For nearly 80 years, the Gunks have been one of the East’s most hallowed (not to mention busiest) traditional climbing areas, featuring more than 1,400 routes on four major cliffs clustered outside of the college town of New Paltz. But Sky Top — privately owned by the Mohonk Mountain House, a 145-year-old luxurious Victorian castle resort that restricts crag access to high-rolling guests and Alpine Endeavors clients — is utterly serene, and our group is alone on the lichen-covered rock.
Less Ralph Lauren, More Murderball
Bike messengers are a rough lot. So it’s not surprising that they were the early adopters of hardcourt bike polo, a tougher take on cycle polo. We paid a visit to the Seattle Bike Polo club at Cal Anderson park in Capitol Hill for some body-checking camaraderie.
Steel frames, gravel roads and good wine? Per favore.
The scenery is just one of the things that’s made L’Eroica one of the greatest organized rides in the world since Giancarlo Brocci founded it 30 years ago to help preserve the strada bianche, or white sand and gravel roads of Tuscany.
Seeking The Gods' Delight
As far as recreation goes, heli-hiking is expensive. But it’s also a means for everyday folk to access remote, sometimes impossible-to-reach parts of the world — like the peaks of the Tantalus Range in British Columbia — in a four-minute helicopter ride, instead of a four-day slog. It’s only when you see the other side of the ridge that you realize you’d never tasted a wild berry or truly seen the color blue (reserved only for the types of lakes hidden in the mountains).
A Visual Cornucopia of Seasonal Food
We bartered, we bought, and we took the bounty of the greatest agricultural state in the country back to the kitchen.
Valhalla, I Am Coming
Iceland exists as if out of the mind of a science fiction writer — not in the futuristic sense, but as some timeless place, where the elements that created the earth meet the people who harness its power. It is perhaps the most exotic place on Earth. And it’s only a five-hour flight from Manhattan.
America's Sportscar On Its Home Turf
The million-square-foot Bowling Green Assembly Plant boasts little in the way of natural light, the handful of skylights the only hints of life outside the floor. Well, the skylights and WDNS 93 FM, which isn’t too informative but at least strums “Jessie’s Girl” through the door assembly area.
Exploring an Unwelcoming Gem
The North Cascades aren’t exactly user friendly. There are no drive-up views for the minivan crowd. Plush lodges and charming hamlets are few and far between. Rangers usually spend a lot of time telling you what a miserable time you’ll have if you put yourself at the mercy of the park’s capricious and violent weather. But with some grit and serious sweat, adventurers who press through those barriers reap major rewards. Photographer Chris Burkard covered our own recent trip.
The lesser-known safari destination that's not to be missed
Witnessing a million wildebeest migrating from the southern Serengeti to Kenya’s Masa Mara reserve looks just as incredible in the flesh as it does in HD on Planet Earth. But to assume it’s the only real way to take in the circle of life on the great African continent is a rookie mistake — as four days spent on safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa made viciously clear.
Northern Roads Afar
A fork in the road. Rarely in life does the metaphorical appear in such literal form. Yet there it was, and there we were. Twelve dust-covered motorcyclists on a journey through British Columbia’s beautiful northern interior, faced squarely with two paths and three options: left, right or turn around. This is where the riding stopped and the adventure began.
Neck and Neck in the Skies Above Reno
On September 15, spectators at the 51st National Championship Air Race in Reno, Nevada witnessed a gut-wrenching photo finish. Thousands came to their feet and roared as two of air racing’s fastest, most highly-modified P-51 Mustangs screamed past the home pylon at 500 mph in the closest race at Reno in more than two decades. As the pilots pulled their racers skyward, up and off the race course, neither was sure who had won. Below, the thousands in the stands continued their howled excitement.
Hiking the Sleepy Cow
Nearly one in three Koreans hike on a monthly basis — some consider it an “addiction” — where weekends at trailheads are backlogged with eager hikers dressed in brightly colored mountaineering gear. But several paces in, trails unfurl a multitude of unique sights to Westerners accustomed to sweeping landscapes. On a recent hike at Seoul’s Woo-Myun Mountain we discovered a few for ourselves.
