Shackleton’s route, South Georgia

Kraig Becker:

Twelve hundred miles off the southernmost tip of South America, there is a legendary place among travelers and historians. They speak of South Georgia Island in hushed, almost reverent terms.

This small and mountainous island, with peaks above 9,000 feet, is located hundreds of miles from the closest beaten path. But the rugged and remote wilderness is famous for another reason. South Georgia Island served as the final stage in one of the greatest survival stories of all time: Ernest Shackleton’s voyage to the southern seas aboard the Endurance. …

I hiked part of the very route that Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley trekked when they crossed the island a century ago. Hiking through the overgrown mountain trails and snowy paths, I finally arrived at the remains of the Stromness whaling station where the 19th century explorers’ desperate march came to an end. …

The interior of South Georgia is rugged and demanding to say the least, with towering peaks, steep valleys, and crystal-blue alpine lakes frequently presenting impassable barriers.

High winds, rain, and snow, coupled with rough terrain, made my walk a challenging one, even equipped with modern hiking gear and a clear path to follow. The men from the Endurance did it in clothing that was practically threadbare, wearing boots with screws tapped into the sole to provide extra traction. …

While wandering in silence through that wild landscape, I could almost feel the ghost of Shackleton trudging along beside me …

Popular Mechanics – Chasing Ernest: A Journey to South Georgia to Find the Ghost of Shackleton

(via Adventure Blog)

Hike Hong Kong blog

Guest post by Jean-Christophe Clement:

 

When I moved to Hong Kong in 2008, I had this idea of a concrete jungle. This was indeed the case. However, foreigners usually don’t realize that Hong Kong territory is less than 10% urbanized, and over 40% of the land is designated as country parks. I soon discovered that there was a world of outdoor adventures for me to discover. However, the information that was available back then on how to get to the nicest trails, waterfalls, and other lesser known spots was scarce and mostly in Chinese. Furthermore, the instructions on how to get to the trails, and stay on the trails were approximate, at best!
 
That’s how the HikeHongKong blog was born; out of a desire to make access to the wonderful Hong Kong trails easy and accessible to all.
The response from hikers has been beyond my greatest hopes; as of July 2017, HikeHongKong gets over 100,000 hit a month, mostly from Hong Kongers, but also from the U.S.

 

Today, I have over 150 documented Hong Kong hikes with full instructions on how to get there without a car, difficulty ratings, cel-phone reception, maps, etc.
 
There are 3 ways to get to all the goodies:

 

 In closing, I leave you with my Top Hong Kong hikes.
 
Happy trails!

Vancouver Island wildlife – coastal wolves

Some wolves on the Canadian west coast get 90% of their food along the water.

I saw a mother and her young feeding on a dead whale on my 2012 North Coast Trail hike. Sightings are quite common on that coastline.

Wolves were trying to take black bear cubs too. Momma Bear wasn’t too happy about that. (VIDEO)
more photos

related – British filmmaker Bertie Gregory – Meet the Rare Swimming Wolves That Eat Seafood

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Lost Coast Trail, California

UPDATE – King Range National Conservation Area:

As of January 9th, 2017, all permits for backcountry camping within the wilderness area of King Range will be exclusively available through www.recreation.gov.

Reservations are now $10 per permit. There is now a quota system attached to use of the area, which allows for 60 entries per day during the peak hiking season (May 15-Sept. 15) and 30 entries per day during the non-peak season (Sept 16-May 14).  Day hikes, as well as camping at the designated campgrounds outside of wilderness do not require a permit.

____

Kraig Becker linked to this fantastic trip report by filmmaker Ryan Commons. It combines text, photos, video and music in a way to inspire.

Click PLAY or watch the long edit on Vimeo.

I’m impressed they did it in December. The weather is risky. In fact, they had to make a grueling evacuation over the mountains, then run 18mi to reach their parked vehicle the same day.

Wow.

Before you try the Lost Coast in winter, check current trail conditions on the official BLM website.

… The Lost Coast Trail is a spectacular hike along northern California’s Pacific Coast. The trail is roughly 25 miles in length, running from Shelter Cove to Mattole Beach, and is only accessible by a few narrow, twisty roads. It is a rugged, lightly traveled route that alternates from Pacific beaches to mountain passes, with more than 8000 feet of elevation gain over the course of its length …

read more – Gadling

2 days on Turkey’s Carian Trail

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

day 2 – 6:45 am I hoisted the pack.

Unsure of exactly how I was going to get back for my 4pm ferry departure , best get an early start.

In my dreams I’d hoped to get all the way to Palamutbuku … but there is one earlier exit if I am running out of time.

The first section is scrambling over headlands. A series of deserted coves.

