hiking, wreck diving, and sea kayaking on and around the Pacific's best-kept secret.
P L U S : Mastering the nuances of Vanuatu's ingenious national language. (Manwiwi means "Frenchman." Think about it.)

How competent is your heli-skiing guide? Find out before you head into the avalanche zone.
Centennial celebrations kick off at Mount Rainier National Park.
A new network of trails and cabins comes to an Alaskan state park, compliments of, you guessed it, Exxon.
P L U S : The Outside bargain hunter brings you low-cost airfares to Brazil and spring powder discounts at ski resorts across the west.

Bodywork: The new ways to stretch:
With so many cutting-edge theories, it's hard to know how or when to limber up. Enter our no-fuss guide to help sharpen your competitive edge. P L U S: Nine essential moves for a more pliable, injury-free you.

  The safe (and legal) new way to dope your blood.
Evidence that a popular herbal supplement may be no better than a placebo.
How to fine-tune your sleep-to-exercise ratio.

Review: Mobile electronics for your every move
The latest breed of totable technology — smart phones, wireless computers, and no-fail satellite devices — makes it possible to go into the backcountry without going incommunicado. Cutting-edge gadgetry from Compaq, DeLorme, GoAmerica, Magellan, Motorola, Nokia, Novatel, and Samsung.

  Buying Right: Beefy leather hiking boots to last you a lifetime.
The Other Stuff: Marker's inimitable Spring Glove, still the only one you need in all but the chilliest of climes; Protozoa-free drinking made easy with Safewater's new filter-in-a-bottle.
Books: Thomas Berger's The Return of Little Big Man, Annie Dillard's For the Time Being, and more.

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©1999, Outside magazine