The Team: Zand Martin and Bria Schurke
What: Canoeing 1,800 miles across Mongolia, Siberia, and the Russian Far East
How: Beginning in central Mongolia, Zand and Bria traveled by canoe through the canyons of the Chuluut and Ider rivers; paddled Russia’s Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater body (by volume) in the world, then continued east through the Amur watershed toward the Sea of Okhotsk in the far east of Russia, a place that regularly records the coldest temperatures on Earth. The Asia Rivers leg capped Martin’s four-year, 15,000-mile, human-powered crossing of North American, Europe and Asia.
The Team: Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen
What: Sea kayaking 1,355 miles along the Aleutian Islands from Adak Island to the Kenai Peninsula
How: Justine and Sarah spent 101 days (including 37 no-paddle "weather days") paddling from Adak, the last island in the 1,355-mile Aleutian Islands chain, to the city of Homer on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. At one point, they traveled 250 miles without resupply, and found themselves more than 1,000 miles from the nearest Coast Guard station.
The Team: Mike Ranta and Spitzii
What: A solo, 4,750-mile single-season crossing of Canada
How: Ranta, 42, and his dog, Spitzii, spent seven months paddling and lining a canoe 4,750 miles across Canada, starting at the Fraser River in Vancouver, British Columbia, and finishing near Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. It is the longest solo canoe expedition in a single season to-date.
The Team: Chris Korbulic, Ben Stookesberry, Pedro Oliva, and Ben Marr
What: The first descent of Canada’s Nachvak River
How: After two weeks on a grueling 480-mile approach to the Torngat Mountains via the George River on Canada’s Labrador Peninsula, the Destination Torngat team completed a remote (over 700 miles from the nearest road) no-portage first descent of the 18 falls of the Nachvak River.
The Team: Freya Hoffmeister
What: A 15,828-mile, nearly four-year solo circumnavigation of South America by kayak
How: Fifty-year-old Hoffmeister began her South American circumnavigation on August 30, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, not long after circumnavigating the continent of Australia. She initially expected to complete the nearly 16,000-mile-long clockwise circuit in three eight-month stages, returning home to Germany for four months each summer. In the end, it took nearly four years, but she became the first person to trace the rugged coastline of Tierra del Fuego in the process, and the first to circumnavigate the continent by kayak.
The Team: John Jacoby, Chris Porter, Andrew Maffett, and Jim Bucirde
What: A 13-day, 310-mile circumnavigation of South Georgia Island
How: With an average age of 52, this four-man team was not only the fastest to paddle 310 miles around the South Atlantic’s infamous South Georgia Island; it was also the oldest. Beating the previous record by six days, they battled arctic winds and huge icy swells to become only the fourth expedition to ever complete the route.
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