Not the world's deepest canyon, but possibly the most dramatic
Where Arizona, USA How long 3 days, 2 nights
As well as almost unquantifiably vast vital statistics – the canyon is a mile deep, anywhere between 600 feet and 19 miles wide and 277 miles long – it has a unique profile, dropping abruptly off from the flat Colorado Plateau like a biblical crack in the earth.
Breathtaking mountains, vast plateaus and lonely yurts
Where Tian Shan mountain range, Kyrgyzstan How long 8 days
It was eight hours since I'd eaten a Murray Mint – my breakfast – and I was famished. In the last 24 hours I'd been caught in a high-altitude snowstorm, one of my friends had been heli-lifted off a mountain and, with the other 11 members of my expedition, I had set up an emergency overnight camp with only stale bread, two dozen Bounty bars and assorted tins of fish and vegetables to eat.
Hiking up 800 vertical metres in order to snowboard back down – a run that a handful of articles in snowboard magazines over the last decade have described in language normally reserved for depicting the lives of saints.
Pick your way up the icy face of New Zealand's Fox Glacier
Where South Island, New Zealand How Long 6-7 hours
Our guide carved a new path through the ice with his pick and – feeling like explorers scaling the ice for the first time – we walked in a line behind him, literally in his footsteps for fear of slipping down a crevasse.