guided trek in Morocco

Guide Aitelkadi Hassan contacted me regarding tours including treks in the Atlas Mountains. He collects you from the airport, makes all arrangements, and delivers you safely back for your return flight.

Get some testimonials from other travelers, of course, before you sign on with any guiding service.

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Their website is AtlasWalkers.com (French).

Here’s the home page translated from French to English using Google Translate. (Somewhat amusing, but still useful.)

why The Adventure Blogger went to Kilimanjaro

Having never been there, I was envious reading Kraig Becker’s Kili trip reports on his Adventure Blogger site.

Now he’s been interviewed on The Outdoor Weblog:

Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this trip for four years now. I saw an IMAX film by David Breashears on Kilimanjaro and I was fascinated with the thought of trekking and climbing the mountain. I think I went home and started researching it right after seeing the movie.
The Outdoor Weblog: The Outdoor Enthusiast Next Door: Kraig Becker (Part 2)

Kraig and guides Peter and Zawadi at the Lava Tower:

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photo by Colm Donohoe

My turn is coming. One day. …

I want to try for a double: Mt. Meru followed by Kilimanjaro.

lost on a glacier in Pakistan

Ben Tubby and partner Kerry had problems on a trek to Snow Lake guided by Vertical Explorers Expeditions.

Ben’s detailed photo trip report is recommended reading for anyone — like me — considering an adventure in Pakistan.

Bad roads, cold rooms, disgusting toilets, illness, crevasses, rain, sunburn, freezing river crossings, communication problems with guides, …

Sounds like fun!

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Northern Pakistan is beautiful. Amazing mountain scenery, honest, friendly people and lots and lots of ice. We spent 18 days wandering up the biggest slab of ice outside of the polar regions and then got lost in a white-out on the top, surrounded by crevasses.

Tubby: Lost on a glacier in Pakistan

(trip report)

Snow Lake Hispar La Experience – Vertical Explorers (a longer tour than Ben’s)

(via Nothing adds up)

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Biafo Glacier

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Ogre’s Thumb

Mt. Tahan trek, Malaysia

I don’t know much about this trek to the the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia, but it sounds great. This country without question is the most underestimated adventure destination in SE Asia.

The standard route is the Kuala Tahan trail — not recommended from what I can tell.

Of the other routes, instead hike the Merapoh (Sungai Relau) trail.

Taman Negara National Park, Pahang, Malaysia
Moderately Difficult Trek

… route is through Sg Relau, Merapoh … starts almost at the foot of the mountain. It takes only three days to reach the peak 5 days return, about 44km. (27mi)

… The starting point for the hike is at the National Park Headquarters itself.

DIY Hikes & Treks

Photos on the site give you a good idea of the terrain.

Guides are manditatory.

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Mount Tahan – Wikipedia

We’ve not yet added it to our list of the best hikes in the world. Leave a comment below if you think it worthy.

photo – atop Kilimanjaro

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original, uploaded by Bzzzt.

Machame route from Moshi to Uhuru peak. Check out Ringo Expeditions and talk to Adam there if you want a good guide and crew.

more Kili photos – flickr – posted by Christian LøverÃ¥s, Norway.

Kokoda Trail – Papua New Guinea

Kokoda is one of the great (difficult!) established walks of the world. We got a strong endorsement for the lead guiding company from one of our Aussie contributors who joined one of their tours in 2006.

That company is Kokoda Trail Adventures.

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The Kokoda Trail is one of the world’s great treks, linking the southern and northern coast of Papua New Guinea, it is a challenge to be enjoyed by the fit bushwalker. …

The 96 km Kokoda trail passes through rugged mountainous country of rainforest, jungles of fern, orchids, birds and clean mountain streams which tumble into steep valleys.

The unspoilt villages throughout the Kokoda Track will welcome you and the Koiari and Orokaiva people will greet you with smiles and tempt you with seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Visit Kokoda and enjoy the adventure of your lifetime.

Kokoda Trail Adventures

It’s tough, even if you have porters carry your packs.

