A three-week long journey—from California, through British Columbia and Alaska—delivered us to one of the loneliest and least known spots on Earth (halfway between Russia and Alaska), where the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea collide at what the Aleuts called "the birthplace of the winds."
Our goal was to kayak among five volcanic Aleutian islands rising straight out of the seas, and climb their snowcapped peaks. Weather and tides would dictate our itinerary. Two 21-foot kayaks carried everything the four of us would need for five weeks: food, fuel, paddling and climbing gear, emergency and first aid kits, and a small mountain of camera equipment. Success was far from assured in a region where it is common for gales to exceed a hundred miles an hour and strong currents, ten-foot standing tidal rips and constant winds churn the channels separating the islands. When I explained our goal to a local back in Dutch Harbor he simply shook his head. "You're gonna have your hands full..."
Team: Jon Bowermaster, Barry Tessman, Sean Farrell, Scott McGuire
• National Geographic Adventure Excerpt