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Adventurers of the year

WideWorld's pick of the adventurers and explorers who made our 2010

by WideWorld



It's been quite a year in the world of adventure, and so as 2010 draws to a close, we thought we'd honour the men and women who made it so special. Here are WideWorld's adventurers of the year.

Jessica Watson

In May, 16-Year-Old Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted. The journey was an incredible 22,000 nautical miles. “It’s been my dream since I was about 11,” she told WideWorld 

Read more about Jessica Watson here 

Christina Franco

In March, Christina Franco was forced to abort her attempt to become the first woman to reach the Geographic North Pole alone. She was airlifted off the Arctic ice due to gear failure. Humbled by the experience, she wrote: “We always say that the journey is more valuable than the destination, but few times are you slapped with the reality of this as I have been over the past month. Faced with the awesomeness of the forces of nature and the extremities of the world we live in, I can no longer feel that my pursuit has the same value.”  It's for this attitude and sheer courage that Franco has made WideWorld's 2010 list. And we hope she plans another attempt.

Read about Christina Franco here 

Kenton Cool 

On May 17th this year, British mountaineer Kenton Cool stood on the summit of Mount Everest for a record 8th time. “Summits should be free of crowds; that’s why I climb, really, for the experience – and people can mar that” Cool told WideWorld after the successful climb. “This summit has to be one of my best yet: just my friend Dorje and myself with that view that takes your breath away.” Congratulations, Kenton.

Read about Kenton Cool here 

Alastair Humphreys

This year we wrote about explorer Alastair Humphreys's 25-day expedition across Iceland by foot and inflatable packraft. He also spent six weeks in the Canadian Arctic on an Ice Base, photographing and filming for a scientific expedition that was monitoring the effects of acidification on the Arctic Ocean. Next year, along with his friend Ben Saunders, Humphreys is planning to make the first return journey to the South Pole on foot – and the longest unsupported polar journey – in history. It makes us exhausted just writing about all this.

Read about Alastair Humphreys here 

Ed Stafford

This year, Ed become the first man to walk the length of the Amazon river in South America from the source to the sea. Sir Ranulph Fiennes described the achievement as “Truly extraordinary; in the top league of expeditions past and present.” Ed  started running expeditions after retiring from the British Army as a captain in 2002. We think he's pretty incredible, too. Well done Ed.

Read more about Ed Stafford here 

Jordan Romero

"Mom, I'm calling you from the top of the world.” These were the words shouted down the satellite phone by Jordan Romero, a 13-year-old Californian who summited Everest in 2010, reaching the 29,035ft peak without incident. Crazy? Absolutely. But when we think what we were doing at 13, he deserves some credit!

Read about Jordan Romero here 

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ran really needs no introduction. In short, he's the world's greatest living explorer. He was the first person to visit both the north and south poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. In 2003, despite undergoing a double heart bypass operation, he completed seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. And in 2009, at the age of 65, he summitted Mount Everest. Now Sir Ran plans to climb Mt. Elbrus in Russia in support of Briton Richard Parks's 737 Challenge – a seven-month expedition to climb the highest mountain on each of the world's continents in one year. Is there no stopping this man?

Read about Sir Ranulph Fiennes here 

Aron Ralston

OK, so his misadventure happened a few years ago now, but this was the year everybody got to hear about Mr Ralston via Danny Boyle's brilliant film, 127 Hours. WideWorld caught up with Aron a month or so ago and found out the details of his incredible tale of courage and survival. Mr Ralston, we salute you. 

Read about Aron Ralston here 



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