Summer is here and it sure is making its presence felt around much of the country. There's a surefire way to escape crowds, smokey air and heat - and that's to head to the mountains. And our latest Alpine Issue is the perfect guide to take you on an awesome mountain bike escape.

The cover is graced by Ben McIlroy, a Mt Beauty native who made his mark on the Enduro World Series scene in 2017 when he won the Junior race in Derby.

Ben is part of our major feature on local lines in Victoria's High Country. Ben lists his favourite trails at Mt Beauty, and it's a tick list for anyone who wants to go and ride the raw enduro trails in the Alpine Shire.

Kathryn McInernery also gives us the lowdown on her favourite loop at her home in Bright - it's a mix of XC trails, flow trails, enduro descents and some of Bright's finest hand cut trails.

Chris Panozzo then takes you above the treeline with the details on his favourite loop up high in Falls Creek - a mix of purpose built trails, service trails in the back country and some raw trails that have been repurposed for modern mountain biking.

If you have wanted to head to the High Country to ride, but never been sure where to start, this is a must-read.

Now if you want to get out into the High Country and really explore, you need to check out the bikepacking adventure put together by Adam Macbeth. With a mix of old trails, huts, icy river crossings and singletrack this looked like a killer alpine adventure.

Colin Levitch met up with Matt Tripet who runs the Fly Program, and they used Trek Powerfly LT eMTBs to get access into the NSW Snowy Mountains to go fly fishing. What is usually a full day hike in to a certain river became a couple of hours on the eMTBs, and made for a great day out.

High mountains really make mountain biking epic, and if you're chasing an endurance bike event to do in the high mountains, you can't look past the Swiss Epic. As part of the global Epic Series, the Swiss Epic is a paired stage race run over 5 days and it now calls the east of Switzerland home.

I raced the event this year with my wife Imogen Smith, and looked at why this event has to be on your bucket list. Exceptional trails, no camping, great food - there's a lot to like!

Earlier this year Norco released the all-new Sight and Optic - we have both on test in this issue. We also put the Sunn Kern EN29 Finest to test. It has to be one of the best value full-carbon Enduro and all-mountain bikes on the market at the moment, selling for $6299 direct from Ride Sports.

Sebastian Jayne took the Orbea Occam M10 through his local Bright trails. It gets up hills, it storms down them. Better yet, their MyO program lets you customise the spec (and paint!) so it suits your riding.

We also had the latest Specialized Turbo Levo Comp tested. Sure, the Levo eMTBs do come in a little pricier than some, but as Tim Bardsley-Smith explains in his review, the ride quality and performance and tuneability of the motor is worth it.

There's a whole bunch more, as usual. from a test on the new Maxxis Dissector, to reviewing a Thule bike rack, some Fizik shoes, Dakine knee pads and lots of other bits of gear. Plus we have Jared Rando explaining how to really nail setup corners, and Zoe Wilson explains some of the nutrition basics that we might all be forgetting. 

There's a whole lot more inside our latest issue - drop in to your local newsagent to pick up a copy. Better yet - why not buy a subscription and save some money?