Racing's Up-and-Comer Series Appeals to both fans and drivers
Though you’ve probably never heard about it, Red Bull Global Rallycross is arguably motorsports’ best kept secret, and its most promising up-and-comer. With its short, simple races, colorful drivers, insanely powerful cars, and racetracks made of dirt, asphalt and even water, it’s easy to see why.
Lisbon, Porto and Pedras Salgadas
If a visit to London is European Vacation 101, and Paris is 201, Lisbon is a seminar-level adventure. GP contributor Ross Belfer demonstrates why with his photos from a summer visit to Portugal.
Cars and car lovers dressed to kill
There’s no place on earth like the Pebble Beach’s Concours d’Elegance. The cars on display at the world-renowned automotive festival are some of the finest and rarest feats of engineering and design the world has ever seen — and that’s just the parking lot.
Three days in Golden Gate Park
Kanye wore a mask. Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips), a bodysuit. There was lots of denim, leather, and a handful of Chucks. Some sang the blues, some beat a drum. Big Freedia got white booties poppin’, and Kacey Musgraves left hearts to swoon. GP reports from Outside Lands 2014.
Gators, fanboats and fishin'
GP contributor Isaac Zapata set out by airboat in the Everglades and neighboring Big Cypress National Reserve to capture a glimpse of the incredibly rich ecosystem — and a few fish.
The Quail Preview
Ferrari enthusiast and luxury watch retailer David Lee is headed to this year’s The Quail at Pebble Beach. And, more importantly, he’s bringing his collection of vintage Ferarri supercars with him. We got a sneak peak at some of his rare beauties.
A Prime Spot in Scotland's Scotch Valley
Among the big names of the central Speyside region — Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Ardmore — Aberlour garners less recognition than most. And yet it’s consistently produced one of the most decorated single malt whiskies, with more than 185 awards since the mid-1980s. We walked the grounds of their distillery, which has continuously produced since 1879.
Atop Guatemala's Third Highest Peak
Acatenango is Guatemala’s third highest peak, towering 13,041 feet above the nearby Pacific Ocean and about 8,000 feet above the city of Antigua at the mountain’s base. Photographer and GP contributor Jonathan Levinson hiked to the top.
Expect the Unexpected
In much of the Amazon, traveling by riverboat is the best form of transportation. So we set off from Iquitos, Peru, fondly dubbed the Capital of the Peruvian Amazon, aboard the Aqua Aria, a luxurious river boat that would take us roughly 100 miles up and down the Amazon River.
Storming the East Coast's best surf town
When we invited Forest Woodward, one of our favorite photographers, to Montauk for the weekend, we had no idea we’d be graced with the best waves we’ve seen in years.
Keep the revs high
One of the best ways to enjoy a summer weekend is a top-down road trip out of town. Pick up a fun roadster like an Alfa Romeo Spider (preferably in rosso corsa) for just these occasions.
Home cooking gets an upgrade
Underground supper clubs, where strangers eat home-cooked meals made by professional chefs, are spreading throughout America. Gear Patrol sat down at one in Brooklyn, New York to see firsthand where the trend’s headed.
Taking the Long Way 'Round
Unlike the America’s Cup, which is all about speed over a short distance, the Volvo Ocean Race is a challenge of endurance. In this year’s running of the race, starting in October in Alicante, Spain, crews of eight sailors will race around the globe in stages lasting up to four weeks at a time, stopping in various ports such as Capetown, Auckland and Newport along the way. We set sail with Team Alvimedica as they trained out of their home port of Newport, Rhode Island.
The Hillclimb is alive with the sound of motors
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is more than just a motoring event. It’s the product of one man’s passion for all things automotive, fueled by hundreds of thousands of the worshiping faithful. Lord March, as Charles Gordon-Lennox is called, took possession of the 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate in 1993 and almost immediately started the Festival in the name of bringing racing back to its traditional home in West Sussex. He’s effectively created a playground for both the annual event’s spectators and its drivers.
Classic cars, Champagne and yachts
From the Archives: The Historic Grand Prix is one of the most important historic track events of the year, and it’s easy to see why: throughout the weekend, classic cars of all sorts drive the circuit in downtown Monaco, drivers mingle in their race suits, mechanics tinker, car nuts scoop their tongues off the ground and tall women glide by in cocktail dresses and heels.