There's at least one major upside to the bursting of the real-estate bubble: The kind of adventure-ready second home you've always dreamed about is suddenly within reach. From mountain retreats to lakefront outposts to slopeside condos, here's your primer on where to invest for the long haul.
Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...
Kick Kennedy The dynastic brothers are gone, but up comes the next generation. Kick, 21, a senior at Stanford, has quietly built a résumé fighting for water conservation. In 2006, she joined an Imax crew filming Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk and became…
The season's most gripping adventure flick is...German?
(February 18, 1969—November 10, 2009)
The season's most gripping adventure flick is...German?
Here are six ways you can change the world.
The latest news from the world's highest peaks.
I gearing up to make a Denali summit attempt some time next year and I wondering if my Scarpa Summit GTX boots with a good overboot will be up to the task. I know it is crazy cold up there and I like my toes. What do you think? Kevin Lyndhurst, NJ
Hello, I'm looking to make a winter ascent of Mount Rainier. I need an altimeter. I'm not sure if I should get an altimeter watch (like the Casio Pathfinder) or a GPS (Garmin Oregon 400T, Oregon 300, or Dakota 20). I don't have to worry about the battery problem with the watch. Then again, it's nice to have a GPS, but they only get 14 hours of battery life. The Dakota gets 20. In sub-zero temps, I would need to carry everything in my pockets. Any ideas? Brett Highland Lakes, NJ
Clear some space on the bookshelf.
Five of our favorite trips.
Alarming new science shows that thin air can wreck brain cellsat lower altitudes than you'd think. Here's how to protect yourself.
Is an expedition or burly mountaineering tent (such as The North Face Mountain 25 or Mountain Hardwear's Trango) needed for Aconcagua? Will a sturdy four-season tent suffice? Azad Los Angeles, CA
What do you think about the Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Mountaineering Boots? I used them on Mt. Rainier and they kept my feet plenty warm, but I was wondering if you thought they might be suitable for Pico de Orizaba in Mexico. It is about 4,000 feet higher than Rainier. I don't relish wearing double plastic mountaineering boots anywhere, and hey, the red color of the Lowa is, well, cool . . . Stan El Dorado Hills, CA
Climbing K2 is the next biggest thing. We refuse to whine about it.
Next year, I would like to climb Kilimanjaro with my brother to celebrate his 30th birthday. Can you recommend any tour organizers who have a particularly good reputation for treks up Kilimanjaro? We are hoping to cp instead of staying in huts and will probably select a moderately intense route up the mountain.
Luanne Freer talks about saving lives in the world's highest emergency room.
I purchased a pair of Scarpa Summit GTX mountaineer boots, kind of on a whim (I'm a gear nut). I plan on climbing Rainier and some other smaller peaks in the northwest, and I'm wondering: Do people trek in these boots all the way to the top, or do they change in to larger mountaineering boots on summit day? David Seattle, WA
I'm a beginning mountaineer looking to tackle a few mountains this summer. What are some challenging peaks in the United States? Beau R. Rochester, NH
2009 Travel Awards
I will be going up to 23,000 feet and need to do a documentary film there. Which camera and battery set do you recommend for HD shooting. Huma Beg Islamabad
India's Shark's Fin is a 6,500-foot rock route that's twice as long and just as steep as anything on El Capitan, and once left me defeated. When I took it on for the second time, at 45, a blizzard promptly pinned our team to the wall like insects. Which made me wonder: was the mountain telling me something?
Melissa Arnot wants to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen.
Video and Gallery
I will be spending three months at Everest Base Cp. What jacket would you recommend? I a 5'1" female, and it seems all the jackets targeted for temps at 8,000 meters are only made for men. Torrey Kailua, HI
Ski and climbing guide Michael Silitch is the only American working for the Compagniedes Guides de Chamonix, the exclusive, secretive outfit that runs the show in France's most extreme winter-sports town. It's a good life, but like any outsider, he knows that no matter how hard he works, he may never make it all the way in.
At only 24, Seattle's Colin Haley has turned heads around the world with career-making alpine climbs, including an unprecedented team traverse of Patagonia's torre massif. He's driven to be the best-risky business in an era when the cutting edge leaves no margin for error.
Im attempting to summit Aconcagua, over 22,000 feet and known to be very cold and windy. Which ccorder can I safely use at this altitude? Brendan Chicago, Illinois
Is the Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL Parka good for Denali? Eduard Burleson, Texas
I climbed Rainier in June of 2008 and hated the plastic boots. I’m returning to Rainier next summer and looking for a good pair of non-plastic boots that take crampons. What do you suggest? Dayton Baltimore, Maryland
The 37-year-old Victor, Idaho, resident spends over 100 days a year in the field, often chasing the world's best skiers around in snowy ranges from Bolivia to Morocco. Here's what he usually takes along.
