He glanced through the glass and saw Tilikum staring back, with what appeared to be two human feet hanging down his side. There was a nude body draped across Tilikum’s back.
In the rugged eastern provinces of Afghanistan, where peaks rise thousands of feet on all sides and the next valley is a world away, American troops are engaged in a kind of alpine warfare not seen for decades. Months can go by without combat, but when you're patrolling terrain as dangerous and unpredictable as the enemy, the calm is often shattered when you least expect it.
Having constructed the greatest flotation device mankind has ever known, our fearless writer embarks on an ill-conceived, possibly insane crossing of alligator-infested North Florida via a string of seriously imperiled and incredibly beautiful rivers. (Yeah, it's a tube.)
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?
They've got a slight animal-control problem in Delhi, India: Thousands of wild rhesus monkeys, addled by the sprawl that's taking over their habitat, are dropping out of trees to steal food, chug booze, and murder prominent citizens. Did we mention that many of the victims believe these creatures are gods?
Tommy Caldwell needed a challenge, so he decided to hoist his clanking gear rack and free-climb one of Yosemite's hardest routes—a punishing 5.14 called Magic Mushroom—in 24 hours or less. Matt Samet was there from start to finish to watch the planning, training, and performance of a superhuman athlete at the top of his game.
Out on the far edge of the Alaska frontier, a man can hide his sins. Robert Allen Hale—a.k.a. Papa Pilgrim—bought a homestead outside the remote town of McCarthy where he imprisoned his family and conned the world with tales of a simpler life. But for the 15 children living the nightmare, the only choice was escape.
With Kelly Slater as his chief ambassador, SoCal surf legend Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz had a plan to teach the kids of Israel and Palestine how to get barreled—and bring peaceful vibes to the Middle East along the way. Of course that was before the Hamas supporters, the hashish, and the paparazzi got in the way.
When Pete Absolon, the Rocky Mountain director of NOLS, set out for a climb in Wyoming's Wind River Range, life couldn't have been better. A deadly mistake by another man ended it all in an instant—and started a nightmare that's never going to stop.
Before her 2005 arrest, eco-saboteur Chelsea Gerlach took part in nine Earth Liberation Front actions, including the 1998 arson that destroyed Vail Mountain’s Two Elk lodge. In an exclusive interview from behind bars, Gerlach talks about life on the run, destruction on behalf of the environment, and why she cooperated with the federal investigators who smashed the ELF.
When ultracyclist Bob Breedlove fatally collided with a pickup truck during the 2005 Race Across America, law-enforcement officials in Trinidad, Colorado, called it a tragic accidentand nothing more. But friends and family have been investigating his death ever since, and they're making some disturbing allegations. Can they prove their case, or are th
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…
Climb aboard for the ultimate ride with the ultimate boat buddy: Martin Litton, the Colorado River legend and conservation warrior who, as much as any other single person, shaped the Grand Canyon float trip into an American classic
There was evidence, but no investigation. A crime, but no suspects. Rumors, but no one willing to point the finger. When gunmen massacred up to 20 brown bears near a Canadian grizzly researcher's Kamchatka cabin, the warning was clear: On the lawless frontier of the New Russia, outsiders are no longer welcome.
Deep inside a remote canyon, a boulder shifts. In an instant, Aron Ralston's hand is pinned beneath half a ton of rock. So begins an ordinary hero's six-day ordeal of grit, pain, and courage—culminating in a decision to do the unthinkable.
He rescued some of the West's hallowed lands. He became one of the most influential environmental leaders of the century. In the process, he sacrificed friends, family, and anyone who couldn't keep up. Now, alone in the twilight, how does the archdruid make peace with it all?
Everybody knows that many athletes cheat by using performance-enhancing drugs like steroids, testosterone, and EPO. But what is it like to take these banned substances? Do they really help you win? To find out, we sent an amateur cyclist into the back rooms of sports medicine, where he just said yes to the most controversial chemicals in sports.
With their nifty new windmills, tidy techno-homes, and enviro-crusading queen, the Dutch are busy creating the cutest little ecotopia on earth—while stoking a booming hypercapitalist economy. What does tiny Holland know that America is too big and dumb to figure out?
What's that smell? It's a teeming avian sanctuary—and a sump of troubled waters. It's a mess that we created—and a puzzle we can't solve. It's California's Salton Sea, a hypersaline lake that kills the very life it shelters.
Two decades ago in Sarajevo, Bill Johnson won America's first Olympic gold medal in the downhill with an astonishing kamikaze performance. Now, in the wake of a comeback attempt that almost killed him, skiing's crash-course survivor struggles with the consequences of a life lived too fast.
His life’s grand pursuit has killed his closest companions. His bride-to-be is his best friend’s widow. His exploding fame owes as much to happenstance (stumbling upon Mallory’s body on Everest) and luck (escaping an avalanche in Tibet) as it does to his great skill as a mountaineer. An intimate look at the serendipitous, tumultuous, and nearly unbearable success of Conrad Anker.
Is it ever too late to become the caring parent you thought you could be? To find out, one man went in search of his adopted manatee—only to discover the many injustices that humankind has heaped upon these hapless marine mammals. And when Junior is fat, slow, and endangered, family values are nothing more than an easy way to break your heart.
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.
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.
Along the 43rd parallel in North America, raising pumpkins isn't just a sleepy backyard pursuit—it's an extreme sport. And nowhere are the stakes higher, or the intrigues thicker, than at the annual weigh-off of the World Pumpkin Confederation, the Olympics of garden-patch gigantism.
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.