15 Extreme Travel Adventures
Most people go on vacations to relax and unwind. Others go on vacation to explore and go on adventures. These people take life by the horns and aren’t afraid of much, not even death. The earth is like an extreme playground, with much to do and plenty to see. Some of the places and thing you can go and do aren’t what the majority of people are willing to voluntary themselves for. On this list the activities and the places they are doing usually has a margin of sever injury or death. These are some of the most extreme travel adventures.
Climb Mount Everest Mount Everest is the highest mountain on earth. Ever since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first proved in 1953 that standing atop the world’s tallest peak was possible, the mountain has been synonymous with challenge and adventure. Each spring dozens of people come to Nepal, China to take on the challenge of climbing the mountain, despite the storms, avalanche hazard, and the bitter cold. Everyone from a 13 year old to the blind and amputees risk life and limb to reach the summit and clinch a new record.
Wingsuit Fly Base Jump Off the Eiger When you ask people what super power they wished they had, many will want the ability to fly. Well, you can fly. It’s not like Superman flying but with a wingsuit on you can jump from a tall building or mountain and soar though the sky. The best place to do this in in Switzerland flying from the peak of Eiger. Eiger which translates to “ogre” in German, is a 13,000 foot beast of limestone, gneiss, shale, and ice that towers over the resort town of Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps. Its unpredictable weather, loose rock, and steep slopes have claimed the lives of more than 60 climbers, and yet its iconic 5,905-foot north face still proves irresistible. You can join some experienced wingsuit fliers, climb it and then launch off it.
Surf Big Waves at Shipsterns Bluff Australia is known for having one of the best surf scenes in the world. On the far southern coast of Tasmania, jutting into one of the Earth’s most unpredictable and tempestuous seas, lies a point break so remote and isolated it’s reachable only by boat or an hour-long wilderness trek. It is called Shipsterns Bluff, a break where waves start crashing at eight feet but can top 20 feet. This is a place for expert surfers only and even they have trouble taming these waves.
Hike the Triple Crown The length of the United States’ three longest trails combined equals nearly 7,700 miles. It is enough to stretch nearly a third of the way around the globe. That explains why fewer than a hundred people have completed the feat known as the Triple Crown. Walking the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide Trails generally takes years and multiple pairs of boots, as hikers hoof over some of the country’s roughest terrain. Hikers take in wave-battered coastlines, forests, snow capped peaks, volcanoes, the otherworldly geology of the desert, and, above us all, huge skies that change like moods in a pregnant lady.
Ski K2 K2 is the world’s second tallest mountain at 28,251 feet. It is more remote than Mount Everest and has more unpredictable weather, making it more deadly. Naturally that makes it one of the world’s most coveted prizes for top pro ski mountaineers. Skiers, in recent years have raced to tag the summit and jump-turn back down. American high-altitude ski guide Dave Watson skied from 820 feet below the summit in 2009 and Swedish mountaineer Fredrick Ericsson died trying in 2010. The full feat has yet to be accomplished. Maybe you can do it.
Free Climb Yosemite’s El Capitan El Capitan is two times the height of New York City’s Empire State Building, towering over California’s Yosemite Valley like a fortress. It was precisely this taunting impressiveness that lured early climbers and established Yosemite as the birthplace of climbing in the United States. One of the most storied routes is The Nose, a beautiful hump of rock that has become a prize for avid climbers. Speed climbers race up it in hours, but most mortals take between three and five days to get to the top. Free Climbing is when ropes and other aids are not used to climb up a mountain.
Cross the Sahara Desert The world’s great sea of sand, the Sahara Desert, stretches 3.3 million square miles across North Africa. Crossing it is a great challenge indeed. That’s why it has lured many explorers, who have braved dust storms, hostile tribes, thirst, and intolerable heat to experience a frontier of epic proportions. The bravest of adventurers cross it on foot, camel, or 4-by-4 vehicles, outfitted with plenty of emergency survival gear. There is still little help out there if something goes wrong, so you and whoever you go with should know what you are getting into.