Im climbing Kilimanjaro this summer. Does it make sense to use a silk liner on the inside of my sleeping bag and a vapor barrier liner on the outside of the bag? Lauren Edmonton, Alberta
I have a pair of Montrail ICE 9 insulated boots that I used on Aconcagua with insulated gaiters. I'd like to take them to Denali with a full overboot. The guide outfit, however, recommends double boots only. Should I go ahead with my set-up? Dean Bittern Lake, Alberta
I'm climbing in the Cordillera Real of Bolivia this May, and I know I need to have a down jacket. I hear it can get really cold there. What type of down jacket would you recommend? Xavier Charlotte, North Carolina
Turn your vacation into a full-body recalibration with these performance-enhancing getaways
I'm planning a summer ascent of Mount Shasta and want to know what you recommend for a backpack and sleeping bag. Is a zero-degree bag warm enough? I lean toward being a cold sleeper and prefer synthetic. I was told by the guide service to have a 4,500-cubic-inch pack. But Im a petite woman, so isn't that a bit large? Julie Aliso Viejo, California
I about to take on a few mountaineering trips involving Mount Rainier, Mount Shasta, and some of the Colorado 14ers. What is your recommendation for decent pants that are waterproof and breathable and will hold up to wearing a harness for an extended period of time? E.J. Dallas, Texas
I'm attending a Himalayan Mountaineering Course in Nepal next month, and ski goggles are recommended on the gear list. Ive always relied on my Julbo sunglasses. What are the merits of goggles, and can you recommend a type? Paul Perth, Western Australia
After a Pakistani military helicopter plucked stranded Slovenian super-alpinist Tomaz Humar from Nanga Parbat in 2005, detractors lambasted him for milking the rescue as a reality drama to draw millions of visitors to his Web site. But in November, Humar, 38, returned to the Himalayas and nabbed an astounding solo…
To put it simply, I want one boot to rule them all. Is there a single pair that works for mountaineering, splitboarding, and AT skiing? Or should I pull out a second mortgage on my house and buy three new pairs of sport-specific boots? Matthew Tacoma, Washington
Can you recommend a good mountaineering boot for women (specifically for those of us with small, like size five, feet)? I have seen debates about plastic boots and double boots. What will the guru say? Jing Boston, Massachusetts
Nine all-stars tell it like it is
Im climbing Mount Washington for the first time this winter. I have The North Faces Mountain Light Jacket and Denali Jacket. Do I need a down jacket too? Dan Wilmington, Vermont
Mysteries of the mind-body connection: Why does Willie Nelson make me run faster than the White Stripes? And why do both sound so much better coming out of the Thump Pro? I don't have answers, but I do know that after several trail runs I fell shamelessly in love with…
Im climbing Denali via the Muldrow Glacier in May 2008, and Id like to start breaking in some boots (and my feet). Unfortunately, Im a size 14 and having trouble finding double-plastic boots large enough. Any chance that my old (c. 1982), but well cared for, double-leather boots would be adequate? Glen Ann Arbor, Michigan
What's the best alpine climbing pack out there for multi-day trips, carrying no more than 50 lbs? I'd like it to have good back ventilation and do double-duty: light-weight backpacking trips up to a week and winter mountaineering. Anything meet this criteria? Joseph Torrance, California
Can a reluctant climber avoid his fate? In an exclusive excerpt from his new book, The Eiger Obsession, John Harlin III faces his legacyand the mountain that killed his Father.
The Alps Trailer: When director Stephen Judson, 61, decided to follow John Harlin III up the Eiger for the stunning new Imax film The Alps (opening in March), he enlisted the best in alpine filmmaking, putting Farther Than the Eye Can See…
Which sturdy but lightweight boots are suitable for summer ascents of mountains such as Rainier and Hood? Tim Chardon, Ohio
Im climbing Aconcagua this December and need a warm parka. It seems I have a prejudice against down, because Im drawn to synthetics such as the Mountain Hardwear Voodoo Belay and the Patagonia DAS parkas. Do you have a preference? I keep coming back to you because no one has reached your level of gear consciousness. Stan El Dorado Hills, California
Most people suggest plastic boots for winter mountaineering, and I was wondering if this is an absolute, considering new materials for non-plastics. Also, I'm typically hard to fit (narrow heel). Your opinion? And any suggested boots? Brian Pequannock, New Jersey
I’ve done a small amount of mountaineering and have been trained on how to use an ice axe. But now I’m getting more into the sport and would like to buy my own equipment. How do I pick out an ice axe?
What type and size backpack do you recommend for climbing Mount Rainier? Dan Ann Arbor, Michigan
I’d like to start doing some mountaineering and need to buy crampons. I have a great, broken-in pair of REI Spirit II GTX boots. How can I tell if my boots are crampon compatible? And if they are, which ones should I get? David Dallas, Texas
What's to love in 2006? How about 100 of the most newsworthy athletes, products, gadgets, bold ideas, and badass feats? From Lance's remarkable retirement (you try raising $500,000 for charity in one night) to a cell phone that logs your training run (and tells you where to turn) to a 33-item gift guide (check out Oakley's Bluetooth shades), here ar
No Shortcuts to the Top No Shortcuts to the Top No Shortcuts to the TopThere Is No Me Without You There Is No Me Without You Ed Viesturs, with David Roberts (Broadway, $24) WHEN SEATTLE mountaineer Ed Viesturs topped out on 26,545-foot…
No other alpinist in America has knocked off as many coveted ascents—or picked as many fights—as Steve House. But after finding a new climbing partner and conquering one of the most daunting routes in decades, is the world's most outspoken mountaineer finally ready to make nice?
