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

Swing a hammer, light a fuse, and let the dams come tumbling down. So goes the cry these days on American rivers, where vandals of every stripe—enviros and fishermen and interior secretaries, among others—wage battle to uncork the nation's bound-up waters.

The endless summer set has yet to find Raglan's World class waves. Lucky for you.

The legend says Terje Haakonsen, snowboarding's five-time world champion, can win at will

Alaskan eccentric Trigger Twigg attempts the first winter ascent of the world's tallest face

In the beginning was the family compound, and it was fine. Then came the oil companies with their wells, and they were foul. And lately have come the shootings, the wrenchings, the bombings—and what's to come of all that, only the prophet knows.

How can one possibly put into words the majestic talent, the gracious modesty, the unrivaled discipline of the world's greatest skier? Like this.

Escaping the artistes and poseurs on the singletrack of San Miguel

Seven Olympic venues, one charming Main Street, and a host of High Peaks—it all adds up to Lake Placid, America's original snowbound resort.

He's named for a Stone Age weapon. He may be nuts as a bunny. But sometimes it's nice to have a Neanderthal at your side.

The Great Reinhold Messner unmasks his latest conquest

Can you feel it coming? Heat, hail, snow, rain. Wind, drought, flood, pain. Are you tired of waiting? Then hurry to Bangladesh, where the skies have already broken.

Think Whistler is the only thing that British Columbia has to offer? Think again.

"He is for sure not one of us," says a teammate of ski racer Hermann Maier. "He is beyond this world," says a former gold medalist. "He is a beast," they say, and finally, "He is the beast."

And other tales from the urban climbing gym

Heading the Call of Oregon's Clatsop Spit

A glistening fortune lies waiting beneath the sagebrush. Or so they might have you believe.

A bit of praise for life's wonders. Like forgiveness, redemption, and canine flatulence.

He's Rich, He's Popular, He's Good-Looking, He's Talented, He's Won a Gold Medal, He's Pretty Much Got Life Nailed. Shall we continue with the reasons Jonny Moseley is the happiest guy on earth at this moment — this ephemeral, intoxicating, telling moment?

It's surprising how far a ten-inch craft can carry you

To rise from the dead, to crush those who've slighted you, to best insurmountable odds, and to make a fortune doing so, would that not be the sweetest medicine? Lance Armstrong really, really hopes so.

Ted Nugent, '70s rock relic, loves the wild outdoors. Loves to seek out the earth's creatures, large and small, and shoot them. Loves that he could be the conservation movement's most valuable ally. Which is to say, he loves irony.

When a promising young runner went missing in Wyoming's Wind River Range, everything changed for the community of athletes she left behind.

Premise One: Eight years ago a drunk Joe Hazelwood piloted the Exxon Valdez into a reef. Premise Two: Eight years ago Joe Hazelwood martyred himself out of pride. Resolution One: After much suffering and introspection, Joe Hazelwood has found peace. Resolution Two: He's resolved absolutely nothing.

Summer after summer, the smokejumpers head for the front lines as the tinderbox forests of the West explode. Fire is the killer and the ally, and every time they escape it, they can't wait for the inferno to begin again.

Bill Haast, human pincushion, explains the pain and profit of being nailed 163 times—and counting—by his little scaly friends

In the dusty realm of big-league map collecting, one man cut a darker figure than his milquetoasty colleagues. Armed with an X-Acto knife and an arsenal of fake identities, he systematically ransacked the nation's libraries, hoping in his own peculiar way to dominate the globe.

They dropped from the sky as if from a dream, undetected, bearing dire messages. They had set out from the edge of the world–a wild island isolated in a frozen sea–and they came to rest in the depths of what is sometimes called the pit of the earth. They were…

You, too, can own a share of Henry VIII's sunken flatware—for $50,000. That is, if you cut a deal with Barry Clifford, the Pirate Prince to some, the Underwater Antichrist to others.

Partners of witches? Souls of the dead? Suckers of blood? Knee-deep in guano in a rank Texas cave with the man who knows the shocking truth about bats

The world wants them to stop, but it's the trade of their grandfathers. With a harpoon and their wits, they ply the waters of the Caribbean in search of their 40-ton prey. And when they're gone, it all goes with them.

They are virulent, microscopic menaces, diseases so deadly that they could swiftly destroy our nation's livestock and send the economy into a free fall—which leaves the government with the daunting task of keeping them from our shores. It's a battle being waged across the globe, and in the command center on tiny Plum Island, the folks in the lab coats are on red alert.

Dams break and walls of water sweep away cars like matchboxes. Time to call off the shaman.

These are desperate times for the world's largest cats, and for the people who are killing them. Can Siberia save itself, or will it soon be a land of no more tigers? In search of Panthera tigris altaica, icon of a culture that assumes the worst for itself and always finds that assumption confirmed.

Six young men set out on a dead-calm sea to seek their fortunes. Suddenly they were hit by the worst gale in a century, and there wasn't even time to shout.

Amid the panic over abductions and evil ETs, a gentle voice is heard. But do Steven Greer and his pilgrims have the candlepower to score that intergalactic high five?

There’s nothing funny about motion sickness. Really. I mean it.

What kind of person sticks a ferret down his pants for more than five consecutive hours? Our writer tried to find out.

As a young climber, David Roberts believed in the greatness of risk. Then death came suddenly, too easily. And it came again and again.

A consideration of hunting

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones seeks out the biggest and most remote lines in the latest film by Teton Gravity Research, Further. It premiers in the fall of 2012.

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