Peter Kaestner has traveled the world on an adventure-filled quest to become the first birder to hit 10,000. Ornithologist Jessie Williamson hitched a ride on a rollicking South American mission that involved land, sea, and (you guessed it) air.
A crazy-sounding idea—build a tube from the Pacific to bring water to Utah’s Great Salt Lake—raises a larger question: Are we willing to do absolutely anything to fight climate change?
Dad and I had always planned to climb Africa’s tallest peak together, but cancer took away our chance. I knew he wouldn’t want it to take mine, too.
My Rancher Parents Hate Wolves. I Took Them on a Yellowstone Wolf-Watching Tour to Change Their Minds.
Wolves are my favorite animal, but my parents see them as the enemy that kills their livestock
Randy Udall was most at peace in the wilderness. After he died on a solo backpacking trip, his daughter took up his tradition of hiking to a secret place in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, where she was surprised by what she found.
Meet YouTube’s quiet superstar: Martijn Doolaard, a semi-hermit Dutchman who has turned the slow, steady process of Alpine-cabin restoration into a masterpiece of performance art
Therapy on the hiking trail couldn’t fix the new normal of Oregon wildfire season, but could it help me grapple with it?
Katie Burrell has developed a brand around teaching winter-sports experts and strivers to chill out and share a laugh. Her upcoming film, ‘Weak Layers,’ revives the old party-hard ski comedy—with women at the center of the action.
Despite rising costs, surging crowds, and shorter winters, people still flock to the mountains. What keeps us coming back?
When one of the world’s best crack climbers was grounded by chronic fatigue syndrome—a mysterious illness with disabling symptoms that can include a mix of confusion, headaches, and sensory overload—his life became an uphill struggle just to feel human again.
When Leo Babler was born with a rare and deadly genetic disorder, his parents reshaped their lives, moving to the mountains, building out an adventure van, and making sure their son experienced the most beautiful wild places in the country during the time they had
In 1976, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, the daughter of legendary alpinist Willi Unsoeld, died while climbing the massive Indian peak for which she was named. Decades later, friends, family, and surviving expedition members offer insights into what went wrong during this controversial adventure, shedding light on an enigmatic young woman who lived without limits.
How did one of the best young bike racers in the country wind up dead in an Austin apartment? Our writer unravels the tangled story of a crime that shocked the world.
After more than a decade in the spotlight, the Hollywood star has a new HBO Max project, ‘The Climb,’ that lets him do what he loves most: scale gnarly cliffs alongside climbing icon Chris Sharma
The Colorado mountain town has always been famous for its steep skiing, epic powder, and hippies, oddballs, and celebs. But with changes like those of recent years, can a place stay weird?
You might not about outdoor adventure in New York City. But you should. With 51 nature preserves and 520 miles of coastline, there are hidden worlds of natural wonders to explore. Here's how to find them.
From the whimsical to the epic, these are our favorite stories of the year
In Utah, Christmas-tree lights are a very big deal. Meet the itinerant crew of climbers, river guides, ski bums, trekkers, and thru-hikers who work like super-elves to get ready for the year’s most beautiful holiday.
Bleeding Fingers, Hailstorms, and 2,000 Vertical Feet: How Three Women Set a Big-Wall Climbing Record
Sasha DiGiulian, Brette Harrington, and Matilda Söderlund traveled to Spain to send one of the hardest such routes. Rayu marks 16 pitches of biting limestone and a 5.14b crux. For DiGiulian, it also signaled a return to the height of her athletic career.
With Lake Mead drying up due to drought and climate change, the famous desert reservoir is revealing grisly secrets from the past, including the remains of people thought to be victims of Las Vegas foul play. Mark Sundeen hits Nevada for a freewheeling exploration of dark deeds, a rapidly unfolding apocalypse, and a parched future that will dramatically affect the entire American Southwest.
Last winter a ski-patrollers union in Park City, Utah, made headlines for its standoff against Vail Resorts over wages. The dust has since settled on negotiations, but the conversations they sparked about what ski-industry workers deserve may just be getting started.
Last year, Angel Collinson surprised everyone when she retired after a decade as a professional athlete. She’s still finding her way.
After becoming paralyzed from the chest down, the mountain athlete found an unlikely ally in recovery: psychedelics
Kurt Steiner has dedicated his life to skipping stones, developing a technique to produce throws that defy the laws of physics
Some of you are thinking, Ewww, no way. But open your hearts to the truth: spiders are among the most fascinating creatures on earth, and great neighbors to boot (goodbye, mosquitos!). With climate change putting them in danger, they could use a few new friends.
The 27-year-old former Navy SEAL may be one of the most gifted runners on the planet. Good thing he doesn’t want to race—yet.
