South America contains the Amazon, the Andes, 19,000 miles of coastline, and arguably more adventure than any other continent. So where to start? These ten perfect trips, from exploratory rafting in Peru to skiing in Chile to beach-hopping Brazil.
A brash new company is revolutionizing crisis response by sending ex-military to rescue adventurers. So why all the enemies?
The annals of adventure are filled with people who didn't come back alive. Here, those closest to six departed luminaries share their memories and the keepsakes that have helped them move forward.
The U.S. military has always excelled at training soldiers, but they've had a tougher time helping them adjust to peace. The author joins 11 combat veterans in Nepal as they test the most promising new postwar therapy: adventure.
With so many novice adventurers filing suit when something goes wrong, outfitters are shielding themselves behind increasingly dense liability forms. What does the mumbo jumbo really mean? We asked a crack team of lawyers.
They met in Alaska and became the ultimate adventure couple, biking and hiking and skiing their way to lifelong commitment. Then the kids and careers arrived, and the passion started leaking like oil from his bro truck. (Don't get her started on that.) Can a hardcore backpacking trip stand in for couples therapy? The author drags her husband into the Colorado wilderness to find out.
In the age of DIY filmmaking and featherweight satellite modems, capturing the actionand uploading it ASAPis just as important as nailing the summit. Nobody does it better than Jimmy Chin and the climber-producers of Camp 4 Collective. Last November, the author recruited them for an assault on the sandstone spires of Chad's Ennedi desert.
What is it about cyclists that can turn sane, law-abiding drivers into shrieking maniacs? The author ponders the eternal conflict with help from bike supercommuter Joe Simonetti, who each week survives the hostile, traffic-clogged rat race between the New York exurbs and Midtown Manhattan.
Decades after the Soviet-era meltdown drove 60,000 people from their homes in the Ukraine, a rebirth is taking place inside the exclusion zone. With Geiger counter in hand, the author explores Europe's strangest wildlife refuge, an enchanted post-apocalyptic forest from which entirely new species may soon emerge.
Greg Mortenson did it. So Shannon Galpin, a single mom and former Pilates instructor with no humanitarian experience, figured she could, too. She sold her house, started a nonprofit, and flew to Kabul to set up women’s educational and health programs, from scratch, in the world’s most troubled country. The author joined her on her most audacious fundraiser yet.
The most creative and affordable array of trips we’ve seen in years. Time to pack your bag.
Whitewater kayaker Hendrik Coetzee had decided to call it a career after a decade of first descents on the wildest rivers in Africa. The river’s most feared predator had a different ending in store.
Every winter, the Pacific stirs up massive ocean swells that descend on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. For 50 years, the surf world has followed suit, coming together to crown their champions, celebrate a sport many consider a religion, and ride some of the biggest waves on the planet. Welcome to the North Shore.
Your Challenge: Choosing the right adventure in New Zealand, a place that offers the best of everything. Your Solution: Our heavily researched, carefully formulated, and totally brilliant ten-step plan.
Sixteen years ago, the man who helped raise Megan Michelson was shot to death at a remote kayaking lodge in Northern California. Michelson embarks on a painful search to find out what happened, and why.
After Marine Corps Veteran Ronnie Simpson survived an explosion in Iraq in 2004, he threw himself at an audacious goal: to sail around the world. It almost killed him.
Aspen’s Michael Ferrara is bringing attention to a little-known problem: post-traumatic stress disorder among the people who save our lives
Soccer's hardest-working man has spent a lifetime developing the endurance, speed, and smarts needed to close the deal when it counts.
Will caveman calisthenics be the next big thing for adventure athletes?
The caffeine-free, fully cleansed, take-a-nap, buff-as-hell guide to a new you.
Ride along as an international group of up-for-anything clients gets schooled on tourism's wildest frontier: Afghanistan.
Now more than ever, the world could use some bright ideas. Like these.
What’s it like to watch a Hollywood director turn your life-threatening ordeal into entertainment?
A Watch for Every Ego
These five chefs from Colorado are realizing that there's no better pairing than fine cuisine and high-altitude fun.
In the aftermath of the Big Leak, the author wrangles a skipper, a conservationist, and the real Forrest Gump to hoist canvas and sail into the mess that is the Gulf of Mexico. But here's the crazy part: While stewing in America's worst environmental disaster, he has a hulluva lot of fun.
At 25, he has a pair of X Games medals, a blossoming photojournalism career, and a well-received memoir. But no legs.
Caught in an avalanche. Mastless in the Indian Ocean. Come back alive from your worst nightmare.
