If you’re a skier, climber, surfer, mountain biker or mountaineer you no doubt long for the vistas that make it all possible. Incredible footage from adventure films sedates our longing for those beautifully peeling waves while we wait for the next swell, scenes inspire us to climb the next high peak and they also showcase destinations we may have never heard of, in which to get our next kicks. The writers and editors at Lonely Planet recently released their book of 1000 Ultimate Adventures, including the top 10 adventure films of all time. Read on for the iconic adventure movies that made the grade…
10. Planet Earth
No, it’s not strictly a film in the traditional sense but the BBC’s £16 million mega nature show has made the list. With calming voiceovers from Sir David Attenborough, this high definition footage covers 62 nations and wildlife from racing wild cats to jumping great whites, Arctic wolves and an underwater piranha feeding frenzy – all during eleven captivating episodes.
Visit the locations from Planet Earth, with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
9. 127 Hours
In this Danny Boyle adventure story gone wrong, we follow daredevil Aron Ralston, who goes exploring in the Utah desert, something he’s done hundreds of times before. However, this time he drops down a crevice and finds his arm trapped between a giant boulder and a rock. His biggest mistake? He didn’t tell anyone where he was going. He endures 127 pain-wrenching hours, runs out of water and food, has to drink his own urine and eventually hacks off his own arm so that he can escape. Scarily, it’s based on a true story.
Visit America’s National Parks and Canyons with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
8. A Sunday in Hell
This Danish tribute to cycling, directed by Jørgen Leth, guides us through the harsh but iconic Paris–Roubaix competition, through the eyes of the riders, spectators and organisers. The riders battle across jarring cobbled avenues and murky forests. They become dizzy, dusty and battered – all for the love of the sport. Only the toughest survive this gruelling challenge.
Cycle in Paris, during a trip to France with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
Otherwise known as North Face, this movie follows the famous mountaineering attempt to climb the Eiger north face. Andreas Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz hit bad weather conditions on their journey. They are defeated and make the decision to descend, barely making it out alive, and are met by tourists at a fancy hotel, providing the ultimate contrast to their plight.
6. Riding Giants
One of the greatest surf movies ever made follows fearless riders Greg Noll, Laird Hamilton and Jeff Clark, as they tackle Waimea in Hawaii – one of the largest, heaviest and most dangerous waves in the world. Directed by Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys) it’s chock full of nail-biting rides, stunning footage, iconic pastel tones and killer backing tracks.
Visit Hawaii with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
Mountain biking greats drop from sheer platforms into the wild, ride through stunning Canadian landscapes and explore world-class downhill bike parks. Pros Andrew Shandro and Steve Peat guide us through this sport, which causes more injuries than skiing.
Visit Canada with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
4. Touching the Void
Based on the true story of climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, this tale is set in the Peruvian Andes and scenes take viewers to the brink of desperation and back as they watch two explorers lose control on the peak. The most famous nerve-wracking moment is when Simpson slips and swings on his rope over an abyss below, forcing his partner to cut the line.
Visit Peru with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
Artistically-filmed skiing and snowboarding footage with atmospheric tracks, salivatingly good powder and daring jumps make up this a spiritual offering in the sport. It’s soulful, technical and hypnotic, and will make you want to jump on a plane to Japan (where it’s filmed).
Visit Japan with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
2. King Lines
Spiderman Chris Sharma goes in search of the world’s greatest climbs, from his first ascent of Es Pontas, the Mediterranean deep-sea arch, to Venezuelan boulders and Verdon Gorge in France, his adventures appear to defy gravity… and death.
Visit rock climbing locations with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
1. Endless Summer
Set in the 1960s, two Californian longboarders Robert August and Mike Hynson set off to find the world’s perfect uncrowded waves. They discover Cape St Francis in South Africa, Ollie’s Point in Costa Rica and Waimea in Hawaii. Accompanied by music from The Sandals, this iconic movie bonds surfing and travelling and encapsulates the innate quest riders have to explore new places, surf new waves and pursue endless adventures.
Visit the world’s finest beaches with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
Find out more about the 1000 Ultimate Adventures at www.lonelyplanet.com