The World’s Wildest Adventurers

14 August 2019 |

The World’s Wildest Adventurers

Our planet is full of wild, crazy and extreme athletes and explorers who leave us in awe. Oblivious to fear and danger, these adventurers pull off epic world firsts and insane feats of endurance. Meet the bold adventurers (from athletes and authors to celebs and surfers) we want around our next campfire.    

Record-setting ski-mountaineer: Andrzej Bargiel (Poland)

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Cichy Wierch ☀️

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Skiing down from the summit of K2 has been many mountaineers’ dream. It has also sent many to their untimely deaths. Polish thrill-seeker and big mountain skier Andrzej Bargiel is the first person to succeed, taking on hanging glaciers, gnawing cold and sudden avalanches en route. Most impressive of all? He did it all without supplementary oxygen. If you find one black run on your ski holiday hard, imagine seven hours and 11,800 feet of vertical skiing..after you’ve just solo’d K2. Unbelievable.

Why we love Andrzej: he pulled off an incredible K2 world-first that’s evaded others for decades.

Epic climber: Babsi Zangerl (Austria)

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We had such a good time here in Bishop. „Everything Karate“ (5.14c/d) and this huge move on the very top was such a challenge to me. So happy I finally caught that one!! Staying here in this peaceful, wild canyon felt like being right where we wanted to be. Please help the @bishopclimbers and keep this place wild and clean! #liveclimbrepeat #teamsend •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Thanks so much to @benjaminbditto for joining us at the crag and capturing the moment!! Thanks to @ethan_pringle for the inspiration!!! And to @patrick_b_odonnell for bolting this proud line! •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• @blackdiamond @lasportivagram @vibram @verivalbio @powerbar_europe @frictionlabs @fazabrushes @climbskinspain

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Austrian climber Babsi is ‘the world’s best climber you’ve never heard of’. She tackles the hardest, scariest routes known to man (and woman), often in remote and dangerous locations to up the risk-factor even further. She’s a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2019 and one of her riskiest climbs to date is the notorious Magic Mushroom, in Yosemite National Park. She’s also pitted herself against El Capitan, the most iconic granite monolith and climbing challenge on earth.. 

Why we love Babsi: while some climbers saturate the media, Babsi is less well known and is happy to quietly create her own climbing legend.

Bike-tourer: Radu Paltineanu (Romania)

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Transilvania adâncă, pe cărări uitate de lume, în Ținutul Secuiesc. . . . . . #BicicletaCuGhiozdane #adventuregram #roadslikethis #outsideculture #adventureanywhere #bikewander #wonderfuldestinations #outdooradventurephotos #adventurecycling #travelgram #instashotz #pedalforever #bikepacking #wildme #roamtheworld #wherewillwegonext #romania #ig_romania #romaniamagica #visitromania #romaniapitoreasca #igersromania #igersbucharest #romaniafrumoasa #we_love_romania #transylvania #szekelyfold

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Romanian Radu is a European Adventurer of the Year. The endurance solo cyclist was the first Romanian to cross the American continents by bike, riding 34,000km from Alaska to Patagonia and venturing into the most remote corners of the continents on his epic adventure. Was the motivation for his trip fame, glory or celebrity? Nope, he just wanted to get over a girlfriend who dumped him. It’s reassuring to know that impressive endurance athletes are only human, too. 

Why we love Radu: though an award-winning adventurer he remains humble, hoping to inspire the younger folk back in Romania to do great things.

Polar explorer: Børg Ousland (Norway)

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Looks like a good dance move. Have fun it’s Sunday!!! 📷 @vincentcolliard • ❄️ • 🗻 • ⛺️ • #adventureislife #exploremore #nordicskiing #discover #nature #outdoors #Alaska #outdoorphotography #adventurephotography #preservation #conservation #exploretorestore #norrona #helsport #welcometonature

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National Geographic calls Børge ‘arguably the most accomplished polar explorer alive’. We tend to agree, for he’s reached the most remote and dangerous places on earth, totally alone. He’s solo’d the North and South Poles, trekked Antarctica coast to coast and crossed the Arctic Ocean. Though not an adrenaline-fuelled, high-fiving, extreme sportsman, he’s explored the world’s frozen wilderness in a way few ever will. Hats off to him. You can keep yours on, Børge, don’t want you getting frostbite… 

Why we love Børge: on his dangerous trips, he takes skis hand-painted by his little son to remind him of the family he looks forward to seeing on his return.

Round-the-world adventurer: Sarah Outen (UK)

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AHOY THERE! Who’s as happy as me to see this sunshine? 🙌⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #sarahoutenhome #homethefilm #☀️#london2london #adventurefilm #oceanrowing #kayak #cycling #rowing #atlanticrowing #camping #adventure #womeninfilm #womenadventurers

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Looking up to find yourself naked, washing yourself in a stream and surrounded by hungry brown bears is just another day in the life for round-the-world adventurer Sarah. She travelled from ‘London to London via The World’ in a challenging rowing, cycling and kayaking journey that covered 25,000 miles and took almost five years. Overcoming isolation, remoteness, trials and challenges, Sarah’s awe-inspiring achievement is one of the most unique circumnavigations of the globe this century.  

