coast-to-coast Madagascar

The plan is simple – to be a part of the world’s first group to walk across the northern part of the island from east to west, entirely on foot, a distance of almost 400 km, in the seemingly impossible timeframe of three weeks. …


Days pass by as we trek west. We camp in rural villages – usually on patchy football fields where, night after night, hundreds of curious children and adults alike surround us, amazed at the presence of a ‘Vaza’, a white ghost – the Malagasy term for westerners. They haven’t seen many before. In fact, in this part of Madagascar, away from the tourist trail in the south, the last foreigners that have entered the foothills of the Tsaratanana were the French army in the late 1940s and occasional mineral prospectors in the 1970s. …


At exactly the half way point of the journey, after almost two hundred kilometers of uphill slogging, we reach the summit of Maromokotro, Madagascar’s highest mountain. …


read more – Adventure Travel: Madagascar

(via Hiking in Finland)

Mt Townsend Trail, Washington

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

8.2 miles round trip

In 1792, as Captain George Vancouver was exploring the Puget Sound, he named a large, protected bay Port Townshend. The h was eventually dropped.

One of the most hiked summits in the Olympics, and it’s easy to see why this peak is so popular. Easy access, a long hiking season, and unparalleled views of Puget Sound and the eastern half of the Olympics give Mount Townsend quite an edge. Of the three trails leading to its summit, Trail No. 839 is the route most taken. …

Most hikers intent on reaching the 6280-foot open summit opt to begin their journey from the upper trailhead. This saves 1.2 miles and 600 feet of elevation gain, but at the expense of missing a beautiful old-growth forest and Sink Lake, a small body of water that causes tumbling Townsend Creek to disappear. …

Washington Trails Association

I did start from the upper trailhead. 4 miles at an angle of about 20 degrees was challenging enough.


Perfect weather, the only surprise were solo tent caterpillars dangling down across the trail at lower elevations.


It took longer than expected to clear the tress and get to the gorgeous views.


Up top, late in the afternoon, it was just me and these guys. :-)


I decided to go for a scramble down this ridge, eventually having to retrace my steps.


Somewhere on that ridge, I left a Summit Stone.

I didn’t get back to the parking lot until 7:30pm, much later than I had expected. My trail running down hill was not all that speedy.

more photos


• another trip report – Mount Townsend Trail #839

2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite

Though the Ursack is not allowed in many American National Parks, I often use mine on other hikes.


The 2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite has been given IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) certification number 3738. It may take a bit of time before that information shows up on the IGBC website. 2013 and earlier models of the AllWhite are not certified. …

… we baited an Ursack S29 AllWhite, knotted it securely and placed it on the ground with no aluminum liner and not tied to a tree. The first two grizzlies went at it for an active 57 minutes. One of the bears was nick-named “The Destroyer,” but neither he nor his sister were able to compromise the Ursack. …


Wilsons Promontory, Australia

Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland …

Most of the peninsula is protected by the Wilsons Promontory National Park. …

A trip report.

WilsonsPromAustraliaMap … for the northern prom you need to complete a “Wilderness permit application” . Whilst I can understand the need to ensure that hikers in this area can navigate along poorly marked trails (which are often overgrown) ford or swim rivers which can be over head height, navigate trackless swamps but the area is not wilderness, as the there are marked trails and designated campsites. …

We descended to 5 Mile Beach and the occasional trees provided us with some respite from the winds as we descended steeply to Miranda Creek and the campsite. …


read more – Tin Mine Cove to Five Mile Beach: A wander across northern Wilsons Promontory

(via Hiking in Finland)

Surviving New Zealand’s Hardest Hike – Dusky Track

Eric Leifer of National Geographic Young Explorers :

Fiordland National Park, tucked away far within New Zealand’s South Island, has the notorious claim to fame as one of the wettest locations in the southern hemisphere; and with a mean annual rainfall of 268 inches …

Throw yourself off the deep end by accepting the challenge of the country’s hardest trail, the infamous Dusky Track, an 84-kilometer route that impossibly forces its way through this impermeable landscape. …

Nat Geo


Yosemite Adventures: 50 Spectacular Hikes, Climbs, and Winter Treks

Josh Williams from Triumph Books sent me a review copy.

Author Matt Johanson is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast with extensive knowledge and experience in the Yosemite area and having personally completed every outing in his book, Johanson provides this great resource for Yosemite visitors.

Unlike the average Yosemite guide, Johanson offers a unique approach to the park. Instead of focusing solely on the popular summertime trips, Johanson presents the park as a year-round playground and includes winter adventures. Highlights include:

  • 50 intricate maps and over 100 beautiful color photos and graphics of Yosemite
  • Five categories of activities – Winter Treks, Hiking, Backpacking, Mountain Climbing, and Rock Climbing
  • A guide to hiking atop the legendary, 3,000 foot high El Capitan
  • The path to the tranquil glacier-carved Elizabeth Lake, in the shadow of Unicorn Peak
  • Details of the arduous climb of the tallest mountain at Yosemite – Mount Lyell
  • yosemite-adventures

    Looks great.

    It’s available in 4 different formats starting at $12.99.