12 Most Epic Adventures of 2014

From climbing caves to canyoning glaciers, we look back at an incredible year of adventure stories.
The end of another day
The end of another day... © John Stapels
By Tarquin Cooper

They say it's all been done and there's nothing left to explore. Anyone who believes that should do themselves a favor and check in to redbull.com/adventure more often.

Over the last year we've featured some incredible stories, from paragliders exploring remote Pacific islands, to climbers making first ascents in exotic locations, to wingsuit flyers pushing the boundaries of human possibility. Still don't believe us? Just cast your eyes below and savour some of the best adventure stories we covered in 2014. Alternatively head over here and watch all the best POV action from 2014 in a single video clip.

January: Searching for Pacific paradise

In a sentence: Tom de Dorlodot and Horacio Llorens explore remote islands from the air.
Location: South Pacific
Adventure score: 8

The Pacific isn't all hula girls, unspoilt beaches and tropical cocktails, as adventurers Tom de Dorlodot and Horacio Llorens discovered on their 2013-2014 sailing and paragliding expedition. Not only were they the first to paraglide in the area, but challenging conditions meant it was no easy ride. On one occasion Llorens went for an unplanned swim, treading water for two hours before rescue could arrive. Find more images, videos and cool stuff on the event page.

To see the sea
To see the sea © Tom de Dorlodot/Search Projects

February: Into the Light

In a sentence: Climbers Chris Sharma and Stefan Glowacz make the first ascent of the world's largest roof climb.
Location: Majlis al Jinn, Oman
Adventure rating: 8

The stats speak for themselves: 160 meters (524 feet), 13 pitches of incredibly hard, overhanging climbing inside one of the world's largest caves. Success was far from a foregone conclusion – Glowacz suffered a major ropeburn injury after taking a fall, leaving Sharma to lead the way. “It's one of the most impressive things I’ve done,” he said afterwards. Watch the video here.

Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma climbing during his expedition in Oman.
Dropping down into Majlis al Jinn © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH

March: Drakensberg Grand Traverse

In a sentence: Ultra-runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel smash the record for running the epic 220-kilometer (136 miles) Drakensberg Grand Traverse.
Location: South Africa
Adventure rating: 8

The Drakensberg are wild and remote. Anyone who heads up there needs to know how to look after themselves and how to navigate. In many places there's simply no trail at all, making Sandes and Griesel's achievement all the more impressive – they ran the entire length non-stop in 41 hours and 49 minutes. Check out the incredible video story here.


Run when the weather’s good.
Drakensberg dream © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool

April: BASE jumping Burj Khalifa

In a sentence: Fred Fugen and Vincent Reffet jump into the record books with the highest BASE jump off the world's tallest building.
Location: Dubai
Adventure rating: 7

Made with the full co-operation of the city-state authorities, Vincent Reffet and Fred Fugen succeeded in jumping off the Everest of buildings – Dubai's Burj Khalifa. It was so good, they went back for more, eventually making a total of six jumps and rounding the building. Check out the video here.

I'm flying away...
Diving head-first © Noah Bahnson

May: High altitude Mont Blanc skydive

In a sentence: Not content to sit back and put their feet up, just a month after jumping from Burj Khalifa, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet jumped from 10,000 meters (over 32,000 feet) above Mt Blanc, then flew down one of the mountain's longest ridges.
Location: French/Italian border, Alps
Adventure rating: 9.5

Jumping out of a plane at over 32,000 feet? Ok, you're wearing oxygen and it's -58°F – respect. But this was not just a high altitude jump. The French pair proceeded to then perform some high altitude acro moves before then flying along one of the mountain's longest ridges, sometimes just a matter of metres from the rock before pulling their chutes. As the French would say: chapeau! Meet the photographer who got the shots.

Fred Fugen during a training skydive above Austria
Fred Fugen during a training jump above Austria © Dom Daher/Red Bull Content Pool

June: Cousteau spends 31 days underwater

In a sentence: Man spends a month living underwater in an 18m long chamber.
Location: Florida Keys
Adventure rating: 6

When your grandpa is legendary frogman Jacques-Yves Cousteau, it's not suprising you're going to spend your life on the water. But underneath the water? For the month of June, that's exactly what Fabien Cousteau did, living and diving out of a chamber. He made some important discoveries as well: “So many of the small, everyday things differed vastly,” he told us. “For example, you can’t whistle down there and your hair grows so much faster as well." Read the interview with an underwater legend.

