Nearly two hundred outdoor adventures are rated on physical strength required, psychological toughness necessary, and the complexity of skills needed in Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel (Rough Guides, 978-1-85828-199-5). Author Greg Witt applies a fourth metric to each activity: the “Wow!” factor. That’s the unquantifi-able brag value of being able to smoothly say things like, “So there I was, atop the roof of the world…”
This book groups attractions by continent, then covers each challenge in no more than three pages. The “Need to Know” sidebars cover how to get there, when to go, suggested reading, guides, and gear. Undertakings the average healthy person could manage without special preparation (according to the rating system) include climbing Mount Fuji in Japan, paddling the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, hiking Hadrian’s Wall in the UK, and viewing wildlife in Costa Rica. On the other end of the stick, superhuman powers are required to climb Alaska’s Mount Denali. That ascent is rated more chal-lenging than reaching either of the planet’s poles.