Rocky beaches. Much of the stone is conglomerate.

My sunrise.

I was  lost briefly several times. The official guidebook and map are not sufficient to keep you on the trail. GPS is pretty much essential on the Carian Trails. And I didn’t bring my GPS to Turkey. Doh!

So few hikers pass this point I left the next one a Summit Stone. There’s no way to miss it.

If you like this kind of solitude and scenery, plan a hiking trip to Turkey.

The beaches are not littered. But they are full of plastic and junk washed ashore.

Here’s the toughest headland. My guidebook authors nicknamed this scramble Death Valley.

Whew. Civilization.

I was slow getting here. But the only other walkers I saw on the trail were even slower.

This village was the end for me. I’d need to find the mini-bus back to town to be sure not to miss my ferry.

During lunch at a pleasant restaurant I learned that the mini-bus does not run on Sundays. I’d need to hitchhike. A crazy dentist in a beat-up van picked me up.

I was tired on the ferry home. The two days had taken more out of me than they should.

Bodrum castle is most impressive from the sea.

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

Only 2 days on the Carian Trails. But it was enough.

I decided to return April / May 2019 for 2-3 weeks most likely on the even more remote Bozburun Peninsula section. (141km)

I’ll have two GPS devices and several downloaded routes. I’ll carry the right gear. And I’ll bring some of my food from home. Turns out they don’t sell dehydrated mashed potatoes in Turkey.

related – our Carian Trails information page

2 days on Turkey’s Carian Trail

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

day 1 – 8am Starbucks, Bodrum.

9:30am – ferry to Datça.

You pass the Greek island of Kos en route.

11am – arrive at the new ferry terminal.

Free shuttle bus to town.

I wandered Datça town for an hour enjoying the peace and quiet after busy Bodrum.

Eventually I found the official trailhead in Eski Datça. This is the start of the 240km Datça Peninsula section.

People visit to see traditional old stone houses on cobbled streets.

Follow the red & white paint.

There are some signs on the Carian Trails, but not many.

I wore long pants due to thorny, stinging vegetation on the overgrown trails. In fact I should have had even thicker pants.

Traditionally this region is famous for fish, almonds and honey.

Most of the day was on logging roads. Good footing.

Alarmingly, the only water source was swarming with wasps. I couldn’t get close.

First glimpse of the ocean.

I was very happy to see my destination — Pig’s Hollow Camp (Dumuzcukuru). Wild boars visit occasionally.

It’s something of a commune. When I was there 3 Turks were in residence. One had been coming for 6 years.

They take care of the garden. Keep the place clean. Maintain the solar power rig and water purification system.

Anyone can stay and probably eat dinner with the guys. By donation.

My pasta dinner, home grown salad and wine were excellent. I was HAPPY to donate.

The guys told me very few Carian Trail hikers pass by. It truly has not caught on yet in Turkey though the nearby Lycian Way is booming. The Carian Trail was only launched in 2013.

I saw one big black snake. They guys said they see about one snake a day at the Camp.

My last night in the tent in Turkey. A nice spot. I had the beach to myself.

I read my kindle as dusk fell.

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

Turkey’s Lycian Way – day 6

2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles – day 6 / 6

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I slept well on my own private beach. Woke about 6am wanting an early start.

I’d read that I could have the the ancient Greek and Roman city of Phaselis to myself if I got there before opening. And I did.

Phaselis was set up by the Rhodians in 700 BC. …

The city was captured by Persians after they conquered Asia Minor, and was later captured by Alexander the Great. …

In fact they handed Alexander a golden crown with the keys to the city.

Many others conquered Phaselis. Hadrian was one other prominent lord visitor.

Citizens did not care much who was overlord. They kept making money from their ideal trading route location.

The tourist site was just opening when I reached the front gates. Ticket agents kindly pointed me on to the Lycian Way. They are used to hikers arriving from the wrong direction at odd times.

Today I would have to leave the coast and climb inland. Big elevation gains.

Not so keen on the idea, I toyed with the idea of taking the cable car on high. And hiking back down to the Lycian.

But it turned out to be a 9km side trip on pavement to get to the cable car. I decided against that plan.

Many decide to quit the Lycian right about here. When the trail reaches the main highway.

I continued on a parallel trail, passing one tent of hikers. And one nude sunbather.

This is the tourist trap Kemer.

I knew I could catch a bus to Antalya from there.

I was still debating what to do as I circumnavigated this bay.

Finally, I did quit. (I could have rejoined the Lycian by hiking under the main highway here. But wimped out.)

Walking into town it wasn’t long before I found the express bus. About 50km later I was back to my base camp – Antalya.

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

We’ve added a Lycian Way information page for those who might want to do this excellent hike themselves. Go for it.