Meet the adventurers on a mission

The best adventures are often those you don't hear about. Check these five audacious feats.
Olly Hicks rowing on the ocean.
“Suicide”? Hicks plans to row the world © Andy Smith
By Will Gray

From an adventurer attempting to row solo around the world to a mountaineer nicknamed 'the monster', we showcase five adventurers whose missions are off the map.

Who: Olly Hicks
The goal: 29,000km row around the world
Badass rating: 10/10

His previous attempt was described as 'at best perilous and at worst suicidal' and ended just 96 days into a 20-month trip. Undeterred, Hicks is planning another attempt to row around the world in one go. What makes the attempt so extreme is the fact that the route is through the ferocious Southern Ocean, which has been terrifying mariners for centuries. “It's one of the last great firsts,” says Hicks. Will it be a last? Find out in 2016.

Olly Hicks posing for a portrait with the fish.
Olly Hicks - Fish for supper © Olly Hicks

Who: Andy Smith
The goal: 8,000km cycle to Brazil's world cup stadiums
Badass rating: 5/10

Okay, so this isn't the gnarliest expedition, but we love the quirky idea. Smith's mission is to ride between all 12 World Cup football venues in Brazil. So far he is up to his 10th stadium – after cycling 5,600km. Aside from the typical issues of flat tyres and snapped chains, he has also been forced off the road several times by giant trucks and taken tumbles on swampy rain-soaked roads. His overnight stays have included an abandoned ‘horror movie’ house, a fairy castle called Camelot and, 'by accident', a 'love motel'! We believe you!

Large swamps aggrevate Andy's way through Brazil.
Andy Smith reaches the end of the road © Andy Smith

Who: Ash Dykes
The goal: 3,200km solo trek across Mongolia
Badass rating: 6/10

Pulling a home-made hobo chariot, Dykes wants to be the first to trek solo across the forbidding landscape of Mongolia. Biggest fears for the 23 year old are dehydration, grey wolves and wild dogs. For his training he walked the length of Wales, so at least he'll know how to deal with rogue sheep.

Dykes walking torwards the mountains.
Dykes plans to walk across Mongolia. © Ash Dykes

Who: Cornelius Strohm / Michael Charavin
The goal: Unsupported 5,000km kite circumnavigation of Greenland
Badass rating: 8/10

Greenland is a well-known destination for adventurers looking to tag first ascents, prepare for the Poles and undertake wind-supported journeys. But no one has circled the entire island with snowkites. Until now. Step forward 40-year-old German experimental physicist Cornelius Strohm and polar guide Michael Charavin. The pair are currently 1,200km way into their unsupported journey. This is what adventure is all about.

Olly Hicks rowing on the ocean.
It's the unknowns who often do the coolest stuff © Cornelius Strohm

Who: Vitaly Shkel
The goal: Mountain records
Badass rating: 12/10

Nicknamed 'the monster', Vitaly Shkel was the surprise Russian who kept pace with mountain running champion Kilian Jornet in last year's International Mt Elbrus race – earning him a cameo in Déjame Vivir, the new film from adventure filmmaker Sebastian Montaz.
Little is known about the elusive Russian, but last year he achieved legend status locally after spending all summer living in a barrel hut at 4,000m on the slopes of Mt Elbrus, 5,642m, just to prepare for the race. His next goal: setting speed ascents in the Himalayas.
Check out Déjame Vivir to see him in action.

Vitaly Shkel posing for a portrait during an adventure.
Vitaly Shkel is known as 'the monster'. Wonder why © Sébastien Montaz-Rosset

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