The Gear Junkie’s Top 10 Adventures of 2006

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Of all my years of whacko ultra-endurance adventure, 2006 might just prove itself to be my magnum opus. From the eight-day Primal Quest Adventure Race in Utah, to the Arrowhead 135 Ultra Marathon in northern Minnesota, high drama in the great outdoors was my leitmotif over the past 12 months. Here’s a rundown of my favorite trips from 2006.

Click here for the full slideshow with photos of each adventure

1. Primal Quest Adventure Race, Utah
Eight days of straight racing. Trekking, biking, kayaking, riverboarding, and climbing; temps as high as 120 degrees; 400+ mile course.

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2. Ice climbing in Ontario, Canada
Ascended virgin frozen waterfalls, never before climbed, on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

3. Arrowhead 135 Ultra Marathon, northern Minn.
Biked 135 miles through the snow, in temps as low as 19 degrees below zero. Took ninth place overall.

4. Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota
Epic 105-mile trail through the remote Badlands of western North Dakota. Temps up to 112 degrees; 30-hour push straight through the entire trail.

5. Kiteboarding, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Frigid water, waves and big wind on the edge of the North American continent. Learning how to fly over water.

6. Rock climbing, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
Ascended 2,000-foot route on Rainbow Mountain. Climb included 13 pitches up to 5.9 in difficulty.

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7. Endorphin Fix 2-day Adventure Race, W. Va.
Endless uphill biking through the Allegheny Mountains. Endless downpouring rain. Two days of outback racing on 15 minutes of sleep.

8. Sailing Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota
Voyage on the nation’s third-largest—and least known—manmade reservoir.

9. Whitewater rafting, Colorado
Fast-flowing mountain meltwater and class IV rapids on the Eagle River near Vail.

10. Rogaine orienteering meet, northern Minn.
Six-hour backwoods sprint through swamps and jungle-thick brush in search of dozens of hidden flags.



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