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Our 2012 expedition to Everest seeks to repeat the historic climb of the 1963 National Geographic-sponsored American Mount Everest Expedition, almost 50 years after that first American ascent to the summit. As seen from Lhotse, a team of climbers ascending Everest creates a spectacular line of light on the mountain ridge. Mountaineer Conrad Anker and photographer Cory Richards will attempt the West Ridge route in the alpine style, carrying all their own food, shelter, and equipment. At the same time a second team, composed of scientists and researchers from Montana State University and National Geographic writer Mark Jenkins, will attempt to climb the mountain's Southeastern Ridge in the expedition style, using fixed ropes, stocked camps, help from porters, and supplemental oxygen. Real-time updates from Jenkins and members of the West Ridge team as well as additional exclusive coverage will start April 16 in the National Geographic magazine app on the iPad. This expedition is sponsored by The North Face and National Geographic with support from Montana State University. Cory Richards, alpinist and photographer, is one of the rising stars of high-altitude mountaineering. Join a 19-day Himalayan trek through some of the world’s most spectacular mountain scenery. The rare recurve-billed bushbird, rediscovered by scientists in Colombia after a 40-year absence, sports a curving beak that gives the illusion of an enigmatic smile. This photograph, taken by a conservationist with the Colombia-based nonprofit Fundacisn ProAves in 2005, is the first public photo of a live bushbird.
The elusive species had not been spotted between 1965 and 2004, due to its limited range and remote habitats. Researchers found the bird in a 250-acre (101-hectare) reserve next to the Torcoroma Holy Sanctuary near the Colombian town of Ocaqa, where in 1709 locals claimed they saw the image of the Virgin Mary in a tree root.
The researchers also found and photographed the extremely rare Perija parakeet, of which only 30 to 50 individuals likely survive. Deforestation and wildfires for agriculture and grazing have denuded much of the birds' habitat, conservationists say. Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone.
The number of people who visit America's national parks is staggering—the sites hosted a record-breaking 307.2 million visits in 2015. The world's very first national park remains the showpiece of the National Park Service, visited by 4.1 million people last year.

Rising in Utah’s high plateau country, the Virgin River carves its way through Zion Canyon to the desert below. More than three million people a year explore the unspoiled terrain of Olympic National Park in Washington State.
The peaks of the Teton Range, regal and imposing as they stand nearly 7,000 feet above the Wyoming valley floor, make one of the boldest geological statements in the Rockies. Rounding out the top ten most popular parks is Glacier National Park, which covers over a million acres in Montana and attracted 2.4 million people in 2015.
He is captain of the North Face Athlete Team and has achieved notable summits and first ascents in North and South America, Antarctica, and the Himalaya.
At 29, he became the first American to summit a peak over 8,000 meters, Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II, in winter. His most recent article, “Last of the Cave People,” was published in the February 2012 issue.
At 29, he became the first American to summit a peak over 8,000 feet, Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II, in winter.
It was seen recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia, where it was photographed. The forests of the sanctuary have been protected by Catholic Church authorities in the centuries since. If anyone holding the copyright to any of the images on this website objects to their presence here please contact us and the offending images will be removed immediately. A mile deep and up to 18 miles wide at spots, the Grand Canyon is so vast that even from the best vantage point only a fraction of its 277 miles can be seen. The park contains 150 lakes and 450 miles of streams, plus ecosystems ranging from wetlands to pine forests to montane areas to alpine tundra.
Over four million visitors come to this temple annually, most of them spending time in the Yosemite Valley. The vast reserve—covering 2.2 million acres in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana—has craggy peaks, explosive geysers, alpine lakes, deep forests, and a wealth of wild animals. The park’s striking vertical topography—rock towers, sandstone canyons, and sharp cliffs—attracted 3.6 million visitors in 2014.
No roads cross through the park, which contains three distinct ecosystems: temperate rain forest (seen here), subalpine forest and wildflower meadow, and rugged Pacific shore.

The park's jewel-like lakes, blue and white glaciers, and naked granite pinnacles enticed 3.1 million visitors last year. Most of the park is on Mount Desert Island, a patchwork of parkland, private property, and seaside villages. The park's Going-to-the-Sun Road is considered by many to be one of the world's most spectacular drives. On an expedition to Everest in 1999, he was the first to locate and identify the remains of George Mallory, a pioneering climber lost in 1924. Richards documented the entire climb, including an avalanche during descent that nearly claimed his life.
Here are the top ten.Ensconced at number one is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which draws more than ten million visitors annually—about twice the number of the second most popular park.
This mile-wide, 7-mile-long canyon was cut by a river and then widened and deepened by glacial action. Anker has authored four books and appeared in four movies, most recently The Wildest Dream—National Geographic Entertainment’s documentary of Anker’s 2007 Everest expedition.
Footage he took of the journey became the film Cold, which went on to win numerous prizes including the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Most visitors see the park from a mountain-skimming scenic highway; many take to the more than 800 miles of hiking trails across North Carolina and Tennessee.
Anker serves as a board member of the Conservation Alliance and the Leadership Institute of Montana State University.
Richards is a North Face Team Athlete and was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2012. His achievements include the second American ascent of Mount Xixabangma in Tibet, the 1986 U.S. Richards is a North Face Team Athlete and was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the year in 2012.
Everest North Face Expedition, the first ascent of the highest peaks in the Arctic Circle, and the first ascent of Peak Rawu, Tibet.

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