Infinite Wisdom: Wisecracks and Wit For Ski Travel

When it comes to ski travel, everybody has an opinion—where to go, when to go, what to pack or how to adhere to international sauna etiquette.

To get to the bottom of the best ski-travel advice, we polled a field of globetrotting experts, from guides to contributors to industry personalities who’ve canvassed the world in search of powder and the best methods for smuggling Norwegian cured meat into the U.S. Here’s their infinite wisdom.

Do you have all your documents? [Photo] Tyler Cohen

Do you have all your documents? [Photo] Tyler Cohen


“Don’t plan and prepare too much. Adventure is heading into the unknown.” —Noah Howell, Cofounder of Powderwhore Productions

“Be flexible—don’t get fixated on a destination until you know where the snow is best.” —Biff America, Backcountry Columnist

“Even if you want your trip to have a ‘spontaneous’ feel, do the research on transportation, lodging and food. These are the basics you will need when the plans change. Having a good understanding ahead of time prevents a lot of stress.” —Donny Roth, AMGA Ski Guide and owner of Chile Powder Adventures

“You never know unless you go.” —Greg Hill, of two-million-vertical-foot climbing fame

“It’s very possible to travel and ski for less money than it costs to stay home. Especially if you ski in Colorado.” —Brody Leven, ski mountaineer


“A hanging weight scale pays for itself in one overweight fee. Keep a few small, heavy items near the top of your bag, which can be pulled out and carried on if you accidently go over.” —Andrew McLean, ski mountaineer and industry legend with a travel bio too lengthy to write here

“Pack everything you think you need and then go back and take out half. You’ll be more efficient than you think. Less is more anytime you travel.” —Kim Havell, guide, professional skier, ski mountaineer

“When packing two pairs of skis, lay the second pair base-side down in the bag, creating a three-sided box.” —Grant Gunderson, Backcountry Senior Photographer

“While on a trip, make notes about your gear. What aren’t you using? What do you wish you had? What can you improve? Do this while traveling and save the notes. Your next trip will be better.” —Donny Roth


“A good backpack is the best choice for your carry-on baggage because it will leave you with two hands to maneuver your ski bag and other luggage. Always put your avalanche transceiver, radios, camera, laptop and any other fragile items in your carry-on.” —Grant Gunderson

“Save weight in baggage by wearing ski boots, helmet and goggles onto the plane. Everyone in flight will know sure as shit, you’re going skiing.” —Noah Howell

“Always ride public transit at rush hour with skis, ice axes and as many duffels as possible.” —Brody Leven


“Watch your bags around mischievous teammates or you may find yourself answering to U.S. security about the unknown beef object from Norway.” —Kim Havell

“When you fly, carry ski boots on the plane and don’t hide contraband up your butt.” —Biff America


“Keep your options open and your attitude uplifting. You never will control the weather, but you can keep the stoke high with creativity.” —Cindy Lou Grant, professional splitboarder

“A good formula for adventure is to allow naivety and overconfidence to get you into trouble, and then find the mental strength to get you out.” —Noah Howell

“When in doubt, talk it out. Mountain travel can be stressful, especially to remote areas and big mountains. Stay calm, be cool and be open.” —Kim Havell


“Don’t finish business is a place you’d like to return.” —Donny Roth

“Traveling for skiing does not have to be expensive at all, but thriftiness is priceless.” —Brody Leven

“Don’t wear sunglasses in the sauna…or a French maid’s outfit.” —Biff America


Have some advice you’d like to impart? Share it below.



  1. […] Infinite Wisdom: Wisecracks and Wit For Ski Travel “Don't finish business is a place you'd like to return.” —Donny Roth. “Traveling for skiing does not have to be expensive at all, but thriftiness is priceless.” —Brody Leven. “Don't wear sunglasses in the sauna…or a French maid's outfit.” —Biff … Read more on Backcountry […]

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