As winter quickly approaches, it’s time to ditch the same old touring haunts and get out there—way out there. For tips and tricks on how to do just that, grab Backcountry Magazine’s International Issue, packed with beta on the strangest and snowiest locations to shake up this season. In the Travel Guide, head out to the edges of Earth in Kyrgyzstan or check out penguins and powder runs on the Frozen Continent. Plus, find the best tours across the globe, how to choose your own Haute Route and what Glen Plake and Nepali mountain guides have in common. Need some gear to get you out there? We’ve got that covered, too.
Former Backcountry Editor in Chief Adam Howard wondered what would happen if four college roommates got together for the first time in 20 years to attempt a circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif. It would certainly have its ups and downs. Turns out, success is less about completing the route and much more about navigating it. Kind of like life.
OFFBEAT & OVERSEAS
It's easy to get stuck traveling to familiar haunts or the most popular powder zones. But there's a world of snow out there and getting off the established skintrack brings new experiences, strange encounters and wild stories. So we've gone beyond North America to cover locations exotic and afar. Flip to p. 69 and get ready to buy your next plane ticket.
Glen Plake spreads skiing
Skiers' impact on wildlife, a word from the Utah Avalanche Center and one serious streaker.
BACKSTORY: HOT, FLAT AND SNOWY
Discovering the land down under.
STRAIGHT LINES: FOR THE LOVE OF POWDER
Leif Whittaker and a close friend with an incurable illness discover life lessons in the cold smoke.
RISING SUN, RECEDING SNOW?
For powder seekers, Japan is synonymous with deep days and billowing turns. So when last year offered one of the country's driest winters on record, skiers and riders took note, hoping the season was just a fluke. But could it be an indicator of more variable winters to come?
THAT GUY: THE KEEPER OF THE FOREST
For years, Doug Krause has been on a globetrotting mission, sharing his snow- safety expertise across the world. His most recent exploits bring him to Japan, where he's changing the way one ski resort manages backcountry access.
GEAR BOX: TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Packing for a trip can be a looming task: what to bring, how much to carry and where to put it all. Here are eight must-haves to ease the process.
MOUNTAIN SKILLS: GET WAY OUT
Beta on hotspots like Chamonix and Portillo is easy to come by. But what about tripping to unconventional spots like Vielha or Aoraki? Here's how a few contributors get out and stay out.
MOUNTAIN ACCOUNT: INTERNATIONAL LAW
In 2010, Italy ruled that triggering an avalanche is a criminal offence, punishable with jail time and a fat fine. Photographer Yves Garneau reports on his run-in with the law.
Donny Roth dishes on interacting with clients, managing mountain responsibility and fending off the hangries.
ALONE: THE SPANISH PYRENEES
Tucked within Spain's northeastern Catalan Region sits Val d'Aran, the country's most isolated valley. While nearby routes draw summer crowds, this zone—separated each winter from the rest of Spain until the 1940s—offers untracked lines and quiet mountain refuges. Kit DesLauriers, along with a crew from Jackson, explores the pristine terrain with a little help from some locals.
If the snow doesn't kill him, the years just might.
Passing the grass in northern Iceland.