National Geographic Adventure has collected 20 of the most legendary adventures people have gone on for vacation. Although some are the more obvious ventures like climbing Mt. Everest, others are death-defying ventures of their own nature.
“Wingsuit flyers” in the Swiss Alps, for example, launch off the 13,000 foot beast of limestone and rock in what looks like a winged parachute worthy of Batman. It is one of the most dangerous sports on the planet, but also the one that brings human beings closest to flight without the use of a mechanical device.
K2, the deadliest mountain, only second in height to Everest, has recently been the ultimate target of the world’s top skiers. Seen as the ultimate challenge, skiers could not resist the urge to race on it. Heavy and unpredictable winds, avalanches, and of course the potential injuries of falling face these skiers every race. Swedish mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson perished in his attempt to complete the full course in 2010. To this day, no one has run the entire thing.
If those two ideas don’t seem dangerous enough, there is also the great adventure of descending into an active volcano. Geoff Mackley and a group of explorer did just that last year, descending 600 feet into Vanuatu's Marum Volcano. One of their men got as close as 300 feet to the boiling lava within its core. Caught on video, it is one of the most frightening and awe-inspiring sights to witness, even in the safety of one’s own living room. To see it, check below and to see more of the Ultimate Adventure Bucket List, see National Geographic's gallery.