Nat Geo Announces 2012 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year

Back in November, National Geographic Adventure announced their list of the Adventurers of the Year for 2012. The group featured 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds in mountaineering, snowboarding, surfing, and more. At the same time, Nat Geo also opened up voting to the general public to help pick the People’s Choice winner for Adventurer of the Year as well. Today, that winner was announced, and it may come as a bit of a surprise.

Over the past three months, more than 72,000 of us have cast our votes in favor of our favorite adventurers and now that the votes have been tallied, the award goes to Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa. The two men not only managed to climb to the summit of Everest, they also paraglided off the summit, flew to Namche Bazaar, and trekked to nearby river, and paddled all the way to the sea. They did all of that on a shoestring budget, without any corporate sponsors, and without much fanfare at all. That approach truly embodies the spirit of adventure and makes them more than deserving of this honor.

Sano and Lakpa beat out such other notable adventurers as Corey Richards, who was part of the team that made the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II, Alastair Humphreys, who encouraged us all to take micro-adventures, and kayakers Jon Turk and Erik Boomer, who completed the first circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island in Canada. All in all, this was a really excellent group of adventurers, and they are all deserving of the recognition.

Congrats to Sano and Lakpa for taking the top honors. It is much deserved as well.

Kraig Becker