Last year in Nazaré, Portugal, the Brazilian surfer nearly drowned while trying to ride the biggest wave ever surfed by a woman. Most of the alpha males who dominate the sport say Gabeira doesn't belong in their ranks, but nothing will stop her from going back in.
A star political blogger for Grist.org, David Roberts spent so much time posting and Tweeting and staring at screens that he almost went nuts. So he pulled the plug for a year, restarting his relationship with technology and actively seeking health, balance, and adventure in the real world. What he learned just might save you from meltdown.
The hours are long, and the work can be dangerous. But animal care workers, the unsung heroes devoted to the health of mammals at SeaWorld and other marine parks, have unrivaled access to the animals—and the challenges of captivity. Here, three former employees go on the record about their experiences.
At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet of standardized testing and indoor inactivity is choking the creativity right out of our kids. The alternative: set 'em free.
Pet-friendly American suburbs make ideal habitats for skunks, and populations of the bushy-tailed moochers have exploded in recent years. Time to investigate an outbreak that's bringing the wrong kind of funk to summer nights.
There's a reason exiles dreaded being packed off to Siberia. While retracing the path of a doomed 19th-century U.S. polar expedition in the Russian High Arctic, we encounter swarming mosquitoes, a few Kalashnikovs, an island lost in time, the burial site of ten brave men, and a haunting beauty like nothing we've ever seen.
It's not easy to swim with sperm whales: they're hard to find, hard to reach without adequate diving experience, and they just might swallow you up if you get too close. But how else are we going to crack their complicated language system? A group of rogue freedivers takes the plunge.
A quasi-legal, father-son mission to train-hop through the changing American West
It's been more than 50 years since the Colorado River regularly reached the sea. But this spring, the U.S. and Mexico let the water storm through its natural delta for a grand experiment in ecological restoration. As the dam gates opened, a small band of river rats caught a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
Last September, a trekking company's guided trip through the wilds of Papua New Guinea was shattered when machete-wielding men attacked the native porters, killing two on the spot and injuring many more. The motive appeared to be robbery, but Carl Hoffman knew something else was at work—ancient tribal patterns of violence that, he knew, would inevitably be avenged
In the Sundarbans region of India and Bangladesh, some of the world's last wild tigers roam free and ravenous. An expedition to film these elusive predators is tricky business. You may not see them, but they almost certainly are watching you.
Europe has a secret. It's called Albania—a Maryland-size playground of rugged peaks, emerald seas, and ripping rivers. The only catch? It's really poor, graft is rampant, and there's little environmental regulation. Pack your bribe money for a warts-and-all jaunt through the wildest post-Communist state on earth.
For some surfers and SUPers, hanging ten is the holy goal—toes on the nose, nothing in front of you but pure green wave. With a nerve disorder threatening to destroy his balance, longtime kook Erik Hedegaard asked a waveriding genius to train him for one last shot.
The volcanic remains at the heart of Aniakchak National Monument—the least visited site in the national park system—are a trippy mishmash of postapocalyptic cinder cones, hardened lava, and flame-colored walls. The only catch? Doing it right involves days of trekking and rafting through some of the planet’s toughest, most bear-heavy terrain.
After 18 years, Andrew Tilin’s marriage ended with a crash, leaving him in a crippling state of sorrow, anger, and loneliness. He decided to get serious about riding again, hoping that the pain and discipline of pure exertion would set him right one more time.
Last year, a media-shy billionaire bought the flailing Lonely Planet travel-guide empire, then shocked observers by hiring an unknown 24-year-old former wedding photographer to save it. Charles Bethea straps in for a bizarre ride as a kid mogul tries to remake a legendary brand for the digital age.
South African Johnny Olivier was just looking for an easy job to pay the bills. But after agreeing to help a buddy collect lion bones for an international wildlife-trafficking kingpin, he found himself in the middle of an unprecedented poaching scheme that involved imported sex workers, heavy gambling, bags of cash, and the slaughter of more than 30 rhinos.
Twenty-seven years ago, David Ewing Duncan wrote a magazine article about a secret tropical gem called Belize, inspiring a wave of adventure travelers that changed the tiny country forever. Braced for a few stabs of guilt, he went back with his son and found that paradise was different, but not completely lost.
Camera-equipped flying robots have quickly become a staple of the adventure world, filming first ascents and nailing poachers. But that’s just the beginning. As Eric Hansen found out during a cross-country test drive, affordable consumer drones will revolutionize how we experience the outdoors.
Search the web for Dean Reinke and you’ll soon be scrolling through a rap sheet of consumer complaints about how he and his for-profit road-race company, USRA Half Marathon, do business. Is he a fraud who has stayed one step ahead of the law, or an upstanding man who’s been slimed by his enemies?
Five years after Lewis and Clark completed their famous mission, another more audacious expedition sets out for the Pacific. In this exclusive excerpt from the new book 'Astoria,' the legendary Overland Party attempts to establish America's first commercial colony on the wild and unclaimed Northwest coast—provided, of course, they survive the journey.
A fascination with a cartoon animal and a Class V river lured her to the empty wilderness of Tasmania. Turns out the raw side of Down Under offers an amazing number of pristine places to camp, surf, hike, mountain bike, and kayak. Stephanie Pearson goes all in.
Jack London said that achieving greatness sometimes means burning white hot, even if there's a price to be paid once the flame goes out. Josh Dean went to Alaska to hang with Lance Mackey, the toughest competitor in Iditarod history. He came away with a new understanding of resilience, bravery, and the iron bond between a musher and his dogs.
