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The Wild Bunch

Come plunge down China’s biggest sand dune, gallop headlong across the Argentine pampas and clamber up Yosemite’s Half Dome as we present our annual adventure issue, brimming with the world’s best ways to get your adrenaline pumping

Greeting the dawn from the top of Egypt’s Mount Sinai

At 3 a.m., the camel path that winds up Mount Sinai was in total darkness. Seven hundred very steep feet from the top, we dismounted and stumbled upward, sensing the sheer drop below. At the summit: bitter cold and a little wooden hut, where we sprawled on benches for a brief nap. Before long, we were roused by a man in a djellaba, who beckoned with his lantern to a small plateau facing east. The morning star rose first, quickly, a pink ball against the black sky. Then came the sun, which lifted up over the Sinai Peninsula, light and heat flooding across the mountains toward our plateau. The day did not so much break, as erupt in front of us. —Adrian Mourby

More of a sofa-surfer? Here are four new books that promise first-class vicarious thrills.

Mud, Sweat and Tears: The Autobiography // Bear Grylls: Even among the most vaunted seekers of peril, there are some—like “Man vs. Wild” star Bear Grylls—who are fascinating simply for their striking lack of interest in insulating themselves from harm. This great outdoorsman’s long-awaited autobiography sheds a bit of light on the mania of the extremophile. May 1

Atlantic Fever: Lindbergh, His Competitors and the Race to Cross the Atlantic // Joe Jackson: Everyone knows the story of aviator Charles Lindbergh and his inaugural flight across the Atlantic Ocean, but what most don’t know is that, after seven years of sitting unclaimed, a $25,000 prize had inspired Lindbergh and 15 other aviators to give the task a shot within just five weeks. Six of them didn’t come back. May 8

No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses // Peter Piot: Microbiologist Peter Piot has lived a life more adventure-filled than an epidemic movie: He headed into the quarantine zone in Central Africa soon after the Ebola virus broke out, and then found himself traveling around the world to debate some of the first AIDS initiatives with the likes of Fidel Castro and South African president Thabo Mbeki. May 28

Swell: A Year of Waves // Evan Slater and Peter Taras: This book of photographs and related essays put together by Surfing magazine duo Slater and Taras uses as its subject four giant ocean swells that start from different corners of the globe and drive gorgeous, translucent, rideable waves to the world’s great surf beaches. May 9 Jacqueline Detwiler

“These Indonesian villagers had never seen girls—or anyone, really—surfing before, so they all came out in their canoes and were trying to catch waves with us. It was such a special thing not only to have experienced, but to have shared with friends. It was like, ‘What? This is my life? Are you kidding me?’” —Kassia Meador, pro longboard surfer

One Response to “The Wild Bunch”

  1. Alan M. Astengo Says:
    May 9th, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I first climbed Half Dome with my friend, Eric Hipple, when were 17. We were determined to make it in 3 hours. We did it and did not expect that this would be that big of a deal. It is a memory that both of us will never forget

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