A website dedicated to the blissful pursuit of the backcountry experience, wherever mountains rise,


"When I go out I become more alive...its probably the endorphins that everyone talks about.  And I guess the more you produce, the more you want.  And so, I think I've been producing a lot for a long time,  because I want them all the time. I just love skiing.  I love the gravitational pull."

the late Doug Coombs
(perhaps the greatest skier of our generation)

Doug Coombs and Chad Vanderham, in La Grave, France, moments before their fatal slip (photo: Matt Farmer)

Same couloir, six years to the day

Big Fatty Couloir, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho

Sugar Bowl backcountry, Donner Lake, CA

Tour Ronde and Glacier du Geant, Vallee Blanche, Chamonix

Myself, Resurrection Couloir, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho (photo: Aaron Teasdale)

The World's Best Adventure Trips

  1. Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal
  2. Climb the MatterhornSwitzerland**
  3. Climb and ski the Grand Teton, GTNP, Wyoming***
  4. Climb and ski Mt. BlancGouter Route, Chamonix, France**
  5. Explore the Channel Islands, overland and undersea, Southern California***
  6. Raft the Fataleufu River, Patagonia, Chile
  7. Raft the ColoradoGrand Canyon, Arizona
  8. Raft the Chattooga River with my brother, Georgia**
  9. Raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho
  10. Hike the Milford Track, Fjordland, South Island, New Zealand***
  11. Hike the Routeburn Track, Fjordland, South Island, New Zealand*
  12. Hike the Abel Tasman Track, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand*
  13. Hike the G20, Corsica, France**
  14. Hike the Mt. Blanc Circuit (Tour du Mont Blanc), France/Italy/Switzerland
  15. Road and/or mountain bike the Sella RondaDolomites, Italy**
  16. Hike and ski the Haute RouteChamonix to ZermattFrance/Switzerland**
  17. Hike and ski the Berner Oberland, Switzerland**
  18. Hike, climb and ski Mt. Waddington, British Columbia
  19. Heli-ski in the Chugach, Alaska
  20. Snowboard the French Alps, ChamonixCourmayeurVal d'Isere, and La Grave, France***
  21. Snowboard the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Circle, Norway
  22. Snowboard the world's biggest and most remote couloirs, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada
  23. Climb Wallface, highest in the eastern United States, Adirondacks, New York**
  24. Climb El CapitanYosemite National Park, California
  25. Hike and kayak the Na Pali Coast, Kaua'i, Hawai***
  26. Trek to the base of Cerro TorreSouthern Patagonia, Argentina/Chile*
  27. Trek El Circuito, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile*
  28. Summer skiing in the Andes, Portillo, Chile**
  29. Explore Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Tasman Sea
  30. Explore the Norwegian fjords by bike, hike, boat, and train, Scandinavia*
  31. Mountain bike The Tsali Trails, Bryson, North Carolina*
  32. Mountain bike the Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails, Moab, Utah*
  33. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  34. Ski traverse of La Meije, Massif des Écrins, La Grave France*
  35. Mountain bike the Flume Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe, California**
  36. Mountain bike Comfortably NumbWhistler, British Columbia
  37. Hike the John Muir Trail, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, California***
  38. Complete the Swiss CrissCross, road and mountain bike traverse of the alps, Switzerland**
  39. Ski traverse of the Viedma Glacier, Southern Patagonian Icefield, Argentina/Chile
  40. Canyoneering, the Narrows/Echo CanyonZion National Park, Utah*
  41. Hike Machu Picchu and the Urumbamba Valley, Peru**
  42. Hike the Haleakala Crater and the Hana Coast, Maui, Hawai'i*
  43. Hike the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit, Peru**
  44. Hike and climb, Berchtesgaden National Park, Bavarian Alps, Germany*
  45. Thru hike the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango
