© Tyler Roemer
Life On the Edge
Many of us just spent a year or more in lockdown, but the time for full-throated adventure may finally be upon us.
Whether you’re ready to plan or still in the dreaming phase, here are some wild images, all taken by top adventure photographers in wilderness locations throughout the U.S., to stoke your imagination. Flip through the portfolio and picture yourself getting out there in a big way.
Location: Forbidden Peak
Climber Zak Krenzer approaches the summit of Forbidden Peak, located in the heart of North Cascades National Park in Washington. The route up the mountain’s west ridge is celebrated in the iconic guidebook Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. Experienced climbers say that there’s no easy way off the majestically rocky, 8,815-foot peak—that the adventure is only half over after you tag the summit.
Location: Oh Be Joyful Creek
Kayaker Tim Kelton paddles over a waterfall, backwards, on Oh Be Joyful Creek, a Class V thrill ride near Crested Butte, Colorado. In less than a mile, the creek drops 600 feet, meaning super-competent paddlers can bomb the whole stretch in less than 10 minutes. This is not a spot for intermediate paddlers to learn new skills; locals like to call it Oh Be Careful Creek for a reason.
Location: American Fork Canyon
Climber Lizzy Ellison muscles her way up Teardrop, a 5.13a route in American Fork Canyon. Located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, less than an hour from downtown Salt Lake City, American Fork is a wonderland for sport climbers, with hundreds of routes—from 5.7 to 5.14c—on the steep, pocket-filled limestone walls.
Playing the Slots
Location: Dunham Slot Canyon
Canyoneer Emily West rappels into the depths of Dunham Canyon, a slot canyon located near Kodachrome Basin State Park in southern Utah. The technical part of the canyon is not long—maybe 300 meters—but delivers a lot of photogenic payoff for those with the right skills.
Location: Yosemite Valley
Climber Brian Mosbaugh hits out on the “Long Rostrum” line, which is 120 feet long and hangs almost 2,000 feet above the floor of Yosemite Valley. This area is where highlining truly took off in the 1990s, as Dean Potter was the first to walk the Rostrum line untethered.
Location: Virgin, Utah
Freestyle mountain bike pro Rémy Métailler—who originally is from France and now calls Whistler in British Columbia home—hucks with real artistry on the legendary hills near Virgin, Utah. The terrain shown was home to an earlier iteration of Red Bull Rampage.
Location: The Berkshires
Sometimes you can taste the sharp edge of adventure without any technical wizardry or physical suffering. Here photographer Matt Baldelli captured his girlfriend, Megan—now his wife—as she sips sunrise coffee after a frigid fall night in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
With the sun rising, a participant in an educational program at the Snake River BASE Academy jumps off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho—the eighth-highest bridge in the U.S., soaring 486 feet over the Snake River. Sometimes the most important step in any meaningful adventure is taking the leap.