Though it winds through some of the most scenic, soul-soothing locales on the planet, the majestic hike to Everest Base Camp will put even the most experienced trail experts to the test. Buoyed by the spirit of Sir Edmund Hillary, you’ll ascend across the gravity-defying swing bridges of the Dudh Kosi Valley, immerse yourself in Khumbu Sherpa culture in the village of Namche Bazaar, and soak in mesmerizing views of the soaring Himalayan peaks—many of which are among the tallest in the world. Best of all, once you’ve successfully made it to your final destination, you’ll get an up-close look at your next pioneering adventure: Mt. Everest itself.
Credit: Kris Swanson
If you’re a dedicated powder hound–since you’re reading this post, let’s assume that’s the case–you’re probably dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones… that allow you to hit well-groomed pistes and undisturbed backcountry at will. You’re also probably dreaming of far-flung destinations perfect for a late-winter/early spring ski trip–and that’s where we come in. Here are DJBENNETT‘s picks for three must-hit ski spots this season.
Whether you’re heli-skiing the untracked powder of Canada’s Purcell Mountains or tearing up the backcountry on your snowboard in Girwood, Alaska, this holiday season (and beyond), being prepared for inclement conditions and the occasional wipeout is a must. So a helmet of some sort is essential, and — as any diehard knows — you’re also going to want to protect your eyes from whipping wind, stinging snow, and the glare of the sun.
The snowy pistes of Austria’s St. Anton have a lot to offer the world’s most adventurous winter daredevils and powder hounds. Nestled in the Tyrolean Alps, St. Anton boasts more than 500 km of trails–from well-groomed courses to deep-snow runs rife with plenty of the fresh white stuff–that are perfect for gaining speed and grabbing air (see above). You can view the current conditions on the resort’s live webcams to get revved up before your trip.
You’ll need a lot of skill–and a water-taxi ride from a Coast Guard-certified captain–to sink a birdie on Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort’s 14th hole, the world’s only movable, floating island green.
Need more reasons to visit this gem of a city in Idaho? Try one of these: You can hammer a run on the lakeside North Idaho Centennial Trail while prowling bald eagles soar overhead. The Coeur d’Alene River’s bounty of rainbow and cutthroat trout will keep your fly-fishing rod bent all day long. And you can ride the world’s longest gondola to the top of Silver Mountain… then bike the challenging crisscrossing trails down.
Once you’ve surfed the amazing breaks at Playa Hermosa and Dominical in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, you’ll never want to leave.
If you aspire to kayak some of New Zealand’s most adrenaline-inducing waters, Mt. Aspiring National Park delivers two stellar options: the Makarora and Matukituki Rivers—both of which transport you through gnarly rapids before finally spitting you out into the gorgeous Lake Wanaka.
Photo credit: SkiCanadianRockies.com
Hop a helicopter to the Purcell Mountains in Banff, Alberta, Canada, and you’ll soon be freeriding on untracked powder, zipping along exhilarating tree runs, and (as shown above) grabbing some serious air.
Photo credit: Getty Images
From kayaking past southern right whales in the Gulfo San Jose to trekking across the giant blue-tinted Perito Moreno Glacier, there’s no shortage of unique adventures to be had in Patagonia, Argentina. The most challenging: an arduous 36-mile hike that winds through eerie beech forests, by glaciers and waterfalls, to the iconic Mount Fitz Roy.
Photo credit: konaboy/Flickr.com
Hawaii is practically synonymous with surfing, and some of the best breaks on the Big Island (or anywhere) can be found at Banyans. The waves roll fast over shallow reefs, and offer a plethora of sections for advanced short-boarders to work their maneuvering magic.