Each spring on Costa Rica’s desolate Caribbean coast, endangered leatherback sea turtles come ashore at night to lay and hide their eggs. Poachers steal them for cash, and as Matthew Power reports, they’re willing to kill anyone who gets in their way.
Every year, scores of Into the Wild fans tackle a dangerous river crossing to visit the last home of Alaska's most famous adventure casualty. Why are so many people willing to risk injury, and even death, to pay homage to a controversial ascetic who perished so young?
The drowning of Avishek Sengupta at an obstacle challenge last April was ruled an accident, but his family and friends believe that the sport’s most prominent company did a terrible job of monitoring safety at a water obstacle called Walk the Plank. Elliott D. Woods looks at the life of a remarkable amateur athlete and explains why his tragic end may lead to a multimillion-dollar legal fight.
Bode Miller (skier) and Morgan Beck (volleyballer) have had a few rough moments as a couple, including a bitter child-custody battle with an ex-girlfriend and the death of his younger brother, Chelone. But as Bode plunges into the most ambitious ski season of his career, he’s already met his match—a woman who, like him, seems to thrive on a little craziness.
The rewards of risk are fueling a catastrophic increase in TBIs. How can we protect ourselves?
Geologist Orrin Pilkey predicted exactly what a storm like Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. On a tour of destruction after the deluge, he and David Gessner ponder a troubling question: Why are people rebuilding, as if all this isn't going to happen again?
On the morning of June 30, all 20 members of Prescott, Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots headed into the mountains to protect the small town of Yarnell from an advancing blaze. Later that day, every man but one was dead. Through interviews with family, colleagues, and the lone survivor, a former hotshot pieces together their final hours—and the fatal choices
What do you get when you combine six eye surgeons, thirteen runners, six educators, two nonprofits, 871 cataract patients, 63,000 students, two of the fastest men on the planet, and one trail race in the remote highlands of East Africa? Accelerate Ethiopia. Welcome to the brave new world of adventure philanthropy.
The Deschutes River fly-fishing guide called Stealhead Joe was an angling master with a long list of devoted clients. But as Ian Frazier, who fished with Joe last fall, learned, off the water, Joe’s life was a tangle of troubles that ultimately overwhelmed him.
When the Great Recession hit, young people found a million different ways to cope with their battered job prospects. Alex and Nick Kleeman found the best way, scraping together enough cash to buy a 32-foot sailboat, then plunging into the Pacific for the adventure of their lives. So what if they didn’t know how to sail?
For more than a century, Western climbers have hired Nepal’s Sherpas to do the most dangerous work on Mount Everest. It’s a lucrative way of life in a poor region, but no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients. The dead are often forgotten, and their families left with nothing but ghosts.
The helicopter ride to a luxury resort was undeniably sweet. But for Peter Heller, the greatest thing about New Zealand’s South Island was kayaking down a surly river with an old paddling buddy, in a country that’s still unbelievably pristine.
The world’s most accomplished blind adventurer has jumped out of airplanes, mountain-biked Leadville, and summited Everest. But nothing has proven to be as challenging as his current goal: to solo-kayak the Grand Canyon.
When Hurricane Sandy closed in on New york City, the Weather Channel dispatched (who else?) Jim Cantore, the world’s most fearless meteorologist. Nick Heil tagged along for a wet, wild adventure that quickly became something else—a survival challenge in the darkest hours of a killer storm.
Drought and climate change have turned western forests into firebombs that go off every summer. Even with new technology, the essential weapon in the fight against flame are the Hotshots, an elite group of wilderness first responders who head straight for the heat.
Every summer, 50 elite athletes endure a torture test of cold and wet at a tiny island off the south coast of Ireland, where they train to swim the English Channel. The only rules: No wetsuits. Or whining. Matt Bondurant goes deep.
Charlie Engle was a crack addict who saved himself through ultrarunning, becoming an adventure-film star known around the world. Then he was convicted of mortgage fraud and sent to prison. [Oops.] He's out now, with an audacious new goal: to rebuild his life and run 5,000 miles, from the Dead Sea to the top of Mount Everest.
How do you teach a boy to love the wilderness when you’re terrified of what might happen out there? Hiking with his ten-year-old son, William Broyles confronts his memories of Vietnam–and one very large grizzly. (And three other great essays on fatherhood, from Jack Hitt, W. Hodding Carter, and Anthony Doerr.)
Inspired by an infamous assassin's escape from prison, the Barkley Marathons just might be the toughest race on the planet: a 100-mile-long, unsupported slog through the Tennessee backcountry that only 14 people have ever finished. Madison Kahn spoke to three of the event's regulars to get the story behind the Barkley.
A brilliant American financier and his wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a compelling mystery.
The ponies that carried Genghis Khan’s warriors are small, tough, and skittish as hell, making the prospect of riding them for 1,000 kilometers seem downright insane. American cowboy Will Grant couldn’t resist, so he entered the Mongol Derby—the longest, hardest horse race in the world—determined not just to finish but to win.
The new country of South Sudan is blessed with oil, water, and a safari bonanza: one of the largest, most stunning animal migrations on earth. But without roads, laws, or infrastructure, can Africa’s youngest state turn potential into stabilizing profit? Patrick Symmes joins the adventure.
Three whitewater guides, one wooden dory, and the Colorado River, swollen by record snowmelt and raging with a fury that boatmen hadn't seen since the days of John Wesley Powell. From Kevin Fedarko's epic new book, The Emerald Mile, the incredible story of the fastest, wildest trip ever attempted through the Grand Canyon.