Arctic Circle Trail, Greenland

… At just over 100 miles long, and taking 7 to 10 days to complete, the Arctic Circle Trail crosses the largest ice-free patch of West Greenland.

This splendid backpacking route, lying 25-30 miles north of the Arctic Circle runs from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut – both with airport access.

a summer walk, ideally from mid-June to mid-September, when the tundra is bursting with life; during the long winter, snow and ice, short days and bitter cold are the norm …

Cicerone

Bo Normander posted an excellent trip report from 2017:

GUIDE TO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE TRAIL IN GREENLAND

Lisa Germany (from Australia) posted her trip report.

Or you can listen to an interview where she describes Greenland and the ACT in detail.

Cycling from Hanoi to Saigon The 10Adventures Podcast

On this episode, we talk all things bike-packing with Chris and Karam who cycled 2000km from Hanoi to Saigon. Find out how these two free spirits showed up in Hanoi, bought bikes for under $200, scooped some gear, and hit the open road! With the help of blogs and google maps, Karam and Chris went with the flow and enjoyed the freedom that comes with having a loose plan, taking it day by day and making up their route as they went along.   The pair shares everything from regional highlights, accommodations, and stories from the myriad of friendly locals who took them in along the way. This incredible story goes to show that you don’t need expensive bikes or fancy gear to enjoy the ride of a lifetime!    Check out a video from Chris and Karma’s epic adventure here, https://youtu.be/ARGYqBQ9gp8 follow https://instagram.com/karamintheworld, or check out their youtube channel Karam and Elena here,  https://www.youtube.com/c/KaramandElena/videos.
  1. Cycling from Hanoi to Saigon
  2. Skiing 1,400km across Sweden with Paolo Peralta
  3. Cycling Scotland's epic North Coast 500 with Dan Lo Presti
  4. Cycling Arizona and Utah with Luke and Jack
  5. Walking Croatia's Via Adriatica with Thomas

Troubridge Trudge – Sunshine Coast Trail, B.C.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

click for larger version

I’d previously hiked two other sections of the (roughly) 180km Sunshine Coast Trail:

Sarah Point to Manzanita hut (2015)

Mowat Bay to Lois Main (2016)

Pestered by wasps and other biting insects on those two earlier trips, I deliberately returned late season. No bugs.

This time I headed for the Troubridge Trudge section:

Oct 24 – Lang Bay to Golden Stanley hut (km 145)
Oct 25 – Golden Stanley to Mt Troubridge hut (km 158)
Oct 26 – Troubridge to Fairview Bay hut (km 173)
Oct 27 – Fairview to Lang Bay (km 180)

You can hike 42km in either direction. It’s called the trudge as this is the highest section of the Sunshine Coast Trail.

click for larger version

More maps.



Having reached the Sunshine Coast via ferry from Comox, I stayed in a Powell River hotel.

Harbour at dusk

Weather forecast looking good next morning, I cycled down to Lang Bay.

A lovely autumn day.

Hid my bike in the trees close to the highway near Lang Bay.

Walked the gravel road called Canoe Main to join the Sunshine Coast Trail on Lois lake. (I could have walked Lois Main, the older road.)

Lois lake was created by a dam.

The mountains beyond the lake look tempting.

You eventually turn uphill inland on a trail towards Elephant lake.

It’s steep but not all that far to Golden Stanley hut, completed 2016. It’s not mentioned in my guidebook published 2013, of course.

I was carrying my tent as I’d seen online that the huts were closed due to COVID-19.

But the hut was open after all. Since I was the only person there, I moved in.

Impressive pit toilet.


Oct 25 – Golden Stanley to Mt Troubridge hut (km 158)

Mt Troubridge is the highest point on the Sunshine Coast Trail. I was happy to have good weather.

On the other hand, surprised to see snow at such low elevation in October.

It was Ho Ho Ho. 😀

In 2020 everyone takes the newer of two possible trails to the summit. The best route is always well signed.

I still easily reached Troubridge hut by early afternoon.

Here’s how it looks in summer.

And here’s how it looked when I arrived.

