Category archives for Adventurers of the Year

A Surfer’s Reflections From on a Decade at Sea

For the last decade, Liz Clark’s home has been the ocean. The exploratory surfer-sailor set out on Swell, her 40-foot sailboat, from the coast of Santa Barbara in October 2005 to seek out unknown surf breaks and live a life acutely attuned to weather and the vast blue ocean. Clark now spends most of her time…

Ultrarunner Scott Jurek on Carbo-Loading, His Favorite Races, and Pushing Through Adversity

Legendary adventure runner Scott Jurek has said that running is a solo sport requiring absolute mental focus. But, if there was one person this 2016 Adventurer of the Year would want on the trail with him, Jurek would choose Mahatma Gandhi—another master of psychological endurance. Over his 20-year career, Jurek has helped popularize the sport…

Bangladeshi Climber Shares Her Spiritual Journey for the Women of Her Country

Wasfia Nazreen‘s story will captivate you. We first came to know the Bangladeshi climber and activist when she was honored as one of our Nat Geo Adventurers of the Year for her quest to become the first person from her country to ascent the Seven Summits—and inspire the women and girls of her country to…

A Year in the Wilderness: Navigating Spring Ice – Week 30, Post 14

It feels like a switch was flipped signaling the end of winter. Two days after being pinned in our tent by snow and 30-mile-per-hour winds, we found ourselves lounging in the sun. We gazed down Knife Lake past Isle of the Pines and on to the West where generations of Native Americans, voyageurs, and now…

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…

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…

A Year in the Wilderness: Winter and Spring Play Tug of War – Week 27, Post 12

The dogs trotted down Knife Lake pulling us silently across the last patches of snow lining the southern shore. In the spring, dawn is usually the coolest time of the day and offers the best traveling conditions. In a couple hours the sun’s powerful rays would cause the dogs to pant, the snow and ice…

A Year in the Wilderness: Navigating Blizzards – Week 25, Post 11

On our 176th day in the wilderness, we found ourselves staring into a blank, white canvas. From our position in the middle of frozen Snowbank Lake, no land was visible. Traveling inside a ping pong ball, our senses were heightened. The wind against our faces and the angle of the snow blowing across our skis were…

What Was Tommy Caldwell’s Scariest Climbing Moment? Dodging Bullets in a Portaledge

You probably know Tommy Caldwell from when he and Kevin Jorgeson completed the first free climb of the Dawn Wall route in Yosemite—considered the hardest rock climb in the world. Or, you might know he was the first person to receive one of our Adventurer of the Year awards two years in a row. But did…

A Year in the Wilderness: What Cold Can Teach Us – Week 23, Post 10

Snow swirled across the lake with every frigid gust as we loaded our toboggans in the shelter of our campsite nestled in a thick stand of red pines. The dogs barked and lunged with excitement as we prepared to leave our protected campsite and head north into the biting wind. “Let’s go dogs, let’s go,”…