Born on an island off the coast of Virginia, home to a wild herd that inspired the classic children’s novel ‘Misty of Chincoteague,’ this gentle, blue-eyed gelding enjoyed an adventurous life with a family in New Mexico. After his death, a mother and daughter went on a mission: to lay him to rest amid the sand and the waves.
“I really did spend 16-plus hours covering fewer than three miles”
Meet an amazing man who has dedicated his entire adult life to stone skipping, sacrificing everything to produce world-record throws that defy the laws of physics. To hear him tell it, he has no choice.
People say farmers aren’t supposed to get emotionally attached to livestock. Uh-huh. When fate sent our writer two newborn sheep with life-threatening birth defects, that kind of thinking was banished from the barn.
If you want workers to come back to the office, here's a thought: let them wear shorts
Eric and Pam Bealer were living in a cabin in rugged coastal Alaska when they made a dramatic decision: they would exit the world together
When retired art dealer Forrest Fenn hid a chest full of a million dollars’ worth gold, rubies, and diamonds in the Rocky Mountains, he sent thousands on a journey of desperation
The family of Lauren Davis desperately sought answers after she was fatally struck by a driver while biking to work in New York City in 2016. At every step, the criminal-justice system let them down, raising the question of what justice should look like for victims of traffic violence.
Leading cross-country bike tours was supposed to be the ultimate escape from the monotony of normal life. Instead it was a kind of torture.
In 2015, billionaire entrepreneur Johnny Morris opened a hunting-and-fishing store that doubles as a theme park, with multiple bars and restaurants, a luxury lodge, and an entire swampland forest decorated with taxidermy—all shoved inside a replica Egyptian monument. We sent one writer on a 24-hour mission to explore this exotic modern wilderness.
Rivendell Bicycle Works built a loyal following by ignoring convention. But what happens when good intentions spark public outrage in a country divided?
The legendary chef runs restaurants on three continents and has perfected the art of cooking over an open flame. We joined him in Patagonia to ask: What’s next?
Brian Boland was a prolific creator of handcrafted hot-air balloons who set distance and altitude records all over the world. But on July 15, 2021, during a routine outing with a family in Vermont, things went dramatically wrong. Sarah Schweitzer examines Boland’s eccentric and adventurous life, and finds out what happened on his fateful last flight.
Once thought to be basically immortal, giant sequoias are dying in droves as fires burn bigger, hotter, and longer than at any other point in human history. Protecting them is possible, but managing western woods is a Pandora’s box of tough choices.
People develop sensitivities to just about everything these days, but can you really be allergic to frigid temperatures? Our writer takes us on a wild—and potentially life threatening—journey to find out.
Mega cruise ships stopped sailing to Key West, Florida, during the height of COVID-19. Many locals appreciated the resulting peace and quiet and won a vote for large ships not to return. But the fight’s not over.
With fabrics created from alga, graphene, and copper, and hoodies built to last a hundred years, two British ad men are creating the apparel and gear of the future
After kicking off an enormous slide on a familiar backcountry run in Colorado, our writer was forced to reconsider his relationship with skiing
After a lifetime of prudishness, our writer tries to become one of those people who bares it all in the great outdoors
Thanks to a lot of hard work, skill, luck, and love, these amazing animals emerged safely from the flames and disruption
Fresh out of film school, Soraya Simi’s first documentary was centered around the Paralympic rower’s 2,500-mile solo journey to Hawaii. Except Madsen never made it.
When vast gas reserves were discovered off the idyllic coast of northern Mozambique, a crew of roughnecks flew in from around the world to make their fortunes. But in March 2021, Islamist rebels attacked, and the foreigners and thousands of Mozambicans were abandoned. Two hundred holed up at the Amarula Lodge, where the expats faced a choice: save themselves, or risk it all to save everyone. As oil and gas fuel a new war in Europe, Alex Perry pieces together, shot by shot, a stunning morality tale for the global economy.
He was an environmentalist versed in the dangers of our warming world, an expert trail runner, and eminently capable of moving far and fast outside. The heat killed him all the same.
The Swiss Alps are home to an incredible new hut-to-hut runners’ route called the Via Valais. It’s a little demanding—150 miles, nine stages, and 42,000 feet of elevation gain—but if you can take it on, you’re guaranteed one of the most spectacular adventures of your life.
This retired professional ultrarunner has found (almost) every waterfall along this wild stretch of central California coast. And, no, he won’t tell you where the best ones are.
Last summer, Tiffany Thiele, a young rock climber from Reno, Nevada, took her life after posting a Facebook message claiming she’d been raped by a ski patroller. She left behind an unsolvable mystery about what really happened, along with urgent questions about whether more could have been done to heal her feelings of pain and distrust.
In the heart of Cornhusker country, they know how to make their own fun. Native son Carson Vaughan drafted four friends, loaded up on beer, and did what may be the strangest float trip in the world.