Mt Troubridge hut was flown up in pieces by helicopter.

It replaced the Troubridge Hilton, a small communications hut that’s now more used as an emergency shelter on the top of the mountain.

I assumed I’d have Troubridge hut to myself again when Chris and his dog arrived. Rather than sharing a small space, Chris took the A-frame. I stayed in the hut on my own.

He had the views of Jervis inlet and could see all the way to Powell River.

Turns out winter camping is quite comfortable — when you can sleep in a hut rather than a tent.

I took plenty of winter wonderland video. And later managed to accidentally delete most of it. Somehow. 😕


Oct 26 – Troubridge to Fairview Bay hut (km 173)

More good weather. I was worried the descent might be slippery, but new snow was mostly grippy. No problems in approach shoes.

Navigation no problem in winter either.

I stopped 800m lower for lunch at Rainy Day lake (km 169) which has a hut.

Winter hiking is much different than doing the same thing in summer.

Eventually snow disappeared. Went away. Like magic. 😀

It got easier on the way down to Fairview Bay.

Again I had the hut to myself.

And again I had plenty of time for photos.


There’s the ferry I’ll be catching to North Vancouver.

Next morning a leisurely 2 hour walk out. Autumn is my favourite time of year for hiking.

This is the end of the South Coast Trail. But I have one section left to finish, close to Powell River. Looking forward to it already.

I had to telephone the bus for pick-up. But it only cost $2.25 to get me back to Lang Bay where I retrieved my bike.

If you want to learn more about Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hike, check first the official website and our own information page:

BestHike – Sunshine Coast Trail

sunshinecoast-trail.com

Pileated woodpecker, Vancouver Island

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is native to North America.

The term “pileated” refers to the bird’s prominent red crest, with the term from the Latin pileatus meaning “capped”.

These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae.

A pileated woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round and is not migratory.

The are often brazenly tolerant of people.

Click PLAY or watch one brazenly ignoring me on YouTube.

 

Tuck in your Pants to avoid Ticks 🕷

I cycle, run and/or hike every day while on Vancouver Island, Canada.

The risk of tick-borne disease here is low. But I’m still tucking in my pants before going out.

Mine are very light weight, slippery nylon. (Light coloured clothing would be better as it’s easier to spot ticks.)

The biggest danger in my neck of the woods is the western black-legged tick. It can transfer Lyme disease.

Western Black-Legged Tick

Fortunately for me, in order for a human to be infected by the bacterium, the tick must be attached for approximately 36 to 48 hours. I shower and check after each workout.

There is a report of one hiker who contracted Lyme on the nearby West Coast Trail. On that week long hike you may not be washing or checking regularly.  😐

Check the tick risk where you are adventuring. There are about 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year in the States. The number seems to be increasing with global warming. New species of ticks are becoming known.

Check your pets for ticks.

If you get one, gently remove a tick embedded in your skin with tweezers. Firmly grasp the tick’s head without squeezing and pull upwards.  Save it in a plastic sealed bag.  Use a felt pen to write the date, name and address of person bitten.  I’ve only ever found one once.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Wikipedia – Lyme disease

BikePacking Wesley Ridge, Vancouver Island B.C.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

AKA Mt. Wesley Traverse

I tried and failed to do the Wesley Ridge traverse:

  • close to tourist hotspot Cathedral Grove
  • trailheads on highway 4 between Parksville and Port Alberni
  • about 10km with 750m elevation gain/loss
  • about 6-8 hrs from one end to the other
  • additional hour or two walking abandoned rail tracks back to start
  • not maintained. Hundreds of fallen trees.
  • buggy but few mosquitoes
  • route finding necessary

I started at the end closest to Parksville assuming it would be less busy than the Cathedral Grove trailhead.

click for larger version

I made a video of the BikePacking trip. Cycling to and from my parent’s place in Parksville qualifies this as a #MicroAdventure.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I hid and locked my bike close to the trailhead. Transferred what I needed to my hiking pack — and headed up the railway tracks.

I missed the turn-off up mountain. It’s not obvious. On my return I flagged the start to make it more conspicuous.