But it’s popular. Kokoda guided only 24 hikers in 2000. But in 2006 they led 850. (more stats)

It may be time to start planning a trip to PNG. No independent hiking is allowed, so far as we know.

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hikers and guides at the Isurava Monument

Snowman Trek, Bhutan

Rogier Gruys is an expert on the West Coast Trail in Canada, the hike we rated #1 in the world. Rogier’s BluePeak Travel Photography pics of the WCT are still the best we’ve ever seen.

But Rogier likes the Snowman Trek even better.

Very few have ever done that long Himalayan trek (minimum 19 days) due to high cost (US$200 / day) and high risk.

The Snowman trek is the most difficult trek in Bhutan because one has to walk and camp at high altitude for nearly three weeks. As long as one has no problems with the high altitude and the weather is good, it is not a particularly difficult trek. But, if something were to happen along the way, someone would have to carry you down to the nearest house, or try to find a telephone to get a helicopter from Thimphu. Both are often several days’ walk. Initially, many people planned and wanted to go with us on the trek, but in the end they all bailed out and only two of us went.

Snowman trek description, Bhutan

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BluePeak photo – high resolution version – flickr

Rogier recommends the Cicerone guidebook. It’s essential advanced reading for anyone considering trekking in Bhutan.

A Trekker's Guide (Cicerone)

Bhutan: A Trekker’s Guide (Cicerone)

pioneering a trek to Kachenjunga, Nepal

Søren Viit Nielsen hosts a wonderful website documenting his many trekking adventures. (Danish and English)

In 2002 Søren hiked to both south and north basecamps of Kachenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. (map)

He used Cicerone: Kangchenjunga: A Trekker’s Guide by Kev Reynolds.

Even if your Danish is rusty, the gorgeous pictures tell the story.

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Søren returned in 2004 to guide 10 Danish clients and a Nepalese staff of about 30 people (guide, cook, sherpas, kitchen staff, and porters). But this time he chose a new route, just opened because new suspension bridges were built in 2003-04 across the Tamur River. None of his group had been this way before. (map)

Tibetan culture and interactions with mountain peoples were big highlights.

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BlueDandelion.net – Søren Viit Nielsen

trekking in Bhutan

I’ve long been a fan of Bhutan-Trails.org.

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I asked editor Rogier Gruys when Bhutan would open to “independent hikers”. Not soon, he says.

As for trekking in Bhutan … you do have to go through a local travel agency. They are not likely to change that …

… you can go with one or two people, and set up exactly the itinerary you want with the agency. The only thing is that you pay US$230/day (for less than 4 people in a group). … But that does include all meals, all local transport, hotel/tent etc. So compared to a typical trip to NY city it is not all that bad!

If I could afford $200 / day I would be booking my next holiday to Bhutan, for sure.

The most famous hikes in Bhutan are the Snowman Trek and Jhomolhari-Laya-Gasa, but Rogier points out there are other great hikes that you can do year round.

Even the hikes out of the capital Thimphu are excellent. In particular, Rogier recommends walking to Tango/Drolay goempas. Or radiotower to Phajoding. “Great views, and a beautiful monastery along the way.”

A Trekker's Guide (Cicerone Guide)
Bhutan: A Trekker’s Guide (Cicerone Guide)

Rucksack – Exploring the Inca Trail

Exploring the Inca Trail is the latest in the excellent Rucksack hiking guidebook series. It’s a perfect format for a guidebook you can carry on the trail. (waterproof, lightweight, open-flat with built-in map).

But are the authors expert?

I’ll say. It’s written by Roy Davis, editor of the most comprehensive Inca Trail website, and Jacquetta Megarry, founder of the Rucksack series.

That’s all we needed to know. The Rucksack Guide instantly jumps to our most recommended guidebook for the Inca Trail. It’s also the lightest and most durable.

That said, the Inca Trail is far over-rated. Our advice is to take the train to Machu Picchu and save your hiking days for one of the many, many other wonderful South American hikes. For our reasons why, check Inca Trail – besthike.com


“Explore the Inca Trail (Rucksack Readers)” (Jacquetta Megarry, Roy Davies)