Fabien Cousteau diving during a mission.
Cousteau in front of the Aquarius Habitat © KipEvansMission

July: Red Bull Aces

In a sentence: The world's top wingsuit flyers come together for a contest of skill and precision flying.
Location: California
Adventure rating: 6

Ok, hands up – we love the crazy heart-in-mouth proximity wingsuit flying feats as much as the next person. But the sport is not just about trying to fly through tiny gaps or as close to the ground as possible, where the margin for error is minimal. That's part of the concept of Red Bull Aces, which pitted 52 top flyers together for the first time for a contest of side-by-side racing to find the world's best pilot – and without crazy risk. The honour fell to 31-year-old Andy Farrington. Watch the video here.

Red Bull Aces wingsuit race
Water landing possible!? © Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

August: Rocky Traverse

In a sentence: Seasoned adventure pros Will Gadd and Gavin McClurg make an audacious flight across true American wilderness.
Location: Canadian rockies
Adventure rating: 9.5

This was no ordinary 'hike and fly' vol biv flight. For starters there was no hiking – at the outset Gadd and McClurg vowed that every mile would be covered in the air or not at all. In the end, they covered 650 kilometers (403 miles) in 35 days over some of America's wildest backcountry, a feat which earned them a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year nomination. Check out the epic video footage.

Paragliding over the Rocky Mountains.
Rocky traverse 01 © Jody MacDonald

September: Canyoning glaciers

In a sentence: The textbook says you should cross glaciers with crampons on your feet and an ice-axe in your hand, but these guys found another way...
Location: Aletsch glacier, Switzerland
Adventure rating: 8

Crossing glaciers is normally a boring slog, or the sting in the tail either side of the more interesting part of climbing a mountain. But guides Claude-Alain Gailland and Gilles Janin found a more fun way – descending on a hydroboard. The activity is potentially dangerous – but looks crazy fun. Here's our original story.

Two athletes sliding down a small glacier river.
Hydrospeed adventure © D.CARLIER/davidcarlierphotography.com

October: Volvo Ocean Race

In a sentence: The world's premier crewed round-the-world sailing race.
Location: Spain, South Africa, UAE, China, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Adventure rating: 9

Eleven ports, 38,739 nautical miles, fierce seas, the world's finest sailors and futuristic yachts that only know one thing – going fast. It's a heady cocktail of man, technology and nature and one hell of an adventure. Biggest drama so far? When Team Vestas ran aground and were shipwrecked. Watch the video and catch the full story here.

Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15
The fleet is out for a cruise, pre-race © María Muiña/MAPFRE

November: Highline world record broken in China

In a sentence: Alex Schulz, extends the existing highline world record to 375 meters (1,230 feet)!
Location: Shenxian Ju National Park, China
Adventure rating: 7

If you're going to break a world record, you may as well do it somewhere remote and interesting as well. Alex Shulz certainly ticked that box by heading to China for this feat. Just getting there was a challenge. “To set up the fixed ropes we had to fight our way through the dense jungle.” Read the full story here.

Highlining in beautiful China © Oneinchdreams⁄Olszewski

December: Keyhole Unlocked

In a sentence: Aniol Serrasolses becomes the first kayaker to 'unlock' the Keyhole, a 35m waterfall drop.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Adventure rating: 9

So many things can go wrong with a big waterfall drop. The lining-up has to be almost perfect which takes immense skill – and huge cojones. Just getting to the Keyhole falls was an adventure for Aniol. First he had to abseil 100 meters (328 feet) with his kayak to get onto the water. It also requires patience – the first attempt had to be aborted because the water level was too high. But it paid off in the end. “I've never been happier under a waterfall!,” Aniol said afterwards. Watch the video here.

The wide-angle view © Eric Parker/Red Bull Content Pool

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