Steep.

The strenuous 2km climb up to the telecommunications tower is called Wesley Tower Trail.

Many continue on to the first lake vista. It took me about 2 hours to get here. There are two benches, one named Forever Tuesday after the Tuesday Walkers Club in nearby Port Alberni.

Most turn back at this point. There’s no one path across the ridge from here.

I gave it a good try. You follow different (competing) sets of orange tape flags. Some lead to dead ends.

A bigger problem was scrambling hundreds of fallen trees. Not bringing long pants, I got quite scratched up. It was bushwhacking.

Another problem is water. I saw no flowing water — only remnant snow melt tarns. 

With daylight failing, I finally decided to find myself a great tent site.

It doesn’t get much better than this. I had to HIDE in the tent at dusk, however, pestered by small non-biting flies.

From here I could see steam rising from Port Alberni.

Here’s where I stopped.

Good night.

Next morning, nearly out of water, I decided to hustle back the way I’d come. I’ll try the Ridge from the other end on some future trip.

related – Lonny Barr – Wesley Ridge Trail

tramping Stewart Island, New Zealand

There are three main multi-day hiking trails on Stewart Island:

Rakiura Track (3 days)
North West Circuit (9-11 days)
Southern Circuit (6 days)

Stewart Island can be visited all year round, and it possible to do the aforementioned hikes at any time of the year. But, our recommendation is to visit sometime during the peak summer months, when the weather is warmer, sunny days are (slightly) more likely, and the daylight hours are longer.

We suggest visiting December through March. …

Ultimate Gear Lists – STEWART ISLAND HIKING GUIDE

The weather is notorious. But your biggest problem is not likely to be mud … it will be sandflies.

Charles Darwin was a hiker

He got into hiking in his 20s, but it was trekking and scrambling in little know wilderness on four continents visited on his five-year-long H.M.S. Beagle voyage between 1831 and 1836 that cement him as one of the most worldly hikers in history.

 “Mount Darwin” is the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego. On February 12, 1834, Captain FitzRoy named a mountain after him on his birthday. …

Mt. Darwin

Darwin walked mainly to discover plants and animals unique to those regions.

I learned all this by reading his travelogue Voyage of the Beagle.

By the way, the famous phrase “survival of the fittest” comes from Herbert Spencer’s 1864 publication, “Principles of Biology.” The term is largely thought to have been coined by Darwin regarding his thoughts on evolution; however, this is a wrong assumption.

tramp the Travers-Sabine Circuit, New Zealand

  • LENGTH: 50 miles / 80 km
  • DURATION: 4-7 days
  • TYPE: Circuit
  • START / FINISH: St Arnaud (or Mt Robert Carpark)
  • BEST TIME: December through April

At the northernmost end of New Zealand’s Southern Alps lies Nelson Lakes National Park. …

The park is named after two glacier-carved alpine lakes found at it’s northern end — Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa. These two lakes are tranquil and idyllic, making them great locations for car camping or day walks.

However, the real gems lie deeper into the park at higher elevations. Travers Saddle rewards the keen fit hiker with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Blue Lake — claimed to have the clearest freshwater in the world — is quite surreal, with colours that dance magically in the sunlight. Lake Constance offers the solitude of a true high-alpine lake environment. …

… this circuit is one of the most stunning multi-day hikes in New Zealand. This trail can get relatively busy in the peak season, although it is not nearly as crowded or expensive as one of the “New Zealand Great Walks”. …

Ultimate Gear Lists – NELSON LAKES & BLUE LAKE HIKING GUIDE

Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland

Cam Honan

The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance walk. Stretching approximately 230 miles (370 km) from the Highland hub of Fort William to the remote lighthouse of Cape Wrath, it is an unmarked and sometimes trailless route that passes through the wild and spectacular landscapes of northwestern Scotland. Due to the unpredictable weather and challenging terrain, it is a hike that is best suited to experienced ramblers who possess a good level of fitness, navigation skill, and a stoic disregard of having wet feet.

I hiked the Cape Wrath Trail in the summer of 2018. …

Cape Wrath Trail Backpacking Guide