Outside Magazine, Sep 2000



Pancho Villa lives! Viva high adventure down in Mexico's Copper Canyon.

Science is sprinting toward the super-enhanced athlete. Say hello to tomorrow's inhuman being.

Vowing to change the world of endurance running, where Kenyan athletes have been treated like indentured servants, a revolutionary band has established a base in a perfect green valley. And where is this magical place, this Vuleefore? In suburban America. Where George Washington slept. Where an enemy already guards its turf.

IPO sluts, "lifestyle" vintners, and eco-radicals bearing lawsuits. Eroding hillsides, glassy-winged sharpshooters, and an imperiled river with dying steelhead. Napa Valley has them all, and each lends its own bouquet of New Economy hilarity, nose-out-of-joint agrarian rage, and NIMBY intolerance to wine country's unique, full-bodied blend of environmental poli

The Rise and Fall and Exile and Triumphant Possible Return of Rod of Massachusetts to the Battle-Torn Bedouin Kingdom of Dahab

Warning: Research at your own risk. Welcome to the new frontier, where scientists use extreme adventure skills in the wild pursuit of knowledge.

Has this tired old world been explored-out? Not Down Under, where uncharted, bottomless slot canyons hide just west of Sydney.


Ascent of the Athlete
On the eve of the Sydney Games, we sing the body electric. And then some. An anatomy lesson delivered by some of the most evolved physiques in the world.
Photographs by Gerald Bybee

Endurance Predator
We were all runners, once. Which is why we are still so enthralled by the Olympics—a chance to rediscover our Inner Pleistocene Man. Essay by Bernd Heinrich

Future Jock
Gene doping. Cybernetic implants. Nanomedics. Pretty soon, who goes home with the gold may be determined by the same brainy folks who brought you the Human Genome Project.
By Jeff Greenwald

The Secret of Vuleefore
Jim Shea had a dream: to bring up-and-coming Kenyan runners to the States, pick up easy money on the national race circuit, and then set the whole team on a course for imminent world domination. If only going the distance were that simple.
By Christopher McDougall

Sheikhs and Freaks
Eight years ago, Rod Rotondi stumbled into Dahab, a sleepy little oasis on the shore of the Red Sea, and fell in love. (Is no problem.) He befriended the local Bedouin clan and opened Club Red, a dive shop-cum-hotel for ganja-loving nomads. (Is no problem.) Then one day he forgot to pay his bills. (Is big, BIG problem.)
By Patrick Symmes

The Bonfire of the Wineries
When the nouveau richest of the riche began invading pastoral Napa Valley, they brought an air of boomeresque Manifest Destiny. But these manse-building, wine-snorkeling gentleman vintners hadn't counted on a snarky environmentalist with a video camera and an irate old-money deodorant heir.
By James Conaway

Rough Data
Lab coats? We don't need no stinkin' lab coats! Meet the escaped scientists who spend their days rappelling into magma-filled craters, dunking themselves in freezing glacial wormholes, and wrestling toothy man-eatin' creatures—so that you don't have to.
By Peter Lane Taylor

  D E P A R T M E N T S
America Burns: The Western wildfire season was barely a month old when fire officials ranked it among the worst in the nation's history.Two million acres had been incinerated, and two of the fires had come disturbingly close to nuclear waste sites. As new conflagrations loom, we sift the cinders for answers.
Also: Smokey's debut; the first smoke jumper; and other great moments in wildfire history.

  Infernal Combustion: How a smoldering tuft of grass grows into an 1,800-degree inferno.
Map in Flames: Plotting the most notable disasters, and which forest may burn next.
PLUS: Meet the techreationalists! Armed with gadgets and a bad case of summit fever, dotcom types are storming California's Mount Shasta.

The Wild File
Is "Harvest Moon" the only lunar moniker? Does water freeze at a different temperature at higher altitude? Can your body tell one sugar from another? Can a daddy longlegs grow back a lost limb? By Stephanie Gregory

The Hard Way
Pinned more than 200 feet high on a canyon wall in the Australian Blue Mountains, with no way up or down, three mates confront the enduring truth of Aussie adventure: In extracting yerself from one nightmarish pickle, yer likely just pullin' yerself into another. By Mark Jenkins

Going Deep: Venture into Mexico's remote Copper Canyon—a network of seven gorges that is deeper in places than its more trafficked Arizona cousin—and you'll find unexplored caves, hikes in lush forests, and singletrack beaten into the earth by the indigenous, peripatetic Tarahumara Indians. Bonus: unraveling the mystery behind infamous revolutionary Pancho Villa's bullet-riddled Dodge.


  Sydney, Beyond the Games: Olympic'd out? Hop a morning flight from Sydney to Heron Island—one of the Great Barrier Reef's southernmost islands—and dive with sharks.
Also: Summit Sydney Harbour Bridge, or hightail it out of town to six of Australia's highly accessible national parks.
Steals:West Virginia—an affordable place to bike, hike, and fly-fish your heart out, mountain mama.
Fresh Tracks: The search for a Canadian lake serpent; Reinhold Messner attempts the seven holy summits; African nations let wildlife roam free.

Attitude Adjustment: After six months of (mostly) sticking to the nation's leading psychological fitness program, our motivational guinea pig Paul Keegan checks in again with the guru of mental toughness. Is he ready to take on the world, or just delusional?

Shell Shocked: Recent innovations in water-shedding fabrics are turning up in a new crop of lightweight jackets that'll fend off whatever you can throw at 'em, come light drizzle or thrashing monsoon. The latest outerwear offerings.

  Backcountry lighting options, batteries not included.
A bigbombproof case to protect your longboard.
Behold, the pinnacle of sleeping bag design.
The easily portable 3/4-size Baby Taylor guitar.
PLUS: The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory, by Peter and Leni Gillman; Midnight Sun, by Elwood Reid; Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon, by Patrick Tierney; and The Last River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-La, by Todd Balf.


Between the Lines

Active Traveler Directory

Cover photo illustration by Gerald Bybee/SF
Styling by Charlene Chamberlain