FLY SOUTH, BRAH
Before you completely thaw out your gear and prepare for a dry, hot summer of mountain biking and climbing, have you considered using North America's summer months to slay big mountain lines in the Andes? That's right, we're talking about the endless winter. It does exist and it's worthy of your consideration.
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There are many itineraries and trips to consider. August is going to be prime time in most spots. We're going to make this easy on you and endorse our longtime partners in southern hemi powder, SASS Global Travel. For the beginner and experienced backcountry traveler alike, SASS offers a full-service backcountry guiding experience. They focus on slaying powder and big mountain lines, and provide you the knowledge and experience to do so. Learn more about their offerings here.
Still need some convincing?
GET IN SHAPE FOR WINTER
There's no better off-season training for backcountry skiing and snowboarding...than skiing and snowboarding! That's right, spend a week in August climbing and skiing the steep peaks of the Andes, and your legs will remember it in November. Muscle memory comes back stronger if you only have to wait a month or two before you get back on your boards. Where did Rocky go to train against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV? He went to a cabin deep in the mountains and ran up and down snowy ridges in waist-deep pow. Meanwhile, Drago is indoors riding an elliptical. Spoiler alert: Rocky wins that fight.
PRACTICE YOUR BACKCOUNTRY SKILLS
Partner your strong legs with a strong mind. Backcountry skills and habits are like muscles, they need training, stretching, and practice to be most effective. Particularly if you are a beginner or novice backcountry skier or snowboarder, going with a guided group like SASS can provided you with a sharpened skillset to take home to your own turf. Having to learn how to move through new types of terrain, analyzing a new snowpack, and making new observations about your surroundings will take you out of your comfort zone and force you to focus on your knowledge and skillset. These experiences, when done correctly, will add to the diversity of your backcountry portfolio and give you more confidence for more trips in the future.
For more advanced backcountry skiers and snowboarders, the Andes can provide an exciting new arena for your skills and experience. Be humble in new terrain. Find the local sources of information on snowpack and weather. Ask questions, be respectful, and listen. Play your cards right, and you'll be sipping Quilmes with your new-found ski partners and planning your next ascent.
MOUNTAIN CULTURE IS THE BEST CULTURE
There's no better way to be a tourist in a foreign land than with climbing and skiing mountains as your mission. Mountain culture exists all over the world, and the locals are stoked to share their mountains with respectful and excited skiers and snowboarders. Skiing and snowboarding can for sure be the highlights of your trip, but they can also be merely a gateway to the myriad of experiences and memories that you'll takeaway from your trip. The food, the drink, the people, the sights, and the smells will all stimulate your senses and make you happy to be alive, healthy, and traveling the world skiing and snowboarding.