Adventure Names 2009 Adventurers of the Year!

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National Geographic Adventure has announced this year’s recipeients of the Adventurer of the Year Awards, with some familiar names and faces earning much deserved praise.

The awards are broken down into a variety of categories, with the top honor for “Adventurers of the Year” going to Rob Gauntlett & James Hooper, who completed an epic 26,000 mile journey that began with them skiing and dogsledding somewhere north of Greenland, and the Magnetic North Pole, and ended with them in Antarctica more than a year later, having cycled and sailed their way into the annals of adventure history.

Other winners include Gretchen Bleiler, nabbing the “Spirit Award” for renewing her love of snowboarding by seeking adventure in the backcountry. Ben Skinner takes home the “Journalist” award for spending five years researching and investigating modern day slavery, still taking place even in the 21st century. He visited 12 countries in that time and then published the book A Crime So Monstrous. Rick Ridgeway is inducted into the Adventure Hall of Fame for his many accomplishments that include successful summits on Everest and K2, hiking from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean, and many many more. How can you possibly keep a man that Rolling Stone called the “Real Indiana Jones” out of the Hall of Fame?

Of special note, is the “Heroism Award” that goes to Pemba Gyalje Sherpa for his actions during the K2 tragedy last August. Pemba was part of the Norit Team, and found Marco Confortola on the mountain, unconscious in the snow. He not only managed to revive him, but also guide him down the Bottleneck, saving him from another avalanche in the process, and then take him down to C4. He did all of this completely solo by the way. A true hero of K2!

Click on over the Adventurers of the Year website to check out all the winners. Congrats to everyone involved. I really wish I were in DC to see you all honored tonight!

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “<i>Adventure</i> Names 2009 Adventurers of the Year!”

  1. Wow! Great post.
    Rick and Pemba are so deserving…
    These folks have created such a spirit of adventure in their lives…

  2. Yep! The whole group is deserving and those two are especially great pics.

    I was invited to go out to the awards ceremony this year, but because I was in Florida a few weeks back I couldn’t swing another trip so soon with the holidays just around the corner. Would have been great to go though!

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