WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2014)—National Geographic has announced the 2015 Adventurers of the Year, whose extraordinary achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation or humanitarianism have distinguished them in the past year.
Online voting for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year is now open and runs through Jan. 31, 2015. Fans can go to http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2015/vote/ to vote every day for their favorite honoree. The adventurer with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be announced in February as the 2015 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.
This year’s honorees include a duo of blind kayakers who relied on their sense of sound and touch to travel 277 miles of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon; a surfer who has sailed around the Pacific Ocean for nine years seeking out remote swells; a long-distance swimmer who swam the Seven Seas to bring attention to the deterioration of marine ecosystems; and a 67-year-old who spent more than six months kayaking across the Atlantic Ocean.
The 2015 Adventurers of the Year are:
- Tommy Caldwell, a climber from Colorado, who completed the first traverse of the Fitz Roy massif, the iconic skyline in Patagonia, Argentina, in February with previous Adventurer of the Year Alex Honnold;
- Liz Clark, an exploratory surfer from southern California, who has spent the last nine years living on a small sailboat and traveling across 25,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean in search of remote swells;
- Kit DesLauriers of Wyoming, ski mountaineer, National Geographic grantee and first person to ski the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), who recently led a team of skiers and scientists to Alaska’s Brooks Range to measure the change in glaciers and establish baseline data for the region;
- Aleksander Doba, a Polish kayaker who, at age 67, spent more than six months paddling 7,716 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in what is believed to be the longest open-water kayak crossing in history;
- Will Gadd of Canada and Gavin McClurg of Idaho, who paraglided 400 miles over the Canadian Rockies to complete the longest-known journey covered in the air by a paraglider;
- Ben Knight and Travis Rummel of Colorado and Matt Stoecker of California, a filmmaking team whose documentary “DamNation” brought the topic of dam removal to the forefront of conservation efforts;
- Briton Lewis Pugh, a long-distance swimmer who aims to bring attention to the deterioration of marine ecosystems and who this year swam the Seven Seas (Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Arabian and North Seas), choosing extreme locales plagued by overfishing and invasive species;
- Wasfia Nazreen, a humanitarian who has embarked on a mission to become the first Bangladeshi — man or woman — to climb and hula-hoop on all of the Seven Summits to empower her country’s women and girls;
- Ueli Steck of Switzerland, who set a new route in record-setting time climbing, solo, the south face of Annapurna in the Himalayas; and
- Blind kayakers Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell, who paddled 277 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, relying on their sense of touch and sound.
“For 10 years, National Geographic has recognized individuals who exemplify the spirit of adventure, and this year’s honorees are no exception. The 2015 Adventurers of the Year are all people who have pushed the boundaries of exploration and they are truly inspiring,” said Mary Anne Potts, editor of National Geographic Adventure online.
National Geographic has named Adventurers of the Year for the past 10 years. Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet was voted the 2014 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for pioneering a hybrid sport that combines trail running and alpinism to break numerous speed records and redefine what is possible in the mountains.
To learn more about each adventurer through photos, interviews and a video, and to vote daily for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year, go to http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2015/ or follow @NGadventure on Twitter using #advofyear.
About National Geographic Travel
National Geographic Travel is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, founded in 1888. National Geographic Travel creates, discovers and showcases meaningful and engaging travel experiences through National Geographic Traveler magazine; National Geographic Expeditions; travel books; maps; apps; digital travel content; the Adventure website; and travel photography programs. National Geographic Traveler (eight issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 16 international editions. It is available by subscription, on newsstands in the United States and Canada, and digitally for tablets. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the Society, offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 60 destinations across all seven continents. Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars. The National Geographic Travel digital group offers inspiring and authoritative digital travel and adventure content such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps. National Geographic Travel Books bring readers curated travel advice and inspiration. Follow National Geographic Travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.