Special Report: The Wayward West
America’s great wide-open is in the midst of a free-for-all like never before. An in-depth look at our most hotly contested landscape.
Jack LaLanne Is Still an Animal
He’s 81 years old and as feisty as ever, ready to match wits, brawn, and even skill in the sack with those one-fourth his age. “You don’t get it,” the man who invented modern physical fitness says to the incredulous. “I’m one runaway son of a bitch!”
By Donald Katz
A Darkness on the River
Twenty-six-year-old Patchen Miller had traveled to the Amazon jungle on the adventure of a lifetime. Three months later his father followed in his footsteps, trying to come to terms with the young man’s tragic death–trying, at the very least, to find a way to start over.
By Tim Cahill
Born Again by the Schussmeter
In the heart of the Austrian Alps, where the head instructor is called the Pope, skiing is more than mere sport. But can perfecting your technique on the mountain really help you find redemption back home? Maybe not, but you can hope. Plus: A guide to skiing the promised land.
By Chip Brown
My Gelding, Myself
What makes having a horse so damn all-consuming? The surge of speed and power that can be felt only from the back of the beast–otherwise known as the thrill at the center of the thrill.
By Jane Smiley
Superstar climber Alison Hargreaves and six others die on K2, leaving nagging questions about their ill-fated ascent. An obsessed zoologist closes in on the Amazonian version of Bigfoot. A polygamist hotelier opens his cliff dwelling for business in southeastern Utah. America’s top hypochondriac distance runner tries for a three-peat at the Everest Skymarathon. Plus: Animal-rights activist Rod Coronado gets 57 months in prison, an unlikely South African takes the world’s longest and richest kayak race, a review of Charles Manson’s (yes, that Charles Manson’s) eco-folk CD, and more.
Climbing a hollow, 150-foot-tall tree sounded fun, but was it worth entrusting himself to the world’s most cheerfully oblivious adventurer? High in the Costa Rican rainforest, held captive in one woman’s loony sanctuary of unbridled optimism. By Randy Wayne White
The Wild File
If hot air rises, why is it always cooler in the mountains? Why aren’t acorns called “oak nuts”? What is it that sends those poor lemmings over the edge?
Finding that perfect resort: Whether your skiing label reads expert, advanced, or intermediate, somewhere there’s a mountain that fits you to a T-bar. From the frightfully steep faces of Jackson Hole to the hassle-free cruisers of Sunday River, nine ski areas with just the terrain you’ve been looking for.
Training for the all-around winter athlete: Downhill skiing, cross-country, telemarking, and snowboarding all use the same muscles–but tax them in very different ways. Seven dry-land exercises for a season of snow-sport dabbling. Plus: Intake: How to keep hydrated during a fluid-robbing day on the slopes, and Strategies: A six-pronged strategy for avoiding alpine ACL injuries.
The new breeds of ski: From powder-loving fat boards to easy-turning hourglass designs, this year’s alpine technology is more than topskin deep. Front-entry boots that provide the precision of racing models–without the nasty shin-bang. Beefed-up ski bindings to enhance your control. Plus: Alston Chase, Diane Ackerman, and Bill McKibben heat up the growing green-versus-green environmental debate with a trio of new books.
Between the Lines