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The Best Summer Travel Stories For People Who’d Rather Be Outside Right Now

If you can't ski year-round, at least notch some new adventures this summer. Here's some inspiration from SKI's sister titles.

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As much as we all wish we could ski year-round (without crossing oceans), we do our best to embrace the off-season and use it as an opportunity to flex other muscles and embrace our non-skiing passions. 

Luckily, here at SKI, we call some of the best outdoor titles in the industry our partner brands. From Climbing to Clean Eating, our colleagues behind these well-known brands produce inspiring and informational stories relevant to skiers looking to make the most of their time off the slopes. We gathered a handful of our recent favorites.

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El Capitan Fell Apart—While These Climbers Were On It

Climbing’s Chris Van Leuven recalls a Yosemite climb when a massive 15-ton chunk of rock fell off of the iconic El Capitan, screaming past his head as he hung in a sling belay along the Lost In America route.

An enormous block plummeted from above, passing by a hundred feet to our right. Pebbles and dirt followed it like a comet tail. It roared as it fell, and I watched it explode like a bomb into the talus at the base. Like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 6.9 in magnitude and centered only 90 miles south of my home in Marin County, the falling rock came out of nowhere—and when it passed there was silence, leaving me in disbelief.”

Find out what happened here.

Mountain Summits You Can Run Straight Up

Skiers looking for summer mountain views, listen up: Trail Runner proves that you don’t have to be a mountaineer to bag epic peaks with a user-friendly list of summits across the U.S. that runners can reach, no major feats of athleticism required.

Trail Runner Mountain Summits
Photo: Courtesy of Outside Inc.

While there’s only .5 mile of hiking and 30 feet of class 2+ scrambling up mismatched boulders to reach Blackrock’s 3,160-foot summit, the views from the top of this talus slope will make you feel as if you’ve summited the Matterhorn. The vista includes a long stretch of the Shenandoah Valley flanked by the likes of Rockytop Ridge, Lewis Peak, and Massanutten Mountain.”

Bag your summer summits here.

Long-Distance Races in the Most Scenic of Places

Training for a long-haul race in the off-season is one guaranteed way to stay in shape for ski season. Bonus if the race takes place in an amazing destination so you can get your well-earned vacation on, too. Women’s Running stokes the travel fires with farflung races that will motivate you to make the best of the off season.

Trail runners have likely heard that Crested Butte has some of the best trails in the country, and that’s why this race is a great bucket list one, even if it does involve a fair amount of elevation gain—7,200 feet over 50 kilometers! But it’s one of the most popular ultras in the country, thanks to huge open vistas and eye-popping wildflowers in Gunnison National Forest. And since the event starts and finishes at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort, you know you’ll be able to recover from all that climbing in serious style.”

Combine racing and relaxation here.

Get Out of Your Lane and Try Open-Water Swimming

Ditch the lap pool this summer and bid flip turns adieu with these open-water swimming destinations from Triathlete

“There’s a reason triathletes and marathon swimmers have been flocking to the waters along this glittering gem of craggy coastline only a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego. Part of the 6,000-acre La Jolla Ecological Preserve that runs from Scripps Park to the cove, a swim here all but promises peeks of underwater wildlife, like sea lions, sea turtles, seals, whales, dolphins and plenty of fish. Plus, with temperatures hovering around 68 degrees F from July to October, it’s a refreshing spot to swim throughout the summer and fall (although it’s not unusual to see hearty swimmers here year-round).”

Here’s where open-water swimming can be on your agenda this summer.

Take Your Speed Workouts on the Road With You This Summer

Summer travel doesn’t mean you have to ditch your workouts. Podium Runner has a few do-anywhere speed workouts you can take with you on the road.

Podium Runner Travel Training
Photo: Courtesy of Outside Inc.

Not only can you do these alone in whatever setting you find yourself in, getting off-track produces some training benefits. “I think the road much better mimics race conditions because you get hills and turns,” says age-group competitor Julie Thienel of Maryland. “Plus, I feel I am less likely to get injured.” Doing speed work away from the oval also removes the constant reminders of pace and the pressure that brings. Instead, you can concentrate on judging your effort, which will serve you well on race day.”

Click here for travel-training inspo.

Eat Your Way Across America at the County’s Best Farmers’ Markets

If you’ve ever been tempted to follow y0ur stomach across the U.S., you could do worse than to use Clean Eating’s guide to the freshest and very best farmers’ markets as a road map. With markets in every state, travelers are guaranteed the tastiest local eats as they go.

Clean Eating farmers' markets
Photo: Courtesy of Outside Inc.

“The seasonal return of local farmers’ markets this year is a welcome dose of normalcy in a marketplace hungry for seasonal, farm-fresh foods grown close to home. They’re also a healthy alternative to traditional grocery stores and a supplement to tiresome and repetitive home deliveries. The sheer number of farmers’ markets has surged in recent years, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory, as demand for such foods is driving the trend.”

Click here to eat your way across the country.

The Best Tour de France Stages to Inspire You to Get Back in the Saddle

Dream of European ski travel while watching the best cyclists in the world fly past quaint French mountain villages and race on ancient cobbled paths in the heart of the Alps. VeloNews breaks down the Tour de France stages that anyone who calls themselves an athlete must watch.

Intriguingly though, it’s the descent from the Ventoux that could be just as important as the ride up to the barren moonscape at the summit. The downhill finish marks a growing shift in focus away from mountaintop finales. Descending denouements can often add spice and surprise to a stage, and the long, steep, extra-fast drop into Malaucène is ripe with opportunity for the wiliest of racers.”

Click here, and keep an eye out for ski lifts.