Meet the Adventurers of the Year—and Vote for Your Favorite!

SPORTS For 11 years, National Geographic has combed the globe to find the Adventurers of the Year, each selected for his or her extraordinary achievement in exploration, adventure sports, conservation, or humanitarianism. Get to know this year’s honorees, then vote for the 2016 People’s Choice. (Nat Geo Adventure) Play our game to explore like a Nat Geo adventurer, or get started with the adventure in … Continue reading Meet the Adventurers of the Year—and Vote for Your Favorite!

‘Aleksander the Great’ Wins ‘Adventurer of the Year’

SPORTS At 67 years old, a Polish kayaker completed the longest open-water kayaking expedition across the Atlantic in history—and won the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. (National Geographic Adventure) “If 67-years-young can do it, you can do it, too.” Get started with some great ideas for outdoor activities. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit—including today’s MapMaker … Continue reading ‘Aleksander the Great’ Wins ‘Adventurer of the Year’

Five for Friday: Top Challengers of Geography!

For seven years, National Geographic has combed the globe to find Adventurers of the Year, each selected for his or her extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation, and adventure sports. This year, in partnership with Glenfiddich, NG Adventure selected men and women who are pioneering innovation in the world of adventure–by reinventing distance hiking on the Appalachian Trail, launching a backyard microadventure movement, skiing the Andes under human power, and much more. (National Geographic Adventure)

1. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner. K2 was the final summit remaining in Kaltenbrunner’s 14-year quest to become the first woman to climb all 14 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen or porters. In 2011, Kaltenbrunner returned to K2, this time to the mountain’s north side to avoid the Bottleneck, where 11 climbers died in 2008. At 6:18 p.m. local time on August 23, Kaltenbrunner reached the summit. “I have never had a view like that. There were no clouds, you could see to Nanga Parbat. I had the feeling that I was one with the universe. It’s still present in my heart,” says the 40-year-old Austrian.

2011-07-15_1157490.JPGThought question: Do you think climbing the world’s highest mountains without supplementary oxygen makes the accomplishment more “authentic?” Why or why not?

2. Alastair Humphreys. Humphreys devised a series of ten challenges in the form of four-minute video trip reports encouraging would-be adventurers to sign up for a race, to take advantage of the hours before and after work, or to pick a random point on a map and visit it. Word spread and people began sending in trip reports and homemade videos via Twitter. They came in from as far away as Japan–this year the idea traveled farther than the adventurer!
“My hope is that come December, I will have other microadventurers who have taken this journey with me from that first challenge all the way to our final challenge, which will end up being quite a worthy adventure,” says Humphreys, who plans on revealing his final challenge at the end of the year. “In life it doesn’t matter what you do, just that you get off your backside and do something.”

Thought Question: Did you try any of National Geographic Education’s Geography Awareness Week challenges this year? Did you learn anything new about the geography of your community in the process? If so, please tell us about it!

3. Jennifer Pharr Davis. For the last 40 years, men have held the Appalachian Trail record. In the last 20, it’s been confined to an elite club of ultra runners who typically covered the requisite 30 to 50 miles per day in an 11- to 13-hour period. Conventional wisdom suggested that breaking the record would mean running faster with the same strategy. And a new record holder would most certainly be male. Pharr Davis, 28, took the standard strategy and turned it upside down. Moving from north to south, she covered the trail’s 2,181 miles by hiking for 16 hours a day beginning at 4:45 in the morning and walking well into darkness.


Continue reading “Five for Friday: Top Challengers of Geography!”