Why we love Sarah: nothing stops this woman, from personal injury to natural and kit disasters. Though her plans met significant setbacks, Sarah got there in the end. 

Desert explorer: Levison Wood (UK)

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Two years ago, on #walkingtheamericas in the jungle of Costa Rica #photography 📸 @simonbuxton #belstaff

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Levison Wood is a British explorer whose dangerous, country-crossing exploits became acclaimed global TV series. He doesn’t stick to one terrain but plans pioneering journeys into any environment, from the jungles of the Americas and Africa’s arid deserts to the high-altitude Himalayas. He’s been shot at, arrested and driven off a cliff by a driver. He’s narrowly avoided bombs, mines and civil warfare near his camps. If you seek a peaceful life, don’t travel with Lev – he’s like a danger magnet.

Why we love Levison: he just keeps going. Having walked thousands of miles already, his new series showcases the desert majesty of Arabia. I’m thirsty already. Pass the water…

Freerunning champion: Dimitris Kyrsanidis (Greece)

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Upside down or downside up?🤔 @redbullgre @redbull #DK #parkour #freerunning #photography #photo #photoshooting #flips #backflip #upsidedown #skg #athens #greece #backflip 📸:@alexvilaras

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Extraordinary Dimitris started freerunning at the age of just 12. He found normal sports too ordinary, too casual. He needed more danger in his lunch break. Attracted to the sport’s risky flips, jumps and freedom, he trained like crazy and focused his wild energy into runs, leaps and legendary landings. His gravity-defying skill has brought him worldwide fame and a seat at the freerunning elite table.  

Why we love Dimitris: when not competing he contributes to jams and workshops, helping to grow this niche sport’s audience and popularity.

World-class cliff-diver: Gary Hunt (UK)

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After a rough start to the year things are looking up. Thanks for the support – team @budgysmuggler I'm happy to be part of the family with @blakecliffdiver and @lysanne_richard 📷 – @rominaamatophoto #redbullcliffdiving #budgysmuggler

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When not winning diving championships in far-flung corners of the world, phenomenal cliff diver Gary is an amateur juggler and adventurer, jumping off bridges, buildings and cranes…for fun. Since taking up cliff diving, he’s become the most successful man in the business. A daredevil and creator of new moves, he’s rocketed to the top of his game at the same speed as his insane yet immaculate downward dives. Gary has a wild streak, and has had the word ‘vertigo’ erased from his vocabulary. 

Why we love Gary: as a dive pro in many categories, he quickly saw a chance to become the world’s best in the cliff diving niche, and trained his hat off to get there. ‘A’ for effort.

Long-distance hiker: Cheryl Strayed (USA)

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“The power of perspective is that we can clearly see where we’ve been. The agony of the present is we don’t know where we’ll go. But it’s also its pleasure. Put another way: Things could get worse, but they could also get better.” That’s an excerpt from my piece in the @nickkristof newsletter, which I guest wrote this week. I wrote about the importance of protecting our national trails and public lands. You can read it all at the link in my profile. #nationaltrails

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Cheryl went on a walk. But not in the way that most people do. With no training or prep, she packed a bag (that practically weighed more than she did) and trekked the USA’s wild and remote Pacific Crest Trail – a 2,650 mile route from Mexico to Canada. All alone, she dealt with fear, loneliness, snakes, unsavoury characters and exhaustion. Though this was ‘just a walk’, it was a wild undertaking for a regular, suburban girl. That’s why it’s become a bestseller, a global inspiration and a Hollywood hit.  

Why we love Sheryl: her story only came to light because she met a journalist en route who encouraged her to write a book on her experiences in the wilderness. Bingo. Global domination.

Motorbike adventurer: Lois Pryce (UK) 

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Recent ride through Jordan. Shiniest bike I've ever ridden… @silkroadadventures @belstaff @motolegends_uk #desertbiking #motoguzzi

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Lois is a risk-loving, adventure motorbiking legend. Warming up with a 20,000 mile trip from Alaska to Argentina, she next rode from London to Capetown through some of Africa’s most dangerous countries, fearing for her life on several occasions. Lois has since ignored the hype to motorbike around Iran, solo, on a myth-busting mission. Grabbing wild by the horns and revelling in remoteness, reading up on her life is exhilarating and exhausting enough. Imagine what it’s like to actually BE her. 

Why we love Lois: when not busy being a supercool adventurer, author and film festival cofounder, she plays the banjo in all-girl bluegrass band, The Jolenes. #seriousgirlcrush

Big-wave surf champion: Maya Gabeira (Brazil)

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One more 💎. Super feliz c essas semanas de surf. Muitas horas na agua. Foto: @georgep637

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Maya Gabeira is one of the planet’s boldest female surfers. She enters the world’s wildest waters to surf multistory waves, and has been brought back to life twice following near-death incidents at the mercy of the sea. Maya fought back to fearless fitness and has since ridden the biggest wave ever by a woman: a bone-crushingly powerful 82-foot number in Portugal. Her next fight was getting Guinness to create a new women’s big wave World Record. She won that battle and now holds that title, too. 

Why we love Maya: she has a superhero’s capacity to avoid death. She could have been a dancer or a model but says that surfing is the only thing that makes her truly happy.

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