WHITE BLAZES are hard to spot in a blizzard.

I was somewhere in the Smokies, 21 years old, and with only about

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Eye Of The Storm
It’s 4 a.m. in Vesper Basin, deep in Washington’s Cascades, and I’m building a dam out of twigs. The rain started two days ago; not with a roar but rather a slow drumming, wrapping the world in fog until even the near edge of the cirque vanished. Our
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Rice Noodle & Shiitake Soup
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Editor’s Note
Some of Backpacker’s best-selling issues and most-clicked stories have been about the scary stuff: how to survive when our worst backcountry fears—rockfall! grizzly attack! losing your way!—become reality. Armchair reads about daunting places like Am