Bagged the Seven Summits by Age 18To climb the highest peaks on all seven continents within a year of finishing high school—such was the achievement of Californian Samantha Larson, who claimed her final summit, Mount Everest, on May 17.
Kayaked the Tallest Waterfall Ever
On a good day, Alexandra Falls on Canada's Hay River measures a towering 107 feet from lip to foaming pool. September 7 was a good day: Tyler Bradt, a Montanan, made the record-breaking drop in a single, nail-biting try.
Crossed the Ocean in An Eco-Balloon
With nothing but an open basket and a helium balloon, David Hempleman-Adams, a Brit, crossed the Atlantic in a record three days, 17 hours, and 27 minutes. While the forest was scarce, he did his part for the trees: The expedition was completely carbon free.
Skied Solo to the South Pole
690 miles (1,110 kilometers), 70-mph winds (113-kilometers per hour), and -56°C temps (-69°F)—that's what Aussie Hannah McKeand, 33, had to battle, alone, to reach the South Pole just before New Year's in record time: 39 days, 9 hours, and 33 minutes.
Made the Wildest BASE Jump Known
In May Chris McNamara leaped into a cleft in a 3,000-foot (914-meter) face above the polar desert of Baffin Island. Using a nylon "wingsuit," the 28-year-old Californian flew horizontally out of the crevasse, then down the side of the face until he pulled his chute some 200 feet (61 meters) above ground. He landed a mere 100 feet (30 meters) from his tent.
Circled the Globe Over 13 Years
In 1992 Jason Lewis, a 40-year-old Brit, left home to bike, rollerblade, walk, kayak, and paddleboat his way around the world. In September, after two oceans and five continents, he finished his human-powered circumnavigation as one would expect: right back where he started.
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