Packrafting expert Luc Mehl has spent decades creatively exploring Alaska. He worked his way up the learning curves of skiing, bikepacking, ice skating, and packrafting — sometimes at the expense of his own safety. But when a friend drowned in a packrafting accident, Luc critically examined his lifestyle. He decided to relearn how to packraft the right way. Buckle up as Luc takes listeners on a wild ride this week on the Out and Back podcast.
Out and Back Podcast
Pacific Crest Trail “trail angels” Scout and Frodo have hosted thru-hikers — sometimes 40 per night — for over 15 years. This week on the Out and Back podcast, Scout gives the inside scoop on why he and his wife open up their doors to so many people without charging a cent. He talks about how the PCT has changed over time, and gives insight from his own PCT thru-hike.
Vasu Sojitra is a highly accomplished skier and mountaineer. Yet he finds summiting technical peaks, skiing narrow couloirs, and landing 720s are not really about the accomplishments themselves. It’s far more about how these activities make him feel. A self-described “brown kid with one leg,” Vasu found community in the mountains. Now he’s on a mission to empower everyone, especially those from diverse backgrounds, to discover courage, resiliency, and joy through moving their bodies outside. Tune in to Vasu’s story on the Out and Back podcast.
With eight Everest summits to his name — including one without supplemental oxygen — alpinist Adrian Ballinger is a giant in the mountaineering community. But he was never supposed to be a mountaineer in the first place.
This week on Out and Back, Adrian opens up about how his one-year deferment from medical school turned into 20. The mountain guide discusses the challenges of guiding clients up the world’s tallest mountains and how a fateful encounter on the side of Mount Everest led to meeting his fiancée, professional climber Emily Harrington.
Professional rock climber Matt Segal knew that sport would never be enough for him. Plus, he was fed up with drinking bad coffee on climbing expeditions. So Segal founded Alpine Start, an artisan instant coffee company, while continuing to raise the bar in climbing. Tune in to the Out and Back podcast to learn how Segal balances his indoor and outdoor careers, and how a near-death paragliding accident inspired him to take his company to the next level.
When you think of the Himalayas, images of Everest and K2 probably come to mind. But scaling those formidable peaks only scratches the surface of what the region has to offer. Ski mountaineer Luke Smithwick has made it his goal to ski 500 beautiful and iconic backcountry lines in the world’s highest and most expansive mountain range. Tune in to the Out and Back podcast to learn why Smithwick thinks Himalayan backcountry skiing is worth a trip halfway around the world.
Big Mountain skier Sophia Schwartz teams up the Sean McCoy, the editorial director of GearJunkie, to highlight their favorite backcountry ski gear this year. Tune in to learn more about avalanche airbags, beacons, climbing skins, and more.
Dreaming up summer hiking and backpacking adventures? You can start getting ready for them right now, right from home. This week on Out and Back, personal trainer and founder of Backcountry Fitness Billy Gawron shares how you can get strong, fit, and mentally prepared to hit the backcountry. Minimal space, equipment, and time required.
Sonya and Necota Staples got so caught up in the business of living that they drifted apart. With their marriage teetering on the breaking point, they tried something new. They went camping together. That one trip changed the trajectory of their lives. Tune into this special Valentine’s Day episode of the Out and Back podcast to learn how camping, overlanding, and connecting with nature allowed the Staples to connect with each other.
The transition from resort skiing to the backcountry can seem daunting, but you no longer have to go it alone. Bluebird Backcountry ski area is a totally new concept that is designed to mentor backcountry skiers through the steep learning curve of winter travel in the mountains. Tune into this conversation with Bluebird Backcountry co-founder Erik Lambert to discover why this brand new ski area without lifts is so hot this year.