Every year, thousands of people vote for their favorite adventurer, and National Geographic post the results. This vote has been a yearly tradition for twelve years, and it celebrates the achievements of all those nominated. This year’s ten nominees have been officially announced, and if you want to join in, you have until December 16, 2016 to vote for your top adventurers pick.
The winner of the ballot will be announced in January 2017, so without further ado, let’s introduce this year’s ten contenders:
Colin Haley – Mountaineer
Colin Haley is a mountaineer and skier who grabbed his place in the top 10 adventurers due to his impressive, bold and speedy climbing in Alaska and Patagonia this year. Haley himself thinks that this year has been his most successful yet for climbing.
Antoine Girard – Paraglider
In July this year, Antoine Girard, a daredevil paraglider, flew up to 8,157 meters above the twelfth tallest mountain in the world, Broad Peak. Tackling his way through lightning strikes and storms, this real adventurer achieved his act of courage with no supplemental oxygen.
Shannon Switzer Swanson – Ocean Advocate
Shannon Swanson spent a lot of her youth sailing and surfing. She has now immersed herself into marine biology, and she investigates the trade of aquarium fish. Swanson has been nominated in the 2016 top ten adventurers for the risks that she takes to follow her passion and adventuress nature.
Krzysztof Starnawski – Cave Diver
Krzysztof Starnawski, a cave diver from Poland, has spent 20 years of his life exploring challenging and risky underwater caves. In September this year, Starnawski and his fellow team discovered the world’s deepest cave that’s submerged under 404 meters of water. This record-breaking achievement has earned him his place on the top 10 list.
Ashima Shiraishi – Rock Climber
In only the past year, Ashima Shiraishi has achieved some incredible goals. She has recently climbed one of the hardest rated boulders, and that’s just the start of her journey with this limit pushing sport. Not only is she one of the world’s strongest women rock climbers, but she’s also only 15 years old!
Kevin Fedarko & Pete McBride – Park Protectors
Back in September 2015, both Fedarko and McBride set out on a hike through the Grand Canyon. They carried out this adventure in an attempt to raise awareness to the public about all of the threats the famous landmark faces. Trekking for over 750 miles through dangerous conditions, the aim of their project was to save the Grand Canyon.
Mira Rai – Trail Runner
Two years ago, Rai was introduced to her first ever trail run. She didn’t have any water or fancy gear like the others, and she was the only woman competing, but that didn’t stop her from joining in. Running 31 miles through rain, hail and muddy trails, Mira Rai completed the trail run. She now has set herself the great goal of helping the women in Nepal by getting them to engage in sports.
Semit Lee – Kayaker
Semit Lee, a pro kayaker, embarked on an unforgettable adventure that secured him a place in the top ten nominees. For over 234 days, Lee paddled down 3,411 miles of gorges and rapids. His journey was carried out to record and document the conditions of the environment down the Yellow River. He’s the first kayaker to make a solo descent down the river that is known in China as the ‘King of Terrors.’
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins – Wilderness Defender
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins is a former CEO of Patagonia, and her goal is to save the Wilderness. She’s creating new national parks in both Argentina and Chile to preserve and give a safe home to the wildlife. Kristine and her late husband have created five national parks and saved around 2.5 million acres of wildlife land. These two people will make history as wilderness protectors.
Hōkūle‘a Team – Celestial Circumnavigators
The Hōkūle‘a team and their voyage canoe are sailing around the world. However, it doesn’t stop there. To guide them on this epic adventure, they’re only using celestial navigation. Yes, that’s right, they’re using stars as their guide. Does it get much more adventurous than that?