Master all things meteorological with our expert primer on sun, wind, snow, and rain
Before the event, the doc gave me a six-day course of steroids for my back and threw in a bottle of Vicodin. “At your age,” he said, “after this race, you’re going to need it.”
When minister and aid specialist James Gulley came home alive from the Haitian earthquakebarely, after an incredible survival ordeal in Port-au-Princehe turned right around and went back. His son went, too, discovering the true power of a faith he'd never shared.
There's a determined man chasing Lance Armstrong, and he has a harpoon: Jeff Novitzky, a brilliant and relentless federal agent who's out to prove that bike racing's greatest champion cheated and lied.
Running a DIY dog-rescue operation is never easy, but when you've got two dozen misfit animals under your care, you need a way to let off steam.
Dallas Trombley spent about $200,000 on six failed attempts to build and float a raft down the Hudson River. He’s not sure why, but he’s back for more.
He's the original dirtbag hero, with a record of first ascents and endless exploration that will never be matched. At 87, Fred Beckey is still crazy for rock.
All told, the Marolts have six ski descents from about 7,000 meters. “People who haven’t done this have no concept,” Mike says. “It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.”
Author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger on covering war, being selectively lazy, and the rewards of following the rough road.
Presenting 51 dream trips, daring quests, essential skills, and exalted states of body and mind.
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 range wars of the 21st century, the cattle rustler runs Ponzi schemes and the lawman drives an SUV. STEVEN RINELLA joins the new posse.
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.
When feet started floating into the dark, coastal bays of British Columbia, it wasn’t hard to imagine the worst, especially when the Mounties went silent. Even paradise has an underbelly.
For almost 70 years, former ski patroller and local legend Jim Blanning rode Aspen’s evolution from broken mining outpost to chic mountain playground. But when his hometown spit him out, he came back with a vengeance. And bombs.
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.
Ever fantasized about building a restful escape, with your bare hands, in some untrammeled back of beyond—and it all coming together just as you'd planned? Moron.
But it isn’t because of my dance moves: my life at the helm of a Colorado River latrine raft
Days into a trip spent with his father and brother in Greenland, author Wells Tower was seized by a tantrum-pitching impulse and the overwhelming desire to punch himself again and again in the face
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.
It ain't easy being the sponsor (a.k.a. old man) of a competitive snowboard artiste (a.k.a. my teenage son). Lend an ear, and a shoulder, and I'll tell you all about it.
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
Is it a bird or a haunting memory? Wells Tower tracks an uncertain resurrection of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the big woods of Arkansas.
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…
For decades, no one had traversed the entire length of the Wakhan, following the old Silk Road from the northward bend of the Panj River. We had no idea if it could be done.
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.
With what? Dire expectation, for one: Of snail-like progress through the soul of RV Nation. Of Truckers Use Low Gear, High Wind Warning, Slippery When Wet. A few days on the road as the highest-impact camper, and yes, please check the oil.
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?
A mile beneath the churning Atlantic lay the Central America and in its rotting hold a cache of wealth unimaginable: thousands of priceless gold coins, bags of gold dust, bars of solid gold. A fortune for the taking, as Tommy Thompson saw it. His taking.
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.
The author's father traveled the world, shipped out on the last commercial sailing voyage around Cape Horn, and handed down a legacy of adventure. But his risk-taking spirit had a dark side—and its shadow fell across a final winter rendezvous in Aspen.
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?
To be a surfer girl in Maui is to be the luckiest of creatures. It means you’re beautiful and tan and ready to rip. It means you’ve caught the perfect dappled wave and are on a ride that can’t possibly end.
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.
An oral history of Everest's endearingly dysfunctional village
Time was, you could crisscross America with nothing but a rucksack and a thumb. You still can, if you know how.
An ice-climbing trip to Scotland—land of rain, sleet, and mad outdoorsmen—brings new respect for the sport's big-hearted pioneers
“Tinku is perfect, like the lightning. When it kills you, it kills you; when you have to die, you die. He who falls, let the earth be the one to complain.”
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.
Does wilderness therapy help troubled kids? After a gang of teenagers staged a violent mutiny in the badlands of Utah, we joined the search for answers.
A Wetland Restoration Comedy: how one man transformed vile, polluted, dank little swamp into the perfect glassy ice pond
To save the day when the crevasse hits the fan; to be chased by AK-47-wielding bandits; to be the one guy who's gotta say, "Time to turn around, everybody"—this is what it means to be a professional guide. (Still interested?)