Travel & Outdoor

Backpacker September/October 2019

Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.

United States
Active Interest Media
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9 Issues

In this issue

1 min.

EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief Dennis Lewon Deputy Editor Casey Lyons Senior Digital Editor Adam Roy Gear Editor Eli Bernstein Assistant Skills Editor Zoe Gates Northwest Field Editor Ted Alvarez Rocky Mountain Field Editor Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan Southwest Field Editor Annette McGivney Contributing Editors Kelly Bastone, William M. Rochfort, Jr. Editorial Intern Rebecca Rubnitz ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Mike Leister Senior Photo Editor + Staff Photographer Louisa Albanese FIELD SCOUTS Anastasia Allison, Justin Bailey, Paul Chisholm, Laura Lancaster, Korey Peterson, Heather Balogh Rochfort, Stasia Stockwell, Ryan Wichelns, Erica Zazo ACTIVE INTEREST MEDIA OUTDOOR GROUP General Manager Sharon Houghton Building Manager Tony Wilhelms I.T. Specialist Tony Pene SALES Publisher Sharon Houghton 303.253.6412 shoughton@aimmedia.com Sales Director Rob Hudson 303.253.6324 rhudson@aimmedia.com Midwest Account Director Brian Brigman 773.329.3957 bbrigman@aimmedia.com West Coast + Colorado Account Director Lesli Krishnaiah 303.253.6353 lkrishnaiah@aimmedia.com Utah Account Director Ginna Larson 303.859.7276 glarson@aimmedia.com Corporate Sales JoAnn Martin joannmartin@aimmedia.com Sales Assistant Beth Prehn MARKETING Marketing and Business Development Director Courtney Matthews Marketing Manager Tina Rolf Strategic…

2 min.
youth movement

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD of “nature deficit disorder”—the idea that kids these days are deprived of time outdoors. It’s easy to read the headlines and think teenagers do nothing but sit inside with their screens. It’s a real concern, of course, and we’ve reported on it. But that’s not the whole story. There’s plenty of evidence that the Instagram generation wants to explore the outdoors—if they get the opportunity. For starters, some of the local experts in this issue’s “Follow the Leader” (page 60) are barely out of their teens. Also in this issue, Nicholas Kristof writes about the seven-year adventure he and his daughter Caroline undertook section-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (“Growing Up on the PCT,” page 92). When they started the odyssey, Caroline was 14 years old and Kristof was…

1 min.
backpacker treks

Since 1973, we’ve given advice on trails across the country and the world. After all, our mission is to help you get out more. Now, we’ve created a program to actually bring you those life-list trips. 1. GO FOR GOOD We’ve created a unique opportunity for hikers who want to help with Nepal’s post-earthquake recovery while also going on an unforgettable trek (see page 85). 2. GO FAR When it comes to international backpacking, there are thousands of amazing destinations to choose from. How do you decide? We’ve crafted custom itineraries in Chile, Peru, France, and Bhutan for hikers who want to go beyond the standard routes. 3. GO CLASSIC Some of the best backpacking in the world is right here in the U.S. Join other BACKPACKER readers on a trek in one of the country’s…

4 min.

Wilderness Hero Ranger Randy Morgenson, who disappeared in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in 1996, left such a lasting impression on his colleagues and friends that they named a mountain after him (“Epitaph in the Sky,” July/August 2019). But everyday hikers remembered his zeal for the wilderness, too. In an email, Bob Borthwick recounted a meeting with Morgenson during a hike of the John Muir Trail with his sons in July, 1996. “We were on a downhill grade approaching McClure Meadow, and Randy approached us to check our wilderness permits,” he wrote. “Randy gave us this parting advice: ‘When you get to the meadow, don’t stay on the trail around the edge. Be sure to walk out to the middle and turn slowly in all directions to savor the beauty.’…

1 min.
1. play with fire

Watch fall’s fiery hues color the forest all around you from the Rondaxe Fire Tower atop Bald Mountain (also called Rondaxe Mountain). Gaining 500 feet in just under a mile, the climb to the 2,350-foot summit offers midway rewards in views over the Fulton Chain of Lakes. From the top, soak in the vibrant hues of sugar maples, American beech, and yellow birch trees (peak foliage tends to occur in early-to mid-October). Look northeast for vistas of the High Peaks Wilderness, including 5,344-foot Mt. Marcy, the state’s tallest. Return the way you came for a 1.9-mile out-and-back. Plan a sunrise hike to beat the crowds that flock to this peak in autumn, and to see a different sort of flame over the morning fog. CONTACT adk.org…

3 min.
2. the greatest of all

“YOU WON’T FIND any social trails out there,” the driver says, motioning to the tundra over his shoulder as I unload my gear from the back of the bus. That’s why I’m here, I think. I just spent six hours riding into Denali National Park and I’m ready to head into the kind of challenging terrain that comes with a warning. My objective is Peters Glacier, which winds around the base of Denali’s Wickersham Wall. Rising 14,000 feet, the wall is the second-tallest unbroken mountain face in the world, and my 22-mile route to it passes through areas of Denali that the guidebooks never mention. Mist clings to the McKinley River in the morning, and though Denali is nowhere in sight, I can still feel its pull. I inflate my packraft and push…