Goecha La Trek, India

Goecha La (el. 4940 mt or 16,207 ft) is a high mountain pass in SikkimIndia in the Himalaya range.

The southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain, can be viewed from the pass, which is also a base camp for those aspiring to scale the mountain. …

The basic itinerary:

  1. Drive from SILIGURI TO YUKSOM
  2. YUKSOM to SACHEN (10 km hike)
  3. SACHEN to TSHOKA (7 km hike)
  4. TSHOKA to DZONGRI (10 km hike)
  5. Rest and hike to DZONGRI LA PASS (4417 m)
  6. DZONGRI to THANSING (10 km hike)
  7. THANSING to GOECHA LA PASS and back (14 km hike)
  8. THANSING to TSHOKA (16 km hike)
  9. TSHOKA to YUKSOM (17 km hike)
  10. Drive back to SILIGURI
vista from Goecha La

Seems it’s impossible to do this trek independently.

But rather than sign on with a company from home, you could simply show up in Gantok or Darjeeling and start asking around the various agencies to join a group that will give you the best rate.

India Hikes, for example, charged about US $230 in 2021.

Hiking Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island

Here’s our list of the best hikes in Strathcona, so far:

I spent over 3 weeks hiking Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island June – October 2020.

Fantastic.

The real experts on this park are Mike Blake and his team at MB Guiding.

If you are looking to organized a guide trip — climbing the Golden Hinde, for example — go with MB Guiding.


If you’ve never been to Strathcona before, easiest access is via the Paradise Meadows trailhead out of Courtney / Comox which gives easy access to the Forbidden Plateau.

Well signed, well organized, well maintained, there are loops of increasing difficulty depending on your time and the weather.

One loop is wheelchair accessible, for example.

There are trails ideal for kids, as well.

Three campsites on the Forbidden plateau are first-come, first-served. Great value at CAD $10 / person / night.

If you want to tent, I’d recommend you head for the furtherest campsite – Circlet Lake.

From there are fantastic day hikes to Moat Lake, Castlecrag and/or Mt Albert Edward.


There are even better trails in Strathcona in the more remote section of the park around Buttle Lake. That’s where you find the main car campgrounds.

My favourite was Cream Lake via the Bedwell Lakes trails.

Cream Lake

Nearly as good for me was Elk River with a tough side trip up to Elk Pass.

Landslide Lake

There are many, many more great hikes, of course, well documented in the best hiking guidebook – Exploring Strathcona Park by Stone.

I’ll return to do more.

Great Walks of Tasmania

We rate Tasmania the best hiking destination in Australia.

Click PLAY or see why on YouTube.

That video is a promotion for the Great Walks of Tasmania website, a collective of companies offering guided walks.

It’s easy to hike independently in New Zealand. Tasmania is more challenging. You might want a guide.

For one thing, there are poisonous snakes and other dangers in Tasmania. No poisonous snakes in New Zealand.

related – our Overland Track information page

Andrew Skurka interview

Andrew Skurka is without question one of the most accomplished hikers in history.  A legend.

  • Alaska-Yukon Expedition (6 months, 4,700 miles),
  • Great Western Loop (7 months, 6,875 miles), and the
  • Sea-to-Sea Route (11 months, 7,775 miles).

He’s run a 2:28 marathon, as well.

The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail, was published by National Geographic – over 125,000 copies sold.

Today he and his team lead people to exciting destinations, teaching skills along the way: planning, gear, fitness, food, navigation, responding to emergencies, etc.

In a recent podcast interview Andrew explains why he still prefers map and compass, using electronics as a back-up.  And you have to believe him since it was sponsored by the Gaia GPS app.

Click PLAY or listen to it clicking through via Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dientes Circuit, Patagonia

Last year I tried and failed to complete the Dientes Circuit on Isla Navarino, Chile.

The trail was covered over with snow, and I had no guide to lead the way. I only tented one night. Then turned back.

AT A GLANCE

  • world’s most southerly major hike?
  • circumambulate the jagged spires of Cordon de los Dientes
  • out of Puerto Williams, Chile, on Isla Navarino (pop. 2,262 last time we counted)
  • recommended 5 days, 4 nights in the past. Most hikers are doing it in 4 days, 3 nights now as the route is better cairned and signed.

This guided group had far worse weather than me. And still made it.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

To find out how to do this trip yourself, click over to our Dientes Circuit information page.

hiking Hampta Pass, India

Best months June, July, August, September.

A BIG plus for me is the short 19 km drive (45 mins) to get to the trailhead from Manali.

Hamta Pass lies at an altitude of 4270 m (14039 ft) on the Pir Panjal range in the Himalayas. …

Beyond Hamta Pass, trekkers can choose to extend their trek towards the beautiful Chandrataal lake. …

The nearest hub is Manali, in Himachal Pradesh.

Details.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camps

Kanchenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest mountain, is on the border of Nepal and India. It’s possible to hike starting from either nation though Sikkim, India is more popular.

Because of Kanchenjunga’s remote location very few trekkers make this trip compared with  other high Himalayan peaks.

Trevor and Emma run Cut Lunch Adventures based in Sydney, Australia.

Adventurers, the duo aspires to trek to the BASE CAMPS of all 14 8000m peaks.

South Base Camp (Oktang)

Here’s their 2018 trip report to both North and South Kanchenjunga Base Camps:

Nepal: Kanchenjunga Double Magic

 

Click PLAY or watch their video on YouTube. (29min)

Related – Cut Lunch is a good place to research WHERE around the world might want to hike.

For example, check the Himalaya trips they recommend.

K2 Base Camp and the Gondogoro Pass

I was planning on making this trek August 2020 …

… not much chance it’s going to happen this year. #COVID-19

Atlas & Boots was there in 2019:

My 14-day K2 base camp trek in Karakoram mountains of #Pakistan, followed by a crossing of the technical Gondogoro La Pass.

At 8,611m (28,251ft), #K2 is the second highest mountain in the world.

The K2 base camp trek route is via Concordia, the confluence of the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen glaciers at around 4,700m (15,419ft).

It is one of the few places in the world where you can see four 8,000m peaks: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II.

Read the trip report.

K2 as seen from Concordia

Click PLAY or watch their trip on YouTube.

 

Kilimanjaro Uncovered by Alexandra Tanbai

I read this book in preparation for our own Kilimanjaro climb scheduled for September 2020.

Alexandra penned Kilimanjaro Uncovered in real time while preparing and during her climb on the Northern Circuit, a little-known hiking route away from the crowds to the top of Kilimanjaro.

She provides valuable guidance for those interested in climbing themselves and tells a broader story of a truly life-changing experience.

Alex is a rookie mountain climber. She over-prepares. Is cautious and thoughtful about every aspect.

The book is very informative for anyone who has never done a serious multi-night tent trip.

I admire her courage in planning that big adventure on her own. I admire her  honesty and vulnerability sharing fears and problems on the trek, big and small.

Alexandra Tanbai made the summit. In fact everyone in her guided party made the top though one had a serious ankle injury. No helicopter was available for evacuation.

Less than a year after publishing Kilimanjaro Uncovered, Alexandra founded KiliGATE.com—the first and only online Kilimanjaro tour booking platform committed to responsible tourism.

Her goal—make it easy for tourists to book their climb with a responsible tour operator and promote fair porter treatment.

I do feel this book is too long.

It’s available in paperback and Kindle formats.