Category archives for Adventurers of the Year

Sailing the World’s Largest Lake in Search of Microplastics

Last spring my wife, Amy, and I retrieved our sailboat, Yemaya, from Ontario’s Georgian Bay. Yemaya spent the winter on Manitoulin Island, because we left her there in the middle of a 2,000-mile journey by canoe and sailboat from Minnesota to Washington D.C. last fall. Sailing her home seemed like the perfect excuse for a little…

Afghan Cycles: Pushing Gender and Cultural Barriers on Two Wheels

I didn’t go to Afghanistan to ride a bike. Yet six years ago, I started mountain biking in various parts of the country. I was working in the country with women and girls and discovered that despite the flood of bikes that swarmed the roads in cities and villages across the country, girls were not…

Veterans Climb North America’s Tallest Peak to Heal the Wounds of War

Eight puffy figures tethered together by two neon orange ropes creep slowly and methodically along a snow-covered ridge, barely a boot-width across. Each team member carefully places one foot in front of the other, fully aware that a fall here simply cannot happen. Periodically, the entire slithering serpent drops to the ground—faces and bellies in…

Swiss Climber Tackles 82 Summits in 80 Days by Foot, Bike, Paraglider, Skis

After climbing 222,651 vertical feet, cycling 326 miles, and notching another 275 miles on foot in just more than a month, Ueli Steck, a 2015 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, enjoyed an easy morning on last Tuesday at a campground outside of Sion, Switzerland. The 38-year-old Swiss mountaineer, best known for his daring, fast-and-light solo ascents of…

Trekking Australia’s Last Frontier: One Woman’s 500-Mile Survivalist Adventure

Sarah Marquis is drawn to solitude. That’s why she spent three years walking the estimated 10,000 miles from Siberia to Australia, and then across that continent’s big, empty backyard. And that’s why she’s on a four-month survivalist adventure in Australia’s Kimberley region she’s calling her “Dropped Into the Wild Corner” expedition. (Marquis was named a Nat Geo Adventurer…

Climbers Conrad Anker, David Lama Team Up in Zion, Next Nepal

It’s always exciting when different generations of climbers team up to dream up something interesting to do in the vertical realm. Case in point, legendary alpinist Conrad Anker and 24-year-old elite climber David Lama, one of our previous Adventurers of the Year, recently met up in Zion National Park to see if they might make…

Remembering Pioneering Climber Dean Potter

More about Dean Potter: 7 Pictures Highlight Climber Dean Potter’s Extreme Moments How Dean Potter Reinvented Climbing, Jumping, Flying Wingsuit BASE jumping, which is steadily gaining a reputation for being the world’s most dangerous sport, has claimed its latest victims. Dean Potter, 43, and Graham Hunt, 29, died from impact during a wingsuit flight from…

Adventurer Sets Record for Farthest South Swim on Earth

“‘Cold’ is a word that holds no meaning in a blizzard in the Antarctic Ocean. It was very difficult to breathe. I was gasping for air. I kept telling myself to keep calm. I’ve never experienced anything like it, ” says extreme swimmer Lewis Pugh of his record-setting swim. Pughs hands were warmer when they were stroking through minus-one-degree…

Exploring Lake Superior’s Spectacular Ice Caves

Millions of years ago, layers of sand were deposited by rivers, which turned into sandstone. Glaciers later transformed the sandstone into several miles of dramatic cliffs and caves along Lake Superior’s southern shore. Superior’s wind, waves, and ice continue to sculpt the sandstone caves of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. In the summer,…

Video: Yosemite Climbers on Dealing with Their New-Found Fame

Whatever public profile Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson had before they free climbed the Dawn Wall of El Capitan, it certainly got a lift once they reached the top. One of their first encounters with an adoring fan took place directly in the aftermath of their ascent, in the Yosemite Lodge cafeteria where the two climbers…