  46. Surf trip: Playa Guiones and Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica**
  47. Surf the longest break in Europe: Mundaka, Basque Coast, Spain
  48. Surf the big waves of the North Shore of O'ahu, and Maui, Hawai'i
  49. Surf trip: Raglan, Piha, Taranaki, Wellington, Dunedin, and the Far North, New Zealand
  50. Climb and snowboard Monte Rosa and the Marinelli Couloir, via Monte Rosa hut, Zermatt, Switzerland**
  51. Snowboard the Canadian Rockies; Banff, Jasper, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Canada
  52. Snowboard the Italian and Swiss Alps; ZermattAlagnaVerbier, and Canazei***
  53. Hike the Little Beaver and Big Beaver circuit, Ross Lake, North Cascades National Park, Washington
  54. Hike, climb, and snowboard the Fire LookoutsNorth Cascades, Washington
  55. Hike, climb, and snowboard the biggest lines in the Tetons, GTNP, Wyoming***
  56. Hike, climb, and snowboard the biggest lines in the San Juans, southwest Colorado***
  57. Explore Cap Formentor, Mallorca by roadbike, Balearic Islands, Spain**
  58. Explore the islands and waters of PalauMicronesia
  59. Expore and surf the waters of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Polynesia, Chile
  60. Sail, camp, and explore Cumberland Island Georgia with my dad***
  61. Snowboard the backcountry terrain of St. Anton am Arlberg, Tyrol, Austria***
  62. Snowboard the Bavarian alps, Garmisch, Partenkirchen, Germany
  63. Snowboard the Julian alps, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
  64. Snowboard Las Lenas, Mendoza Province, Argentina
  65. Explore and snowboard Iceland***
  66. Explore and snowboard Greenland
  67. Explore and snowboard Antarctica
  68. Mountain bike hut trip, San Juan Hut system, Durango to Moab, Colorado/Utah
  69. Ski traverse of the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness, San Juan Hut system, Colorado; climb and snowboard Mt. Sneffels and the Snake Couloir, San Juans, Colorado***
  70. Explore the waters, mountains, and beaches of St. Lucia, Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea***
  71. Explore the waters, mountains, and beaches of Dominica, Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea***
  72. Explore the waters and beaches of Harbour Island, Bahamas*
  73. African safari adventure, Kruger National Park, South Africa, and the Masai Mara region of Kenya
  74. Explore the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado**
  75. Snowboard trip: Ski Train, Denver to Winter Park , Colorado***
  76. Snowboard trip: Little Tuckerman's Ravine, Mt. Washington, New Hampshire*
  77. Raft the Rogue River, Oregon
  78. Explore the Palawan archipelago, Philippines
  79. Explore the Andaman and Phi Phi islands, Thailand
  80. Explore the islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea, French Polynesia
  81. Explore the Southeastern coast of Australia and Tasmania***
  82. Surf trip: Baja California, Mexico
  83. Surf trip: Bali, Indonesia
  84. Explore the Seychelles, Madagascar, and Reunion Islands, Indian Ocean
  85. Explore Paraty and the Costa Verde, Brazil*
  86. Explore the cenotes and Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  87. Explore the Ogasawara Islands Group by boat, Japan
  88. Explore Tayrona National Park, Colombia
  89. Explore the Maldives, Indian Ocean
  90. Explore the waters of Turkey
  91. Explore the islands of Greece
  92. Explore the islands and coasts of Croatia and the Adriatic Sea
  93. Explore the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri, Italy*
  94. Climb and Snowboard Mt. Shuskan, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Rainier, North Cascades National Park, Washington
  95. Splitboard circumnavigation of Crater Lake, Oregon
  96. Hike the Laugavegur Tour, Iceland
  97. Hike Sardinia’s Selvaggio Blu, Italy
  98. Hike the Dolomites, Alta Via 1 & 2, Italy
  99. Trek the Khumbu & Gokyo Valleys, Nepal
  100. Trek the Langtang route, Nepal
  101. Overnight backcountry tour on horseback, anywhere, with my mom

* completed
** in the works for 2012/2013
*** partially completed and in the works

