Published: December 2008/January 2009
They Did It
Fourteen people who dreamed big, pushed their limits, and made our year.

Here's to those who went to extremes—and came back with amazing tales to tell. Whether racing from pole to pole or tracing the Amazon from beginning to end, discovering thousands of gorillas in Congo or rescuing fellow climbers when K2 crumbled, here are 14 people who made the world a better place this year.

2008 Adventurers of the Year
Adventures of the Year: Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper
- Who says youth is wasted on the young?

Spirit: Gretchen Bleiler
- Snowboarding's fresh take

Field Science: Maroy Correa Estenos and Sam Stime
- Going long in the Amazon

Journalist: Ben Skinner
- Five years in bondage

Heroism: Pemba Gyalje Sherpa
- The savior and the storm on K2

Adrenaline: Francois Bon
- In pursuit of pure gravity

Discovery: Emma Stokes
- The new Jane Goodall

Culture: Deia Schlosberg and Gregg Treinish
- Trekking the forgotten Andes

Humanitarian Works: Ashley Clements
- Dynamo in the disaster zone

Athleticism: Kelly Slater
- One surfer to rule them all

Photography: George Steinmetz
- Africa's Eye in the Sky

Hall of Fame: Rick Ridgeway
- Don't Fence Him In

Read about their feats >>

This year's Adventurers were nominated by an advisory board of 30 explorers, scientists, and luminaries in the world of adventure. See the Advisory Board >>