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The Year in Review: Our Top Ten Stories of Adventure
Posted on January 1, 2015

Night 9 on the Torngat, with bear guards Jake Sandy Ananack and David Unatweenuk patrolling camp under the northern lights.

During the past year, we’ve told countless tales of adventure on the Live Your Adventure blog. From ski sagas and fishing trips to expeditions in the most remote corners of the globe, we’ve tracked the travels of our guide and athlete team with powerful stories and transportive images. For us, it was tough to pick favorites, so we let you choose—with your likes and shares—our best blog stories of 2014. For your New Year’s weekend reading pleasure, we’re recapping, in reverse order, our top ten stories of 2014 with a link to the original story on the Live Your Adventure blog below. Cheers to all our readers and here’s to another round of adventure in 2015. —LYA Editor

#10) Trevor Frost Checks In from the Jungles of Borneo

“Already we’ve been up the Kapuas River in the Central Kalimantan province. There, we rode in old canoe-like boats with two-stroke lawnmower motors. The boat had two speeds: slow and flat out, which our driver controlled by pulling a string. The engine was loud and annoying, but the wind in my hair and the lack of bugs made up for it, especially considering we were about to spend three weeks living in a peat swamp forest renowned for mosquitoes.”

—Trevor Frost on River Travel in the Boreno Rainforest

Trevor Frost traveling by boat up a tributary of the Kapuas River in Central Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo, Indonesia

#9) Caroline George Gets Back on the Chamonix Ice for Vent Du Dragon

“It had just snowed quite a bit and no one had been on the route since the last storm, so I had to clean a lot of snow to actually be able to wiggle my way inch by inch up the ramp to where it angles up and right. I reached around blindly to swing my ice axe into thin ice and mantled over the chockstone. The ice is thin this year all over the Alps, it seems.”

—Caroline George on the Thin Ice Climbing in Chamonix 

Stereotypical, Chamonix Ice Runnel Framed in Granite

#8) Ben Stookesberry Joins the Nepal Kayak Club for a Second Descents of the Seti and the Madi in the Annapurna Range

“At first I can’t comprehend what’s happening. For days now, we have been in this canyon living in the shadow of a peak that is at least 10,000 feet taller than anything in my home state of California. And now, before my eyes, there is a giant avalanche ripping down the mountain heading straight for us.”

—Ben Stookesberry on the Echoes of an Avalanche in the Annapurna Range

In the Shadow of Giants, Pedro on the Madi

#7) Rebecca Etchen Peters recaps Ladies Weekend with Garden and Gun Magazine

“Keep your head down, Rebecca.” I have been hearing those words for many years…from my father, my grandfather, my brother, my mother, my husband, and most often, myself. Having spent a lot of time with shooters and hunters throughout my life and career, it is also a common answer when you just cannot understand why you are missing a clay target. It also has applied to anything that you set your eyes on, or your mind to, even off the range.”

—Rebecca Etchen Peters on Her Sporting Clays Technique

Rebecca Etchen Peters on the Ladies Garden and Gun weekend at Brays Island

#6) Chris Coulter Split Technique and Big-Line Sickness from Argentina

Coulter Dropping Van Titter in the Bariloche backcountry, Argentina

#5) Andrew Bennett Breaks Down Seattle’s Sea-Run Cutthroat Fishing

“Here in the Puget Sound region where Eddie Bauer makes its home, salmon and steelhead are the best-known game fish.  In the early 1900s, Eddie himself was an avid salmon fisherman, and salmon and steelhead anglers today put in many hours on Puget Sound locations near Seattle and on the rivers in the area. One local fish that’s often overlooked, though, is the sea-run cutthroat trout.  These beautiful local fish provide great angling opportunities, with incredibly easy access just minutes from even downtown Seattle.”

—Andrew Bennett on an Overlooked Fish from his Seattle Home Turf

Sea Run Cut in Photarium

#4) Lynsey Dyer Talks Power and Resonance at the Pretty Faces Seattle Premiere

“I just stumble over myself because something really special happened that night. And everyone I talked to, whether they were an athlete or in the audience, I know that everyone felt something that they’ve never felt before at a ski movie. So that was always my hope, that it would truly touch people’s hearts in a special way.”

—Lynsey Dyer on the Community Response to Her Creative Vision

Lynsey Dyer signing for the fans

#3) Katie Lambert and Caroline George Crush the Big Walls of Spain in Picos de Europa

“As we stood on the porch of the refugio and scanned the area for a good spot to pitch our tents and unload our burdensome packs, Murciana 78 and the west face, with all the rest of its routes, still stood as myth and rumor. And just as the anticipation of seeing the wall was about to kill me, the fog dissipated and gave us a very quick glimpse of the orange and grey towering monolith of limestone. In bed that night, tucked into my sleeping bag, I mulled over the guidebook, trying to decipher the history of the Picu. I drifted off to sleep that first night with the thrill and excitement of the days to come.”

—Katie Lambert on Visualizing Big Wall Free Climbs in the Picu

Katie climbs the crux pitch of Murciana 78 on Picu Urriellu

#2) Melissa Arnot Describes Her Motivation for the Juniper Fund

“There are moments that change your life. They happen and you never see them coming, but after, nothing is the same. In late October 2010, I experienced one of those moments. While climbing a 7,000-meter peak in the Himalaya, my good friend and climbing partner, Chhewang Nima Sherpa, was killed by collapsing ice. He was a father, a husband, and a pillar of the Sherpa community. A sponsored climber, he had the second-most Everest summits in the mountain’s history. He was giving and kind. And he was gone.”

—Melissa Arnot on the Aftereffects of Tragedy in the Mountains

Nima Lhamu Sherpa and her son Tenzing Chosang Sherpa in 2009

#1) Destination Torngat Ticks a No Portage Descent of the Nachvak

“Since starting our pioneer canoe route into the Nachvak River from Kangiqsualujjuaq nine days ago, we’ve accomplished what none of us dreamed was possible: a no-portage descent of the 18 falls of the Nachvak through the Torngat Mountains.  Certainly the presence of legendary kayaker Benny Marr went a long way towards this complete descent, but every member of the kayak team, including Pedro Oliva, Chris Korbulic, and myself, had our turn at first go at some of the most awe-inspiring and distinctive whitewater any of us have ever seen.  The experience was something like a classic big falls river out of Norway or California dropped on the moon. A big difference is that this lunar landscape is covered in blueberries, a plant like a cranberry, and mushrooms.”

-Ben Stookesberry Reflects on the End of Destination Torngat in Labrador

#6 on the Nachvak, with Chris Korbulic scouting on the morning of day 10. Pedro had made the first descent of this drop the evening before, while the rest of the team waited for the next morning.

A huge thank you to all the athletes, photographers and brand advocates who made all of our stories of adventure possible in 2014 in a year of both triumph and tragedy in the mountains. And, a nod of serious recognition to our readers, who we hope are inspired by these words and images to seek out their own tales of adventure.

Author: - Thursday, January 1st, 2015
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