Category archives for Adventurers of the Year

A Year in the Wilderness: Howling Wolves Remind Us We Are Only Visitors – Week 7, Post #3

The lake’s glassy surface beckoned us, so after setting up our camp we slid the canoe back in the water for a quick paddle as the sun set. We pulled our canoe up on shore and were about to continue our camp chores when a pack of wolves broke the silence with a chorus of…

500 Miles Through Water-Starved Outback Tests Adventurer’s Abilities

In the days and weeks after September 6, National Geographic explorer Sarah Marquis developed the odd habit of walking to her refrigerator, opening the door, and browsing through its contents. Then, closing the door, and she would go back about her day. Because the 43-year-old Swiss adventurer, who became a 2014 Nat Geo Adventurer of…

A Year in the Wilderness: Week 4, Post #1

Yesterday morning I poked my head out of the tent and found a thin, white blanket of snow. It was the first snowfall of the season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota– another milestone in the slow and steady transition between fall and winter. My wife, Amy Freeman, and I have…

Ski Resort or Sacred Mountain? Film Shows the Fight for Jumbo

“When we’re in the wild, we’re able to contemplate a world much greater than ourselves,” says Sweetgrass Productions filmmaker Nick Waggoner about his latest and most ambitious film, Jumbo Wild. In a format simlar to last year’s DamNation, also underwritten by Patagonia, which examined the role of non-productive, “deadbeat” dams in the U.S., Jumbo Wild explores the hotly contested…

Make Adventure, Not War: Promoting Goodwill and Contributing to Peace

I believe that adventure can save the world. I get there are a number of really huge problems out there that we need to solve: ensuring women’s rights, access to education, access to clean water, ending hunger, stopping malaria, dealing with climate change, eliminating HIV, stopping species and habitat loss, minimizing extractive industries, etc. I…

Yosemite Climber Tommy Caldwell Speaks on Risk, Reward, and Life After the Dawn Wall

The Dawn Wall was the climb heard and seen around the world. Over 19 grueling days last January, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson achieved their seven-year pursuit of free-climbing the hardest multi-pitch route in the world: the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan. (Read: “Duo Completes First Free Climb of Yosemite’s Dawn Wall, Making History”)…

Climber Comedian: Alex Honnold on Being Funny, Filmming His Own Climbs, What’s Next

Who would’ve guessed that Alex Honnold was so funny? Yet it’s this celebrated California free soloist, known his daring ropeless ascents in Yosemite and elsewhere, who is responsible for making REEL ROCK 10, the annual worldwide tour of climbing films from Sender Films and Big Up Productions, perhaps the funniest year yet. “This year’s program…

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

Update: Writer Chris Kassar just won gold for this story in the 2015 North American Travel Journalists Association awards. Congrats to all involved! 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…