Rank #1: What Is Hardcore?
Our sports have long heralded rating systems that let us know just how we're doing. We may bicker over their ratings, but we return to them again and again. They help us set goals, and push ourselves harder. Today, Brendan Leonard dives in with some simple ideas on who and what are hard core. How do you measure up?
Feb 08 2011
Rank #2: The Great Big Garage in the Sky
Many of us associate our vehicles with freedom, independence and youth. But can a hunk of metal have a soul? Fitz presents the sometimes-true tale of a 1974 Mitsubishi Sigma, a boy on the cusp of adulthood and a life changing journey across Australia.
Apr 12 2007
Rank #3: The Modern Dirtbag
In the golden days, dirtbags lived to climb. They didn't work, have permanent addresses or sponsors. They ate leftovers off of tourists' plates and slept in beater cars or caves. They stayed in one place only as long as teh weather allowed for climbing. Now, our modern world of fees, time limits and locked dumpsters has made it nearly impossible to live that way anymore. Dirtbagging is dying-- or at least that's what some people claim.
Join Matt Van Biene for a day on Yosemite's Camp 4 as he talks to climbers of all different ages, nationalities and backgrounds. Is dirtbagging dead or alive? And what does the modern dirtbag look like? Tune in.
May 01 2015
Rank #4: Fear Squared
To celebrate Halloween, we bring you two tales of terror. Contest winner Chris Peters explains why it pays to listen to the safety talk and a very special guest remembers a family vacation to the Alaskan wilderness gone wrong.
Oct 28 2008
Rank #5: You Are Not Alone
The first time I sat around a climber's campfire at 19, I could sense that though our lives were superficially different with jobs and responsibilities, something greater connected those gathered around the fire. Today, we present two stories from women- one a climber and one a creator- about the moment when the random became connected at a time when it mattered most.
Jul 27 2011
Rank #6: Fun Divided By Three
There is type one fun and type two fun, but today, we are going to explore type three fun. This is the epic. The suffer fest. What does type three fun entail? Why do some people seem particularly drawn to these types of adventures and what could possibly motivate us to embrace type three fun? Today, we bring you answers.
Dec 07 2009
Rank #7: Bedtime Stories for Wanderers
With his career stalling and idealism flat lining, Ryan Nickum looked into his past to search for the seed of the travel affliction. There was only one person to blame -- his father. What makes the traveler's feet restless? Is it nature or nurture? Writer Ryan Nickum presents Bedtime Stories for Wanderers.
Dec 22 2008
Rank #8: Start Saying Yes
"Over two weeks I went from pretty 'fine'--I have to say 'fine' with air quotes and an eye roll because it's that kind of fine--so, I went from 'fine' to 'I'm out'! I just needed a life restart," says Katie Crafts.
For her thirtieth birthday, Katie gave herself a trip on a cruise to Antarctica. In the other, older passengers on the ship, she caught a glimpse of her future if she continued on the path she was on. In the ship's crew, she saw something else: a superwoman equivalent of herself. Today, we bring you the story of a journey to the far reaches of our planet, and of what it takes to see the person you want to be, and then become that person. It starts with saying 'yes'.
Aug 05 2016
Rank #9: Tales of Terror Vol. 2
It can be difficult to separate an initial seed of fear from the growing tangle of possibility that can quickly emerge in your head, but sometimes that sprouting seed is very tangible. Today, we bring you stories from Sara Porterfield and Jeremy Allyn. They'll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You'll try to shudder them off. But the seed- the seed will remain.
Oct 28 2011
Rank #10: Tales of Terror Vol. 10
Disembodied footsteps, screams in the dark, hooded figures: our tenth annual Tales of Terror might have you questioning who -- or what -- else shares the trail with you at night. Ryan Cronin, Natalie Rooker, and Bryce Williams bring us their stories today -- get ready, you might need a friendly hand to hold.
Oct 25 2019
Rank #11: Tales of Terror Vol. 4
Is there something out there? It’s a question that lurks in the back of my mind. Probably in yours too. It’s one of the very reasons why I love the outdoors: the unpredictability. Over the years, I’ve collected experiences. Moments, like bits of data, that, collectively guide my intuition. And yet. We’ve all had that moment where hairs stand up on the back of our neck. Was it heightened perception? Or did the wind just blow in just the right way? And if you convince yourself it was the wind, does some lump of doubt sit in your stomach? Because sometimes you just won’t believe something is out there. Until it’s right there.
