In 2014, the adventure community was distracted in some of the worst natural disasters to befall its athletes and explorers, including the most dangerous day ever on Everest and a freakish and deadly late snow on the Annapurna hiking circuit in Nepal. While many explorers — especially those with Everest bids — took the time to reflect on the dangers of their sport, other athletes continued to push boundaries in speed, distance, and unchartered terrain.
The year’s 22 greatest feats span multiple disciplines including running, rowing, cycling, caving, kayaking, mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing, paragliding, and skydiving, and proved that passion can always trump fear. “This year was a very distinct reckoning with mortality,” says Brody Leven who crossed the Cascade Range by only bike and skis. “But at the same time, I can’t stop. Whether I will risk dying in order to truly feel alive or to inspire others to step outside their comfort zones — it’s just what I need to do.”