Set a New Kayak Waterfall Record Kayaking is something people try at least once in their life time. Some people make it a hobby while others make it a professional sport and living. Attempting a new waterfall record in a kayak requires a lot of scouting, an acceptance that you’ll probably get at least a little hurt. In recent years, waterfalls have proven an irresistible, and dangerous, frontier for young-gun pro-kayakers seeking eternal bragging rights.
Descend Into an Active Volcano This sounds like an absolute crazy idea that no would should probably do. That’s why it’s on this list. This is strictly for daredevils who love life so much that they are willing to lose it, descending into Vanatu’s Marum Volcano. Needless-to-say you have to go with an expert so you can see boiling lava lakes from only a few hundreds of feet away. Please understand that live volcanoes are unpredictable and their craters offer all sorts of inhospitable challenges such as toxic gas, extreme heat, tumbling rocks, and unwarranted explosions. So with that said do your family a favor, increase your life insurance policy and write your will before taking this trip.
Climb, Swim, or Surf the Poles As humans continue to develop technology and expand in numbers, the natural frontiers of earth are slowly disappearing. In particular the polar ice caps might be the first to go and never com back. Before they melt away, take advantage of the extreme activities you can do there. In recent years, a six-person expedition explored the huge winter waves off Norway’s Lofoten Islands by surfboard. Pro skier Chris Davenport took a team of athletes to ski unnamed peaks in Antarctica.
Ski the Hahnenkamm Downhill Race Nowadays, liability lawyers would never let a race like the Hahnenkamm Downhill happen. But in 1931 race organizers paid no heed to potential lawsuits when they created what would become arguably be the most hair-raising downhill course on the planet. Over two miles, the run drops 2,800 vertical feet with turns that rattle even the toughest racers. Those who stay upright have been clocked speeds up to 87 miles an hour. The race now attracts the world’s top skiers and qualifying is one of the hardest parts, but spectating is an extreme sport unto itself. Some 85,000 Swiss and Austrian fans, waving flags, blowing horns, and ringing cowbells, crowd the course and, come evening, compete for beer in one of Austria’s most storied winter bacchanals.
Trek Through the Amazon Despite its obvious perils from jungle-borne diseases to leeches, jaguars, baseball-size tarantulas, and prehistoric river creatures, the Amazon has attracted many adventurers. Even Theodore Roosevelt trekked through the Amazon. Nowadays, it’s perhaps not so much the lure of Inca treasure or the lost city of El Dorado that draws adventurers, but the promise of pure adventure that lies in one of the last great frontiers.
Dive the Blue Holes When vacationing divers like to dip into the upper levels of the Bahamas’ blue holes. The blue holes are flooded inland caves formed originally from limestone. These caves are relatively dangerous due to a layer of toxic gas between the lower and upper levels. Below that layer of gas lies a kingdom of passageways that holds fossils and ancient formations. Those who do venture into the watery veins of the Earth discover whole ballrooms full of tightly packed stalactites, prehistoric human remains, and fossils of now extinct crocodiles and tortoises. These caves are, another world.
Road Bike from Alaska to Argentina Between Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, there is about 20,000 miles of highway, two of the world’s steepest mountain ranges, and more than a dozen countries. The perfect place to ride a bike. Such a distance takes upwards of two years, making it not so much a trip but a quest. The challenges include flat tires in remote areas, wild and hostile South American drivers, and, long and lonely stretches of Alaskan highway. The upside is that riders get to see landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia from a different perspective than most people.
Swim With Great White Sharks Thanks to the Jaws movie franchise, entire generations of otherwise adventurous people mortally fear great white sharks. Yet swimming with grat white sharks can still be found on the bucket list of a few brave souls. Fewer have actually done it and even a smaller group has done it without the protection of a cage. Those few have figured out that even though the apex predators are some of the world’s largest sharks, humans aren’t their natural prey. Swimming with great whites takes patience, vigilance, the humility to retreat quickly, and, perhaps above all, guts.