Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who would you pick as this year's Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year?

National Geographic announced earlier today that it has opened voting for its seventh annual Adventurer of the Year People’s Choice Award.

“For seven years, National Geographic has combed the globe to find Adventurers of the Year, each selected for his or her extraordinary achievement in exploration, conservation, and adventure sports,” according to Nat Geo’s Web site. “This year, in partnership with Glenfiddich, we selected men and women who are pioneering innovation in the world of adventure-by reinventing distance hiking on the Appalachian Trail, launching a backyard microadventure movement, skiing the Andes under human power, and much more.”

To vote for Adventurer of the Year, visit
http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2012. You can vote once a day “for the one you think best embodies the spirit of adventure” through Jan. 18, and the winners will be announced in February.

This year’s slate of nominees includes:

- Alastair Humphreys (British Adventurer)

- Cory Richards (American Climber and Photographer)

- Jennifer Pharr Davis (American Speed Hiker)

- Jon Turk and Erik Boomer (Kayakers)

- Gerlinde Kaltenbruner (Austrian Mountaineer)

- Danny MacAskill (Scottish Cyclist)

- Nick Waggoner (American Skier and Filmmaker)

- Travis Rice (American Snowboarder)

- Carissa Moore (American Surfer)

- Sano Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa (Nepalese Mountaineers and Paragliders)

For more information about each of these nominees, visit the Web site mentioned above.

As you might imagine, this award has gone to a number of outstanding adventurers since it was first handed out in 2006. What follows is a complete list of the all-time winners followed by the all-time nominees.

Adventurers of the Year:

2006 – Ed Viesturs: American mountaineer, best known for being the first American to summit all of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks and the sixth to do it without supplemental oxygen.

2007 – Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei: Canadian adventurers, best known for circumnavigating the globe under their own power, i.e., walking, cycling, skiing and rowing.

2008 – Andrew Skurka: Rhode Island native, best known for extremely long cross-country hikes.

2009 – Rob Gauntlett (now deceased) and James Hooper: British Adventurers, best known for trekking 26,000 miles from the North Pole to the South Pole at the ripe old age of 19.

2010 – Albert Yu-Min Lin: American Explorer, best known for his search for the tomb of Genghis Khan.

2010 – Marc Hoffmeister: American Veteran, best known for barely surviving an IED attack in Iraq in 2007 and then leading a team of six to the top of Denali in 2009.

2011 – Edurne Pasabn: Spanish Alpinist, best known for having climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks.

Past nominees include the following individuals

- John Ackerman (Cave Explorer)
- Josune Bereziartu (Climber)
- Greg Hill (Ski Mountaineer)
- Ellen MacArthur (Speedy Circumnavigator)
- Matty McNair (Polar Explorer)
- Michael Reardon (Free Soloist)
- Jure Robic (Biking Across America)
- Andreya Wharry (Solo Kiteboarder)
- Daniel DeLaVergne, John Grace, Tommy Hilleke and Tobin MacDermott (Kayakers)

- Anousheh Ansari (Citizen Spacewalker)
- Bruce Beehler (Modern-Day Darwin)
- Olav Heyerdahl (Heir to Kon-Tiki)
- Dan Mazur (Everest Hero)
- Eh Kalu Shwe OO (People’s Provider)
- Stephanie Sinclair (Frontline Photographer)
- Jamilah Star (Soul Surfer)
- Greg Stone (Ocean Defender)
- Ben Stookesberry and Jesse Coombs (Rulers of Class V)

- Angelika Brandt (Sea Scout)
- Tim Cope (Horse Whisperer)
- Mike Fay (Wilderness Prospector)
- Colleen Hardy (Mortal Hero)
- Trip Jennings (Whitewater Visionary)
- Sarah and Eric McNair-Landry (Arctic Royalty)
- Steve Bogaerts, Robbie Schmittner, Sam Meacham (Cave Champs)
- Borge Ousland and Thomas Ulrich (Polar Pioneers)
- Andrea Palos and Gabor Rakonczai (Wave Runners)

- Gretchen Bleiler (Snowboarder)
- Francois Bon (Sky Flyer)
- Ashley Clements (Humanitarian)
- Pemba Gyalje Sherpa (Hero)
- Ben Skinner (Journalist)
- Kelly Slater (Surfer)
- Emma Stokes (Biologist)
- Maroy Correa Estenos and Sam Stime (Amazon Trekkers)
- Deia Schlosberg and Gregg Treinish (Andes Hikers)

- Katy Walter Anthony (Scientist)
- Khadija Bahram (Educator)
- Maya Gabeira (Surfer)
- John Grunsfeld (Astronaut)
- Dean S. Potter (Sky Flier)
- Louie Psihoyos (Filmmaker)
- Diane Van Deren (Ultra Runner)
- Stephen Bouey and Steven Shoppman (Road Trippers)

- Leven Brown (Oarsman)
- Alex Honnold (Climber)
- Jamie Mitchell (Paddler)
- Matt Moniz (Kid Climber)
- David de Rothschild (Voyager)
- Roz Savage (Rower)
- Ed Stafford (Explorer)
- Jessica Watson (Circumnavigator)
- Martin Wikelski (Tracker)

In the end, who would you pick as this year's Adventurer of the Year? Why? How would you rank the nominees from top to bottom and why? Was there anyone missing from the list that you'd like to add? Let us know in the comments section below.

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