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Year in Review | 2017’s Outdoor & Adventure Moments

A look back on the stand-out moments of the past year; the good, the bad, the first feats and the fastest times.

Another year passes by. We’ve seen a new leader of the free world settle in and show his colours as our own nation attempts to establish what the future will look like. We’ve seen a heatwave, Storm Doris and Storm Brian, a royal engagement and the release of the 10th Star Wars film.

We’ve also seen another year of broken records, fastest runs, fastest ascents, first free ascents, and general acts of daring do. It’s been a busy one in the outdoor and adventure world, that’s for sure. Here’s our Year in Review recap of some of the notable moments.

January 1 – Rising to the Top

A post shared by Mira Rai (@mira.rai) on


While Mira Rai achieved most of her ultra running race wins in 2016, it was in 2017 that she was named as National Geographic Adventurer of 2017. After only discovering mountain running was a sport four years ago, the former Nepalese child soldier’s rise to the top of ultra running has been the stuff of Hollywood.

April 30 – Tragedy on Everest

The mountaineering community goes into mourning following the news that Ueli Steck, the Swiss alpinist known for his breathtaking speed climbs, had fallen to his death during an attempt to climb the Hornbein route on the West Ridge of Everest without supplemental oxygen. One of the tragedies of the year.

May 22 – Good News From Everest

Catalan ultra runner and mountaineer, Kilian Jornet, ascends Everest’s North Face from Base Camp without the use of oxygen and fixed ropes and returns to Advanced Base Camp in just 26 hours, setting a fastest known time for such an attempt.

June 4 – Conquering El Cap

In what has since been referred to as one of the “greatest athletic achievements of all time”, 32 year-old Alex Honnold makes an unsupported and ropeless ascent of the 900m sheer face of El Capitan in Yosemite. Read our interview with Honnold following the climb.

July 9 – A New Title for Lakeland

The Lake District joins Yosemite National Park, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu and the Great Barrier Reef as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

July 23 – Keeping on Top of Things

22 year-old Alex Staniforth from Cheshire reaches the summit of Moel Famau, setting a record for the fastest continuous round of the UK’s historic county tops. His journey involved over 5,000 miles by foot, bike and kayak.

August 1 –  A Madagascan Giant Scaled

Sasha DiGiulian climbs Mora Mora (5.14b, 8c). Photo: Francois Lebeau / Red Bull Content Pool

Sasha DiGuilian records the first female free climb of Mora Mora (an ascent only previously made by Adam Ondra) scaling the 700m Madagascan wall over three days.

August 31 – The Thru-Hike King

American Joe McConaughey finishes a hike and run of the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail in a record time of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes. His unsupported attempt even manages to beat Karl Meltzer’s supported record set in 2016.

September 30 – Scottish Highs

Hazel Strachan reaches Ben Challum – her final of the 282 peaks – to record her ninth round of the Munros (Scotland’s peaks over 3000ft). It extends the women’s record, which she’d already previously broken with her seventh round in 2015.

October 2 – Scottish Lows

For the first time in 11 years, the UK is without any snow on the ground after the last snow patch on Braeriach, Britain’s third highest mountain, melts away. Experts believe snow at that specific spot has now only disappeared completely seven times in the last 300 years.

October 28-29 – A Landmark in Langdale

The Original Mountain Marathon celebrates its 50th anniversary race by returning to Langdale, the location of its inaugural event. Participants are treated to the type of rough ground and weather conditions that are usually associated with the event.

November 11 – A Long Walk Ends

After three years of walking Alex Ellis-Roswell reaches his hometown in Kent to complete a 9,500-mile journey around the edge of Britain and Ireland, raising a total of £70,000 for the RNLI.

November 15 – Where’s Benedict?

UK explorer Benedict Allen is reported as missing in Papua New Guinea’s jungle after not showing up at his scheduled pick up poin. The press speculate that he’d met his end with a cannibal tribe. A few days later, he’s found alive and well.

The Year in Review: December 12 – “The President Stole Your Land”

In reaction to two proclamations issued by Donald Trump to reduce the size of two U.S. national monuments in Utah – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante – Patagonia announce its intentions to sue the government for stealing public land. Read our interview with Patagonia Vice President concerning their environmental strategy.

Lead image: Sasha DiGiulian in Kefalonia (Alex Grymanis / Red Bull Content Pool)

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