Category archives for Climbing

How a Longtime Patagonia Climber Just Had His Best Season. Ever.

In the last two months, Colin Haley, 31, has squeezed in a lifetime’s worth of cutting-edge Patagonia alpinism. He’s logged speed records, solo records, and first ascents on virtually every major formation in Patagonia. When pioneering climbers Yvon Chouinard, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores, and the late Doug Tompkins, enjoyed their epic 1968 road trip from California…

This Sherpa Woman Is Our Adventurer of the Year

Adventure is sometimes criticized as being selfish—the pursuits of privileged people with time to burn. At National Geographic, our definition of adventure is a broad one, spanning exploration and conservation, the pushing of the boundaries of human potential, cultural boundary breaking, community building, and humanitarianism. Our 2016 Adventurer of the Year honorees reflect this diversity, from…

Climbers Set Blistering Speed Record On Patagonia’s Torre Traverse

In an astonishing record time of 20 hours and 40 minutes, climbers Colin Haley and Alex Honnold on Monday completed the second ascent of the Torre Traverse—a north-to-south traverse of Patagonia’s Cerro Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger, and Cerro Torre. Their camp-to-camp time was 32 hours. Haley, 31, is beginning to see big dividends after…

What Was Ropeless Climber Alex Honnold’s Closest Call?

When I called Alex Honnold for this interview, the first thing he asked was whether I had read his new book, Alone on the Wall, which he co-wrote with David Roberts.  I think he was fishing a bit because I’ve heard from a few people that he throws me (aka as “Mr. Safety”) under the…

Video: The Art of Climbing Castles in the Sky

World-class rock climber Sonnie Trotter takes us on his backyard quest, which resulted in Canada’s first multi-pitch 5.14, in this first film by photographer/climber Ben Moon (Denali, Rabbit Island), just released today. Castles in the Sky is a meditation on what inspires Trotter to seek what hasn’t been done and the process he uses to complete it. And now Trotter has…

The Best Adventure Films of 2015

This year, we saw adventure films rise above the expected action and adrenaline to tell rich stories of the triumph of the human spirit. With abundant winter storm warnings across the country, what better time to cozy up on the couch with some of the year’s best—after your powder turns and hot tub soaks, of course.…

Faster, Bigger, More Extreme: A ‘Point Break’ Remake for Today’s Hard-Charging World

The 1991 release of Point Break was a perfect preface to the next decade, in which adventure sports, then called extreme sports, rose out of obscurity and gripped the mainstream consciousness in a big, bold way. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), this campy film, now a cult classic, tells the…

Watch: See What Inspired National Park Champion Doug Tompkins

Last week outdoor community icon and conservationist Doug Tompkins died in a kayaking accident in Chile (read “Insiders Recount Efforts to Save North Face Founder“). But his legacy and leadership will live on. Watch this tribute to see what inspired his work, then read memories from his friends, including adventurer Jeff Johnson, surfer Dan Malloy, and our…

Friends Remember the Passionate Life of Doug Tompkins

The death of North Face founder and conservationist Doug Tompkins prompted an outpouring of messages on social media that captured the shock and sadness felt by many in the outdoor community. They painted a picture of a man who was deeply respected for his genuine passion and principled business decisions. Tompkins’s life, cut short by a kayaking accident in Chile on Tuesday, was the stuff…

A Climbing Phenom’s Life in (Mostly) His Own Words

In the fall of 2010 I spent most of a week with Alex Honnold at Smith Rock in Oregon, watching him climb and interviewing him for a profile for Outside. I was puzzled and amused by the apparent contradictions in Alex’s character: a raw brashness undercut by self-effacing modesty, his deadpan putdown of other climbers…