Cicerone hiking guidebooks

We often recommend Cicerone hiking guidebooks, some of the best in the world.

But having Cicerone as publisher of a title is no guarantee.

Nothing was added to the hiking literature by the publication of Cicerone Walking in British Columbia in 2002. It is not even a good overview of the region.

How many of these tracks could author Janna Fleming have walked?

Cicerone should stick to the formula of very specialized trekking guidebooks by very expert authors.

Publishing weak volumes waters down the brand image.

On the other hand, we strongly recommend all of their books authored by Kev Reynolds. He is a god of hiking guides.

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439 day kayak & bike U.S. circumnavigation

Swede Renata Chlumska is one tough gal. Already having climbed Everest, this time she set out to see the edge of America. All of it.

Renata was fiance of the late, great Goran Kroop of Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey fame.

After 439 days circumnavigating the continental United States — thought to be the first time this was accomplished — kayaking through ocean swells, biking through desert conditions, witnessing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Chlumska was overjoyed to have reached her journey’s end.

It took her 439 days to kayak and bike around U.S.

More on Renata’s trip blog.

new West Coast Trail book

We’ve been awaiting a new book on our favourite hike, the West Coast Trail. It’s here and we can hardly wait to get our hands on it.

It’s called The West Coast Trail – One Step at a Time.

The author, Robert J. Bannon, sells it directly on his website for C$20. Or you can pick it up in book and gear shops in Western Canada.

“Using a light-hearted style, Bob invites readers to experience the adventure of a lifetime as he and his hiking partner don overweight backpacks, traverse root and mud covered pathways, climb and descend countless ladders, camp on white sand beaches and generally experience a richness of life that most of us only dream about.”

The West Coast Trail: One Step at a Time was a 2005 finalist for the Heritage Group Writing Award.

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The West Coast Trail is one of the best hikes in the world. Climb up to 50 huge ladders, ford rivers on cable cars, short-cut the trail at low tide — it’s a glorious wilderness hike 75km (47mi) long with no easy exit to civilization. Carefully regulated, it can be almost impossible to get a permit during high season.

Read more — Besthike West Coast Trail.

hiking arctic Sweden – Kungsleden

Peter Potterfield is the author of Classic Hikes of the World.

He spent a week hiking a section of the Kungsleden — Abisko Mountain Station to Kebnekaise Mountain Station — about 100 kilometers — “some of the best scenery of the entire route, including Sweden’s highest mountain.”

Hiking Arctic Sweden page 1 – GreatOutdoors.com

Kungsleden: The Basics

The Trail: The 450-kilometer Kungsleden begins at Abisko, in the north, and continues south to Hemavan. Hiking the entire route takes a month, or more, figuring about 100 kilometers per week. …

When to Go: The huts on the northern section are open from mid-June to mid-September, when the trail is sufficiently free of snow to be hiked. The midnight sun shines from the end of May to Mid July. Expect a wet track but uncrowded huts until mid-July, when the month-long busy hiking season begins. Any hike in September comes with the risk of early season snow.

Trip Planning: Lappland is relatively remote, but surprisingly easy to reach from Stockholm if you know how. Kiruna makes a laid-back staging city, accessed by air, with convenient bus connections to and from the hike.

The STF, the Swedish Touring Federation offers basic information in English and Japanese, and much more in Swedish and European languages. STF volunteers answer email, so if you inquire in English about a travel detail or ask a question about Kungsleden, you usually get a response in English within a week or so.

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photo – elfi kaut

more photos of Kungsleden on Flickr

Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

Times of London in December 1901 (legend has it) posted by Ernest Shackleton for a journey to Antarctica.

Now that was adventure. Once, having his ship frozen in the ice, he was forced to sledge across the Weddell Sea pack, then boat to Elephant Island. Then sail to South Georgia Island. The greatest survival story of all time?

The Endurance - Shackleton\'s Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia

In preparation for a Feb. 2007 trip to Tasmania, I’ve been consulting with John Chapman, by far the most authoritative author of Australian guidebooks.

I’ve decide to hike first the Overland Track, widely listed the best established walk in Australia. 65km (40mi) plus sidetrips, 5-6 days.

Overland Track on besthike.com

I’ll be using John’s dedicated Overland Track guidebook.

Time allowing, I want to do more in Tas. John suggests:

  • Walls of Jerusalem (2-4 days)
  • Pine Valley (2-3 days)
  • Walls of Jerusalem to Overland Track (6-8 days)
  • Cheyne Range (4 days)
  • Eldon Range (9-12 days)
  • Traveller Range (7-9 days)
  • John even spoke of a trackless bushwalk on the wild West Coast of Tasmania from Strahan to Port Davey. On his completely undeveloped route you must swim a 1km river.

    Cool!

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    More Overland Track photos by Paul Lenehan on Flickr

    books – Anthony Bourdain

    There’s only one cook who will be highlighted on besthike.com, my culinary travel hero Anthony Bourdain.

    I recently got the chance to see Bourdain at a Vancouver book flogging event. He was irreverent, controversial and extremely entertaining. I got an autographed copy of his most travel related book — A Cook’s Tour — companion to the TV series of the same name on the Food Network.

    In July 2005 his new TV show, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, premiered on the Travel Channel.

    Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

    hiking out of Whistler, BC, Canada

    During a one night stop at the luxury ski resort I took the opportunity to research the hiking opportunities in these fantastic mountains close to Vancouver.

    I was shocked at how little hiking is being promoted. A visit to tourist information will get you only a list of short day walks appropriate for non-hikers.

    Why? The problem is that Whistler has so much to offer besides hiking — especially skiing and mountain biking.

    The tourist infrastructure is geared for the 2 million+ gift shop tourists each year.

    No need for a serious hiker to plan on basecamp hiking out of Whistler. Head for the much less expensive climbing mecca of Squamish instead.

    A day hike up granite Stawamus Chief looming over the town is an excellent warm-up.

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    To plan your hikes, grab a copy of “Don’t Waste Your Time in the B.C. Coast Mountains” and head for the hills independently.

    books – Robert Young Pelton

    You’ve probably heard of Pelton’s TV show or his books:

    The World’s Most Dangerous Places
    The Hunter, The Hammer, The Heaven
    Come Back Alive
    Three Worlds Gone Mad
    Licensed to Kill : Hired Guns in the War on Terror

    Pelton was the first Western journalist to meet with the Taliban after they set up offices in Peshawar, Pakistan. He simply walked in the front door with his cameras. When told the Taliban do not allow photographs because of the Koran …

    I explain very carefully that only cowards do not show their faces and that in my culture a man who does not wish to be seen cannot be trusted. Just to make sure I get my point across I ask, “Must their leader hide as women must hide behind the veil?”

    Pelton survived that time.

    In fact, his most harrowing tales in the one I just finished are of an upbringing in a broken Canadian home. Good book.

    A Life In Dangerous Places