An Adrenaline Junkie’s Bucket List

June 18, 2013 (Updated June 18, 2013)

Killing time in an airport on his way home to Oregon, Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg had a flash of inspiration. “I was coming back from skiing in Chile with my daughters, and I thought, ‘I need to make a list of all the big trips I’ve done and all I want to do.” The Oregon native and avid outdoorsman jotted down a list that ultimately grew into a book.  “The Adrenaline Junkie’s Bucket List: 100 Extreme Outdoor Adventures to do Before You Die” will be published in June 2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin. The book includes summaries of epic outdoor adventures around the world like kayaking in Belize, mountain biking in Bolivia and skiing the Haute Route through the Alps. Each summary includes an explanation of why the trip is special, ideas for guides and outfitters, things not to miss and suggestions for extending your trip.

Van Tilburg says he’s completed about 60 of the 100 trips in the book. While some people might be intimidated by the extreme tenor of them, Van Tilburg says the book is for two types of people: “Somebody who doesn’t do a lot of adventuring, but has time, resources and money. And the other is an outdoor adventurer already doing trips who needs more ideas.”

Oregon makes an appearance in the book; Van Tilburg has included windsurfing and kiteboarding in the Columbia River Gorge, Cycle Oregon and what he calls the Mt. Hood triathlon: climbing to top, biking around it and running around it. “That’s not for everybody,” he concedes, “and you don’t have to do it all in one trip.”

In addition to holding a day job as wilderness and travel medicine physician, Van Tilburg has written “Mountain Rescue Doctor” and “Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes in Oregon” as well as articles for National Geographic Adventure, Backcountry Magazine, Portland Monthly and Outside Magazine’s blog.

Though his wanderlust has taken him around the world, Van Tilburg finds plenty to keep him in Oregon. “The thing about Oregon is that we have a little slice of everything,” he says. Whether it’s skiing, surfing, mountaineering or kayaking you are after, “we have such a varied landscape. We can do almost everything here.”

When he isn’t working or writing, you can find him at one of his favorite Oregon spots — the Oregon Coast, the McKenzie River Trail or at home in Hood River.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.