30 of the Coolest Lines in the World

  1. Sick: ENSA Couloir, Brevent, Chamonix, France*
  2. Really Sick: Sickle Couloir, Horstmann Peak, Sawtooths, Idaho
  3. Nauseating: Poubelle Couloir, Grand Montets, Chamonix*
  4. Just as nauseating: Rectiligne Couloir, Grand Montets, Chamonix*
  5. Ridiculously ill: Cosmiques Couloir, Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix*
  6. Possibly the world's sickest line (and it's lift-served!): Cunningham Couloir, Chamonix**
  7. Another view, another line: The Cunningham, The West, and the Aguille du Midi, Chamonix*
  8. Or maybe it's one of these: Jager/Gervasutti Couloirs, Mt. Blanc du Tacul, Chamonix**
  9. Or it could be this one: Couloir Chevalier, Petite Aiguille Verte, Chamonix**
  10. Or this one: Apocalypse Couloir, GTNP, Wyoming**
  11. No, this one: Heaven's Eleven, Telluride, Colorado**
  12. Okay, one more: Holzer Couloir, Canazei, Italy**
  13. No, wait: Polar Star Couloir, Baffin Island, Canada
  14. Definitely the most aesthetic: San Joaquin, Telluride, Colorado*
  15. The Runner-up: Moraine Lake Couloir, Canada
  16. Not far behind: The Sliver, GTNP, Wyoming*
  17. Super: The Super C Couloir, Portillo, Chile
  18. Super gnarly: Gnar Couloir, Silverton, Colorado**
  19. The Classic: The Ford and Stettner Couloirs, Grand Teton, Wyoming**
  20. The Testpiece: Central Couloir, Jackson Hole backcountry, Wyoming*
  21. The Granddaddy: Grandfather Couloir, Silverton, Colorado*
  22. The Ultimate: The Eugster (Grandfather on Steroids), Aguille du Midi, Chamonix**
  23. The World's Longest: Marinelli Couloir, Monte Rosa, Italy/Switzerland**
  24. The World's Highest: Lhotse Couloir (unskied and probably unskiable), Nepal***
  25. Take your pick: Resurrection, Jesus, Skinny Mini, Thompson Peak, Sawtooths, Idaho* 
  26. Couldn't help myself: Whymper Couloir, Aiguille Verte, Chamonix, France**
  27. Yes, I have a problem: Courturier Couloir, Aiguille Verte, Chamonix, France**
  28. No really, I do: Gervasutti Couloir, Tour Ronde, Chamonix, France**

* completed
** in the works for 2012/2013
*** never gonna happen

The 25 Best in the World

  1. Explore the Inside Passage by ferry, Alaska Marine Highway, British Columbia, Alaska
  2. Ride the Interislander ferry, from Wellington to Picton, New Zealand*
  3. Ride the Milford Sound ferry, Fjordland, South Island, New Zealand*
  4. Ride the San Francisco to Sausalito ferry, San Francisco Bay, California*
  5. Ride the Sydney Ferries from Sydney to Manly, Australia*
  6. Ride the Star Ferry, from Kowloon to Hong Kong, China*
  7. Ride the British Columbia ferry, from Victoria to Vancouver, Canada*
  8. Explore the Bosphorous by boat, from Istanbul to the Black Sea, Turkey*
  9. Ride the Naples to Capri ferry, Bay of Naples, Italy*
  10. Ride the Navimag ferry from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
  11. Ride the Norwegian Coastal Express, between Bergen and Kirkenes, Norway
  12. Ride any of the private ferry services in Halong Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam
  13. Ride the Greek island ferries to any of the Greek islands, Aegean Sea, Greece
  14. Ride the Durango and Silverton railroad, Colorado
  15. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada
  16. Ride the Bernina Express, Switzerland/Italy*
  17. Ride the Glacier Express, Switzerland*
  18. Ride the Bergen Railway, from Bergen to Oslo, Norway* 
  19. Ride the Flam Railway, the world's steepest, from Myrdal to Flam, Norway*
  20. Ride the TGV, SNCF, between Paris and Lyon, France*
  21. Ride the Eurostar, through the Channel Tunnel, between London and Paris*
  22. Ride the Shinkansen bullet train, Central Japan Railway, between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan*
  23. Ride the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express, Machu Picchu, Peru
  24. Ride the Semmering Railway, between Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag, Austria
  25. Ride the 'Toy Train', Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India
  26. Ride the world's highest: Qinghai–Tibet Railway, between Beijing, China and Lhasa, Tibet

* completed
** in the works for 2012/2013
*** never gonna happen

(descriptions, travel beta, and weblinks forthcoming)