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No Fear

Renowned outdoorsman Will Gadd on the six most extreme sports known to man


ICE CLIMBING

SPORT MOST SUITED FOR: Guys with a fondness for medieval weaponry (an ice tool is a bit like a battle-ax) or men with latent polar-explorer genes.

TRAINING/STRENGTH REQUIRED: Reasonable upper-body power--imagine performing vertical landscaping.

SCARE SCALE: Moderate. Facial cuts are common and scars are worn with pride, but death is unlikely.

DESTINATION: Ouray, Colo. Once the locals in Ouray started making ice (they call it "farming icicles"), the quantity of GoreTex-clad climbers showing up in town to climb the frozen water skyrocketed. Ouray's townsfolk spend a lot of time and energy running shower nozzles and other central water pipes to flow some of the best and most easily accessible ice climbs in the world. When you're done on the ice, warm up--and ease those aching muscles--in Ouray's natural hot-springs pool.

WHERE TO LEARN: ourayclimbing.com

BASE JUMPING

SPORT MOST SUITED FOR: The type of kid who would jump off the school roof on a dare--twice. Once for grins, and once to stick it after breaking his ankle the first try.

TRAINING/STRENGTH REQUIRED: No physical skills are required, but learning to skydive first is a great idea.

SCARESCALE: Extreme. Don't tell your girlfriend what you're planning. And make sure your insurance premiums are paid up. Just in case.

DESTINATION: Twin Falls, Idaho, the most "user-friendly" place in the U.S. to, as the local jumpers say, "Huck your carcass off a bridge]" Perrine Bridge soars 486 feet over the Snake River and has become a BASE-jumping mecca, with numerous "fall to your death" camps held for first-time jumpers. Twin Falls local Miles Daisher recently jumped off the bridge and hiked back up from the draw a record 57 times, earning a world-record adrenaline buzz--and a pair of seriously sore legs. Amazingly, the Twin Falls chamber of commerce awarded him its Person of the Year trophy for this stunt, which says a lot about this town. I chucked my carcass off the bridge a half dozen times under Daisher's instruction and then gave it up. The adrenaline hits were simply too insane.

WHERE TO LEARN: baserigs.com/docs/courses

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