Half Note Trail, Whistler B.C.

• 3.2km loop
• start and finish Whistler Mountain Gondolas

An old hiker’s argument – “Is it cheating to take the Gondola?”

I rode the Whistler’s Peak Express Gondola. It was great to arrive at the very top of a mountain. (day pass C$53.95)

Hot down in the village, it was much cooler on Whistler Summit well above the tree line. Many tourists were under dressed. Some wore flip-flops.

The BIG view is over to Black Tusk.

The High Note trail formerly started at the Inukshuk

When I was there it had been changed to start at the (very popular) short road hike called Mathews’ Traverse.

Turn left for Mathews’. Turn right for the High Note Trail, a long traverse leading to the Musical Bumps (Piccolo, Flute and Oboe ridge summits).

After a steep descent (hard on the toes) Half Note is mostly a pretty traverse high up on the mountain.

In perfect weather like this the High Note was easy. I’m sure it can be horror show in bad weather, however.

Many on the trail were her for wildflowers.

Black Tusk watches from on high.

Last time I hiked to Black Tusk I came up via impressive Cheakamus Lake.

Decision time …

I opted to take the shorter version called Half Note. High Note from this point is 3.7km longer.

Though July had been very dry, there’s still plenty of snow on this mountain.

These have to be the cutest trail signs anywhere.

After so much good trail I was surprised to end up on some rocky scrambles.

The last section rejoins Mathews’ Traverse road.

Here’s an example of just how much snow they get in Whistler.

All in all a beautiful and very easy hike if you have good weather.

Half Note ends up at Roundhouse Lodge. I caught the Peak 2 Peak. Then descended to Blackcomb Base and found a $55 parking ticket on my rent-a-car. I’d love to be indignant … but I totally deserved it. There was simply no legal parking of any kind available in Whistler on a sunny Friday. I waited a half hour in the big lots before giving up the legal option.

See all my high resolution photos on flickr.


I’d originally planned to do Musical Bumps trail from the top of Whistler’s Peak Express Gondola.

On the way up I noticed a sign saying Musical Bumps was closed. No reason given, not unusual in Canada.

It turned out to be too ambitious for me in any case that day. I’ll do it in future 2 days / 1 night camping at Russet Lake.

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)

trek Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra

Sabbalot Photography:

… the largest wilderness area in South-East Asia and an UNESCO world heritage area since 2004. It is further part of the tropical rain forest heritage of Sumatra, allowing for spectacular experiences in this fortunately still widely untouched nature.

The hike itself is a unique experience for several reasons:

  • No trails are available and one totally has to rely on the guide to find the way through the jungle (mainly following former rebel trails).

  • 4-6 porters accompany you and provide you with the most delicious hiking food you’ll ever get to taste (don’t forget to tip).

  • You will not see ANYONE other than your party during the whole hike.

  • The wilderness of the jungle and its inhabitants is just breathtaking.

  • The river crossings are an adventure itself.

Gunung Leuser National Park
An amazing adventure. Click through for details.

They recommend local guides Expedition Jungle.

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.

Hardergrat: best hike in the world?

I’d never heard of Hardergrat. And I edit the site called BestHike. 🙂

How good could it be?

VERY good. A ridge 12 miles long.

Brendan Leonard:

The entire hike, from the base of the Harder Kulm train on the west end, to the Brienz Rothorn station on the east end, is 27 miles, with 10,200 feet of elevation gain—5,200 feet of that elevation gain in ups and downs after the halfway point, the summit of the Augstmatthorn.

It is a punishing, but beautiful day, along a sculpted mountain spine towering over two lakes, and paralleling the snowy Alps just six miles south as the crow flies. The best part might be the solitude: the heady terrain and committing nature keep the crowds away.


Start : Interlaken, Switzerland /   Finish : Brienzer Rothorn Station, train down to Brienz



Stingy Nomads do Fish River Canyon, Namibia

We updated our Fish River information page based on Stingy Nomad’s recent trip report:

Some guide books says this is the toughest hike in Africa …

Fish River is definitely a hike to add to your must do hiking list.

Total distance of Fish River canyon hike 86km, the river itself is longer but due to many shortcuts your walking distance is about 14km less. …

Fish River canyon hike, Namibia. Itinerary, tips, map