In an excerpt from his new book, ‘Riverman,’ writer Ben McGrath recounts how he met an itinerant canoeist named Dick Conant, a fascinating character who mysteriously disappeared shortly thereafter
Last year, Annette McGivney lost her beloved yellow Lab, Sunny, and was overwhelmed by sadness. Since then she’s built a new life with a challenging rescue dog, and she’s learned a lot about the healing power of human and animal bonds.
It’s not easy being a progressive who works for a middle-of-the-road president. Mark Sundeen sizes up the interior secretary’s first year in office—which has been a disappointment to climate-change activists—and decides she’s most likely to make a mark through a historic reckoning over the U.S. government’s shameful running of Native American boarding schools.
In a small town in England in the early 1950s, a group of Brits gathered at a pub to form the world’s first off-road cycling club. They came from all classes—barons rubbed elbows with foundry workers—but were united by their love of the wild and a shared belief that a bike could get them anywhere they dreamed of. Seventy years on, Tom Vanderbilt heads to the UK to join a few current members in pursuit of the rough stuff.
How boredom and booze created an outlaw sport best left alone
Earth-loving New Yorkers are drawing from an unlikely arsenal of activism, hip-hop, marathon city-council Zoom meetings, and one sassy pug to hold the city to its zero-waste commitments. If they succeed, the environmental benefits could be huge.
The accident highlights an industry at a crossroads and raises a crucial question: As safety schools boom, who is responsible for making sure the students come home?
Mark Jenkins chose to skip a risky adventure with his friends. Twenty-five years later, he’s still haunted by what happened in his absence.
In the past two years, Americans have become disenchanted with work, leading to major strikes and what is being called the Great Resignation. But what if there was a better way? This writer went looking for that ever elusive work-life balance, learning how to get outside more and stress less.
Reeling from her husband’s request to divorce after 25 years of marriage and two kids, Florence Williams was experiencing debilitating grief. An accomplished reporter, she decided to explore the science of heartache to see if she could find a cure. In this excerpt from her new book, ‘Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey,’ she heads out for a 120-mile solo paddle on Utah’s Green River, with a too heavy portable toilet and a shattered heart.
Four years ago, the Minnesota phenom won historic Olympic gold in cross-country skiing, alongside Kikkan Randall. She was just getting going.
All over America’s ancient eastern mountains, there’s an organism that lives underground, tethered to tree roots, waiting to be hunted. It’s among the world’s rarest and most expensive foods, and it grows in a wide range of conditions. But there’s only one guy in the country who really knows how to find it. Rowan Jacobsen joins him in the search for the Appalachian truffle.
While getting his PhD in English, Logan Scherer developed an intense friendship with a male grad student that lasted for years, through his friend’s engagement and marriage to a woman. Scherer struggled to make sense of it, until he lost himself in a group of spinster nature writers from the late 19th century who eschewed marriage to live alone or with other women during a time when the language of queerness didn’t exist.
A secret abortion, pirates, and the peace found at the bottom of the ocean
With increased coastal flooding and erosion, climate change is harshing California’s mellow vibes. Officials say it’s time to retreat from the shore altogether. Residents want to stay and fight. Paul Kvinta reports from the front lines of a pitched battle, where geologists and millionaires are squaring off, and friendly fire between surfers isn’t so friendly.
When Maggie Shipstead set out to report on women-only expedition travel, she was driven by a desire to learn new skills in a low-bro-factor environment. But six days exploring Alaska with the state’s first woman-owned adventure outfitter turned out to be regenerative in ways she didn’t expect.
Hoping to help my brother beat his alcohol addiction, I set up a two-wheel road trip through the scenic terrain of northeast Kansas. As usual, he was funny, endearing, maddening, and burdened by problems I couldn’t solve.
For as far back as she can remember, Mardi Fuller grew up in a world of swimming lessons and swim teams, which was unusual for a daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Why the emphasis on water? Because of a mysterious death that haunted her family’s past.
All over the West, a housing crisis is causing workforce shortages, crippling local businesses, and threatening the culture and existence of mountain towns as we know them. But amid the doom and gloom, some people are fighting for solutions.
The grandeur of the Great Salt Lake stopped Brigham Young in his tracks and inspired John Muir to jump in for a swim. Yet now it’s in danger of disappearing, sucked dry by agriculture, climate change, and suburban lawns. Many Utahns would just as soon pave it, but as Bill Gifford learned during a yearlong exploration, there’s beauty and natural splendor here that deserves to live on.
How two rival teams fought storms and sleep deprivation to claim an 18-year-old paddling FKT
For decades, Deep Springs College in California resisted the push to go coed. But even though women are now allowed to attend, it still holds on to the past.