Oct 31 2013
Rank #12: The 50,000 Ft. View
“When I think about it, I'm not happy because I got to the top of some point on the planet,” says Steve Swenson. “I'm happy because of all the things we had to do to get there.” In the summer of 2019, Steve and his climbing partners, Graham Zimmerman, Chris Wright, and Mark Richey, made a first ascent of Link Sar, a 7,041 meter peak in the Karakorum. Steve has been climbing for 50 years and has broken a different kind of trail that younger climbers like Graham can follow.
Oct 11 2019
Rank #13: Tales of Terror
Today, we present Tales of Terror, two stories from the most terrifying moments of our contributor's lives. Our first story was recorded in the field somewhere in Afghanistan. The second comes from my old stomping ground -- Tahoe. Despite the differences, both stories are the result of passion, imagination and creativity.
Oct 29 2010
Rank #14: A Successful Life
Last year, Aimee Brown got the opportunity of a lifetime a job writing for National Geographic. Excited, she packed her Subaru and moved east. After a few weeks of living in D.C. a nagging feeling set in. Were days looking out an office window, lonely treadmill runs and sun salutations without the sun success? It took six thousand miles of driving for her to answer that question.
Apr 08 2010
Rank #15: The Fear is Real
Loosely speaking, there are two kinds of fear. There's the fear of external, objective hazards--like getting caught in an avalanche, or taking a bad fall climbing or getting mauled by a grizzly bear. Then, there's the internal, more slippery kind of fear, like the fear of not being pretty enough, or not being popular enough or not being perfect enough.
When Kat Cannell embarked on a 350-mile, solo horse-packing trip through the mountains of Idaho and Montana, across snowy mountain passes and through a large swath of grizzly bear country, she had to confront both kinds of fears. She realized that maybe conquering the fear of having a head on with a grizzly and conquering the fear of not being pretty enough really isn't all that different.
This April, Kat and activist Katelyn Spradley plan to ride 900-miles from the Washington Coast to Redfish Lake, Idaho, following the path of Idaho's wild salmon up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon Rivers to their spawning grounds in the Sawtooth Basin. Learn more at RideforRedd.org, or follow the trip on Facebook or Instagram.
Mar 10 2017
Rank #16: A Brief Moment in a Beautiful Place
This week we're headed for Laos to recount the story of two friends and one spectacularly bad idea. Join us as we follow Jacob Bain, Colin Brynn and a bamboo raft down a river at the edge of the world.
May 14 2007
Rank #17: The Elephant in the Boat - Part I
Expedition kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic have what is perhaps the longest running, most successful partnerships in outdoor adventure, but, in April 2017, on an expedition to the Colombian Amazon, the team dynamics grew so strained that being held hostage by an armed rebel group didn’t seem like the worst thing that could have happened. In Part I, we’ll follow Ben and Chris down Colombia’s remote Apaporis River.
Jun 08 2018
Rank #18: Sodade
Jacob Bain has traveled to SE Asia, Cuba, and Africa. And though he sometimes has climbing gear, he always has a guitar. In the summer of 2010, Johnny Fernandes invited Jacob and his band Publish the Quest to Cape Verde to partake in a musical experience as part of his goal to preserve the local music. Can a hook, a horn line and a new take on a traditional song overcome culture and language barriers?
Mar 04 2011
Rank #19: The Shorts--Sitting In Silence
Mike Colpo went to guide school in search of a different life. His rugged instructor, Cody, taught him the basics of guiding climbers, but also pushed Mike and the other students towards something bigger. Mike found himself facing a fear greater than physical risk.
Feb 21 2011
Rank #20: Tales of Terror Volume 3
Ever walked through the woods late at night and felt like you were being followed? Had a strange feeling about someone you just met? Encountered the strictly inexplicable that led you, abruptly, to pack up and bail? Often, we rationalize these instincts – just a bird in the trees cracking limbs, just a strange fellow with good intentions, or, well, our senses simply must have failed us. But what about when these warning signals don’t go off? Today, Micah McNulty, Trey Johnson, and George Braun bring us stories of the times that intuition didn’t kick in when maybe it should have.
Oct 30 2012