Surfer Maya Gabeira riding a frigid wave in Yakutat Bay, Alaska.
Despite having the most coastline of any state in the U.S., Alaska’s freezing temperatures preclude most people from surfing its ample waves. But for big-wave surfers who can handle the cold, the enormous swells of Yakutat Bay are hard to resist. “We went in winter,” says surfer Maya Gabeira. “To surf solid waves surrounded by snow and snow-covered mountains was surreal.”
Nepalis Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa in tandem flight from the summit of Mount Everest.
The peak of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, sits at more than 29,000 feet above sea level. At that height, the temperature is always colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit, and wind gusts at the level of about one Category 1 hurricane (around 74 miles an hour) every four days.
Dean Potter free soloing Deep Blue Sea on the Eiger, Switzerland
Trip Jennings runs an unnamed waterfall on the Pandi River expedition, Papua New Guinea.
Børge Ousland at the beginning of his 1994 solo, unsupported North Pole expedition.
Todd Wells kayaking the Grand Canyon of the Stikine, British Columbia.