A Year in the Wilderness: Hauling our Canoe Through Blizzards – Week 29, Post 13

As the first stars appeared, we trudged the final mile to our campsite. After 25 miles and more than 11 hours on the move, we were ready for a hot meal and a warm sleeping bag. The day’s persistent snow had slowly accumulated until our canoe, which was riding on top of our 11-foot Black…

Climber Remembers the Legendary Alex Lowe

“We knew it was going to happen one day. We just didn’t think it would be right at this point,” says alpinist Conrad Anker about learning that the bodies of his friends Alex Lowe and David Bridges had been discovered, still frozen inside a glacier at the foot of Shisha Pangma, an 8,000-meter peak in…

Mountaineers’ Bodies Found 16 Years Later

The opportunity to once again celebrate the lives of two of the greatest mountaineers who ever lived has presented itself under the most incredible circumstances. The remains of American mountaineers Alex Lowe and David Bridges, who were swept away in an avalanche on Shisha Pangma (8,027 meters/26,335 feet) in Tibet on October 5, 1999, were…

Afghan Women Fight Corruption for the Right to Ride

They’ve been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and featured in films and books. They were 2016 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year. They broke barriers with their sport. But for the Afghan women’s national cycling team the biggest barriers are ironically the same institutions that are in place to allow them to compete. Now…

As Surfing Goes Mainstream, Old School and Newbie Surfers Clash

There’s a battle afoot in Southern California. It’s being fought with insults, vandalism, sexual harassment, and outright violence. And the winners get to surf near a posh Los Angeles suburb. A “gang” of local surfers, dubbed the Bay Boys, have been driving interlopers—fellow surfers, the general public, even the media—from their beach on Lunada Bay…

After Two Years of Deadly Everest Avalanches, Nepal Introduces New Safety Measures

On the morning of April 23, a helicopter hovered over Everest Base Camp then ripped northward through the air, flying over the great Khumbu Icefall, which creaked and groaned under the warming sunshine. As the dust settled and the helicopter engine din grew faint, many Nepali mountain workers back at Base Camp breathed a sigh of…

What’s the Big Deal About Climbing Everest Without Oxygen?

When Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler trekked to Everest Base Camp in 1978, they were the only two people on Earth who believed they weren’t marching toward their own graves. Their goal was to reach the summit of Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen canisters, a feat that remains rare today but was, in…

21-Year-Old Champion Snowboarder Dies in Avalanche

One of the best young snowboarders in the world died in an early-morning avalanche in the Swiss Alps yesterday. Twenty-one-year-old Estelle Balet was snowboarding on Le Portalet, a steep mountain in the Mont Blanc Massif above the village of Orsières in southwestern Switzerland, her home country, when she was caught by the avalanche and carried…

This Is What Whale Breath Smells Like

He kneels at the front of the Zodiac, aiming his crossbow at a humpback whale lazing at the water surface’s 20 feet away. He squeezes the trigger and the dart flies—just over the whale’s back. “Sh**,” Ari Friedlaender says, “I shouldn’t have tried to do a skip shot.” He had hoped to bounce the dart…

Can Two Climbers Improve Everest’s Bad Reputation?

The reputation of the world’s highest mountain has never been lower. Like today’s most heated political debates, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to discussions about Everest. People are divided at polar extremes over whether Everest and all its aspirants represent everything great about humanity—or all that is wrong with it.…