Twenty of our esteemed Adventurers of the Year share the wildest dream trips they've ever had—a dazzling list of feats around the globe. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning. Plus: Don't miss their top gear picks. —Jayme Moye
Photograph by Ryan Creary, Getty Images
Beyond the hubbub of the ski resort—the $100-a-day lift ticket, the gondola, the long lift lines—is the backcountry. In this mountain wilderness, there are (usually) no people, only scenic valleys covered in snow, forested hillsides, alpine summits offering panoramic views of the “other” world far below, and untracked descents. The backcountry is a place to truly get away, according to ski mountaineer Greg Hill. “I think that in today’s age, there is so much happening on all levels that few people actually get away from the crowds and into nature,” he says. “Or sometimes they get away, but then they go to places that everyone is getting away to and it is still busy.”
Hill recommends ski touring in Revelstoke, his hometown in British Columbia, for a memorable backcountry experience, ideally in the company of a few close friends. Nestled between the Selkirk and Monashee Mountain ranges, the small town is adjacent to Mount Revelstoke National Park. “On any given day, we can go out and enjoy ourselves by ourselves,” he says.
In the 2004-2005 ski season, ski mountaineer Greg Hill skied a million vertical feet in one season, completely human-powered. Using skins for traction, or strapping his skis to his backpack and boot-packing up the steeps, he didn’t ride a single lift, gondola, snowcat, or helicopter. Five years later, Hill doubled his own record, skiing two million vert in one year. In doing so, he climbed 71 mountains in four countries, averaging 5,500 feet a day. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Greg Hill's Gear Pick
“On any adventure the weather can change drastically, so to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at me I always carry an Arc’teryx Gore-Tex Stingray jacket. It’s my go-to safe and comfy place when the world around me isn’t. And technology in the Salomon Rocker 2 skis has made all powder skiing more fun and fluid.”