Backcountry Magazine October 2015 - The Travel Issue

Kickstart your winter with the ultimate punch list Winter’s short, powder-filled days have a way of zipping by, and although it’s early fall, spring can sneak up before you know it. Consider this a call to action to break out of winter routines before they even set in. And October’s...
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Kickstart your winter with the ultimate punch list

Winter’s short, powder-filled days have a way of zipping by, and although it’s early fall, spring can sneak up before you know it. Consider this a call to action to break out of winter routines before they even set in. And October’s Travel Issue is all about creating those new experiences.

We’ve assembled an array of adventures, from those far away—like skiing under Norway’s Northern Lights and finding a Haute Route less traveled—to those near home, like taking a hut trip with your family. And we’ve included the gear to get you there and back, including the best ski bags and suitcases, as well as travel tips like how to purchase the right rescue insurance and travel with your airbag.

So before it’s March and the season’s passed you by, grab the Travel Issue and embark on a new kind of winter season.

FEATURES

FOUR MOUNTAIN MISSION
In the Alps of southeastern Switzerland, there's a little-traveled touring route, a figure-eight loop that's 25 miles across if you place a ruler on the map. Yet unlike the iconic Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, this tour through isolated side valleys and off-piste couloirs links four Swiss ski resorts—Davos-Klosters, Arosa, Tschiertschen and Lenzerheide. Last March, contributor George Koch traveled the Four Mountain Tour, where hot meals and homemade cherry brandy give hut-to-hut touring a new meaning.

2016 TRAVEL GUIDE
It may be October, but before you know it, it'll be March. Spring will be all too near and the winter will have gone by way too fast. But that's not a threat—take it as inspiration to plan your road trip, to book that hut week, to buy a plane ticket or to freeze your ass off. And to help jumpstart your winter, we've assembled the ultimate punch list of experiences from unique to weird, locations from nearby to Norway and the travel and camping gear to get you there and back. Kickstart your winter beginning on p. 66.

DEPOSITION

CONTRIBUTORS

EDITOR'S NOTE
Traveling Home

LETTERS
Avalanche cords, Budweiser and praise of the Pacific Northwest

BACKSTORY: READER ESSAY
They Can't All Be Gems

BLOWN IN

HOKKAIDO'S HELI DEBATE
Two years ago, the Hokkaido Backcountry Club received permission to operate heli trips on Japan's northern island. Now, backcountry and heli skiers are working to navigate shared terrain. But can the two parties coexist?

BRIDGING THE GAP
Whitefish, Montana's Ridge Mountain Academy, a campus-based mountain- sports-training program, teaches students to live and train like athletes.

BOARD ROOM: SPLITBOARD SPECTACULAR
In 2004, Scott Newsome became the first splitboard guide certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Now, he's seeking new heights.

THAT GUY: ALEX CAIRNS
Despite a defect in Cairns's vertebrae that left him paralyzed below the knees, the 23-year-old Squamish, B.C. native pushes boundaries.

T-BAR'SASCENT
Tyler and Elliot Wilkinson-Ray capture the soul of skiing with their small Vermont production company, T-Bar Films.

BASECAMP

MOUNTAIN SKILLS: WHY TAKE AVY TWO?
Snow safety doesn't end after an Avalanche Level One Course. Here's why you should continue your education.

MOUNTAIN ACCOUNT: TINCAN TUMBLE
Lurking layers and a long ride on Alaska's Turnagain Pass.

RISKY BUSINESS
Rescue Travel Insurance is an investment you hope to never cash in on. But Mark Kogelmann and Jim Harris can attest to its life-saving capacity.

BLOWN OUT

SPECTACLE

BIFF AMERICA
Biff battles biases against a cowboy acquaintance.

LAST COL:INTIMATE MOMENTS
When Powderwhore Production calls it quits, Noah Howell directs his passion elsewhere.

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