The disappearance of two of North America's best alpinists left a grave question: What happens when the only way out is up?
I just got invited to a four-day hiking trip around Aspen, Colorado, early this fall (while the aspen leaves are bright yellow, I've been told). I'm excited about the trip, but I'm from Missouri so I'm worried about the altitude. Is there anything I can do to prepare for four days of hiking at 9,000+ feet of elevation? Carl T. Missouri
Survivors from Everest '96 recall a day of terror and confusion that many still believe was distorted in ways that oversimplified complex events and dishonored the dead.
David Sharp's lonely death on Mount Everest revived the old, raging debates about personal ethics and the wisdom of commercially guided climbing. But whatever went right and wrong in 2006, the bottom line remains: You challenge this peak at your own risk, because its punishments are swift, terrible, and blind.
You need to learn your lesson! So listen up to Mike Roberto, a fast-talking consultant who uses the '96 saga as a teaching tool for students, lawyers, and businessmen.
Sending Jon Krakauer to Everest was my idea. After the news broke, I spent the better part of a day wondering if I'd put him in a frozen grave.
Client, Mountain Madness
It's time to take a fresh look at how to make the most of your 48 hours of weekend freedom. From high-adrenaline blasts to ultimate Zen sessions, we've created 37 custom plans to match every mood. Start packingyour adventure starts Friday.
What would you do after you'd been trapped in the wilderness and forced to cut off your own arm? You probably wouldn't try to become the first person to climb all 59 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in winterand alone.
Naysayers claim the age of adventure is over. On an unclimbed peak in Tibet, our man declares that it has just begun.
WHEN AMERICAN CLIMBER Greg Mortenson stumbled into the Pakistani village of Korphe in 1993—lost, starving, and separated from his expedition mates after an unsuccessful attempt to summit K2—he had no idea that the three days he’d spend recuperating there would change his life forever. To thank the locals who nursed…
Time to tune up that garageful of gear (we don't mean lawn chairs) and devote your next outing to full-throttle fun.
Because every second you’re not living life to the fullest is an opportunity missed—and the clock is ticking. To get you going, we’ve handpicked a no-regrets, full-throttle, see-the-world list of 50 things to do before you die—from climbing an 8,000-meter peak to making the perfect martini. Pro surfer Kelly Slater…
Last summer, the headless corpse of Reinhold Messner's brother Günther emerged out of the snowmelt on Pakistan's Nanga Parbat. After 35 years of nasty arguments and accusations, would the discovery finally reveal who was to blame for his death and solve one of mountaineering's greatest mysteries?
The future doesn’t just happen. The next frontiers of adventure, fitness, gear, and sport are crafted by bold visionaries with world-changing dreams—and the minds and muscles to make them real. Behold the 25 all-star innovators leading us beyond tomorrow. 1. Conrad Anker: High-Altitude Altruist 2. Josh Donlan:…
Name: DANIELLE FISHER Danielle Fisher BASE CAMP: Fisher in her parents’ backyard in Bow, Washington Home: Bow, Washington Gig: Mountaineer Height: 5’7″ Weight: 130 Age: 20 IN JUNE, FISHER became the youngest American to stand atop Mount Everest—and the youngest person ever to complete the Seven Summits, knocking…
It's time for a radical reform of high-altitude mountaineering�and a fresh debate over what it means to climb right
Pioneering climber, explorer, and mapmaker Bradford Washburn has shot some of the most epic mountain photography of all time�much of which has never seen the light of day. Kurt Markus delves into a cache of unforgettable images and reports on the long, full life of an alpine icon.
“Never say never, but I have no desire to climb over 8,000 meters again,” says mountaineering superstar Ed Viesturs. Well, you can’t blame him. Over the past 16 years, Steady Eddie has spent an estimated 25 days above 8K (26,240 feet) en route to becoming the first American to climb…
I climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August. I have been skiing before but never in sub-zero conditions. Will two layers of long underwear under two layers of fleece and a waterproof, windproof shell jacket be enough to handle the cold at over 19,000 feet? Or do I really need to get down or something like it? Steve Moorpark, California
What are the best parka and boots for Aconcagua? Eugenia Sunnyvale, California
Flush with tech-boom cash and answering to no one, 'Alpinist' chronicles the exploits of a loosely aligned group of climbers known as the Brotherhood, who devote themselves to difficult routes, minimal gear, and big-time pain and suffering. Are these guys just a holier-than-thou eliteor the salvation of mountaineering?