Outside Magazine, May 2012

This month in Outside



The arrival of high-altitude helicopters on Mount ­Everest and other Nepalese peaks has transformed search-and-­rescue and saved lives. But the choppers have also ­added to the chaos at the top of the world—and introduced a deadly new brand of danger.

More difficult to assess than you think

The son of IMAX king Greg MacGillivray, Shaun MacGillivray has been on film sets from Saudi Arabia to Everest. So what has the crown prince of the giant screen learned from dear old dad? Keep an eye on the tiger, don’t smell the walrus, and never stop working.

Meet the men and women on the knife's edge of exploration

The top of the world is getting more crowded—last spring, 94 teams visited base camp, and 535 climbers reached the summit. Rescue operations are getting more sophisticated, too, with high-altitude helicopters and, starting this year, a team of Sherpa rangers. Here's a look at where things go wrong and the support systems in place when they do.

Twenty-one-year-old phenom David Lama represents a new breed of super-alpinist. He also has more detractors than Lebron James. When he took his talents to South America's iconic Cerro Torre last January, his bold free ascent highlighted an eventful season that will go down in history—and infamy.

Each spring, the modest mountains that line Iceland’s Troll Peninsula host creamy corn snow, sunlight that lasts until 10 P.M., and steep, rarely skied chutes that take you right to the ocean’s edge

As Mark Jenkins knows, wilderness first aid can hurt. (Just ask his patients.) So he finally did what everyone should do: he took a class from real experts.

Surprising advice that can save your life

The author packed up his house and family and moved to northeastern Brazil for a year. Fantasy or struggle? It’s complicated.

He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah ­Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved.

Summer is prime time in our national parks, and that means crowds—unless you know where to go. From Washington to Maine, here are 12 adventures that will have you exploring the emptiest quarters of our most spectacular landscapes.

To read these articles and more, check out our Adventure Issue page.

Since high-altitude rescue helicopters arrived in the Himalayas, the choppers have saved countless climbers’ lives. But as one tragic crash reveals, they’ve also introduced a new dimension of risk. Nick Heil investigates. Also: Mapping the most perilous zones on Everest. 


Shaun MacGillivray, the son of Imax mogul Greg MacGillivray, has been on movie sets since age three. The next king of the mega-screen talks to Thayer Walker about how to safely swim with polar bears, what he learned from Dad, and how documentaries can change people in ways blockbusters can’t. Plus: Images from a life behind the lens.

Sailing the world solo—at 16. Kayaking monster rapids in the Congo. Pulling off a daring first ascent in the Himalayas. And that’s just for starters. Meet Outside’s 2012 Adventurers of the Year: the men and women on the knife’s edge of exploration. By Tim Neville

After three tours in Iraq with the Marine Corps, Noah Pippin did his best to live a civilian life. Then, on his way to California to redeploy, he disappeared into Montana’s remote Bob Marshall Wilderness. What caused a dutiful soldier to go AWOL? And will he ever be seen again? Mark Sundeen follows Pippin’s trail into the woods.

First Look:
Between an angry mob, a big-budget film crew, and two landmark ascents, 2012 was Patagonia’s craziest climbing season ever. And 21-year-old super-alpinist David Lama was at the center of the racket. By Grayson Schaffer 

Summer is prime time in our national parks, and that means crowds—unless you know where to go. From Washington to Maine, here are 12 adventures that will have you exploring the emptiest quarters of our most spectacular landscapes. 

Mark Jenkins
has seen his share of backcountry accidents, and he used to think he knew how to handle them. Then he took a wilderness medicine course and learned just how wrong he’d been. Plus: How to survive four shockingly common injuries. 

A fresh take on a World War II–era motorbike.
Adventure-specific shoes for beach, travel, and trail.
Four new boats for all waterways, including two sit-on-tops and a kayak built for rough seas.


Iceland’s 5,000-foot peaks stay cloaked in world-class corn snow late into spring.  Nick Paumgarten heads north to ski from summit straight to the sea.

Peter Stark
moved his family to Brazil for one long year abroad. It wasn’t easy, but life-changing experiences rarely are.