Alan is a writer and photographer based in the Northeast. He recently spent a year section-hiking the Long Trail in various seasons. His 73-page narrative describes the challenge and history of the trail, along with the people he met along the way, and is generously illustrated with his photos. Download the e-book here:
Formerly called the Vancouver Island Spine Trail (VISpine), the Vancouver Island Trail is planned to end up close to 800km long.
About 95% of the Trail has been located and is defined on the ground well enough to be followed/hiked.
However, much of the route north of Port Alberni is not officially open since gaining the permission and support of several Indigenous Communities is on-going and a number of administrative arrangements (land use agreements, Section 57 approvals etc.) have not yet been completed.
Where the Trail is located across private forest lands, detailed planning and location of the trail has been progressing following completion of a Memorandum of Understanding that reflects the co-operative working relationship between Vancouver Island Trail Association (VITA) and Mosaic Forest Management, the timberland manager for both TimberWest and Island Timberlands. …
Variant no. 2 may be the easiest, but it leads through the roads used by cars, which may be tiresome.
Variant no. 1 is more demanding.
Variant no. 3 is the fastest traverse from all of the options. Going east-west requires more time and planning, and it is combined with bigger difficulties (less roads, more paths and sometimes the wilderness, crossing the rivers, long distances with no water). Choose it, if you are sure of your skills and you can survive far away from people. …
… As the founder of the Florida Trail, co founder of the American hiking society, and president of Big City Mountaineers, Jim has led an awe-inspiring life and career that has gone far beyond the scope of just his own adventures, helping at-risk youth by introducing them to the outdoors and inspiring real change. …
On this episode we dive head first into the incredible trekking regions known as the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Huayhuash in Northern Peru. Our guest Christian Alvarado, owner of Huaraz-based adventure tour operator Go2Andes shares his expertise on these 2 incredible mountain ranges and the 3 main treks offered here.
If you’re a lover of high altitude trekking, you don't want to miss this in depth look at the 3 most popular treks here, the Alpamayo Trek, the Santa Cruz Trek and Huayhuash Treks. Find out what goes into preparing for these types of high adrenaline adventures as Christian shares everything from acclimatization plans, transporting gear, and best times to travel.
Check out a full list of Go2Andes incredible trekking tours on 10Adventures or going to https://www.10adventures.com/tour-operator/go-2-andes/
On the trail my dinners were mostly based on ramen, instant mashed potatoes and instant stuffing. REAL bacon pieces were one of my treats as were Jelly Belly.
Critical to a successful hike is footwear and foot management.
What worked best for me in the California dry heat was trail runners and Injiji toe socks. In fact, I left my usual Merrell Moabs in Mammoth after the first 5 days.
I cleaned and cooled my feet as often as possible during the day.
Mid-day I’d stop for about an hour to use solar power to recharge my devices.
In the Sierra Nevada there are plenty of opportunities to wild camp. Set up your tent anywhere not too close to water. … Unless it’s posted.
Late afternoon we had set up our tents … before noticing this sign.
It’s EASY to find fantastic places to tent. Actually.
Many on the JMT stick to the trail, unwilling to miss even a single official step. Not me.
I took 4 side trips:
Reds – Thousand Island lake on the PCT
southern Red Cone from Lower Crater Meadow junction
Goodale Trail to Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) because the boat wasn’t running
VERMILLION VALLEY RESORT (VVR)
On past hikes I’d never made the famed side trip to VVR.
On arrival, the new owners welcome you warmly and offer a free cold beer.
I’m really glad I did VVR this time, taking a ZERO miles recovery day. I met more people there than the rest of the days combined. Found myself at the same table with PhD students and veteran thru hikers.
I stayed for the Saturday night all-you-can-eat barbecue. $26.
Due to drought and low snow fall the previous winter, governments had held back water from Lake Thomas Edison. When this happens, the ferry can’t shuttle hikers to VVR. It’s a half day extra walking.
For me it was well worth the side trip.
I skipped the Ranch.
SUNSET, NIGHT SKY & SUNRISE
Highlights for one and all. Yet I’m disappointed I didn’t take more photos. I should have woken up more often to see the Milky Way.
The story of the southern JMT is climbing a high pass every day.
I enjoyed it. By Seldon I was feeling fit. My feet were great. In fact, I was in the BEST physical shape for hiking at the end of 19 days. It would have seemed EASY to hike back north.
Weather was good — but cold and windy when I reached famed Muir Pass hut.
Navigation is easy on the John Muir trail with most of the popular hiking apps.
I used Guthook and the free Maps.me app.
Another I really appreciated is the free PeakFinder app. You must download the regional data when online as there’s very little service on the JMT.
Of many, many impressive peaks en route — including Whitney — my favourite was Fin Dome.
BOOKS & WHITNEY
The south gets higher and bleaker. I re-read DUNE on this section as it was appropriate to the environment. Hiking alone I was able to finish quite a few audio books, in fact.
Here’s the final push to the top of Whitney.
I was briefly the highest person in the lower 48.
Since the weather was good, I decided to have dinner atop the peak. Stay for sunset. It was very hazy.
A highlight, however, was walking down to Trail Camp on the far side of the mountain by headlamp and moonlight. My only night hiking of the trip.
Next morning I was up for dawn to enjoy my final morning on the John Muir Trail.
Finally down at Portal, we celebrated with the traditional burger and fries. Relived highlights with hikers whom I’d been walking with in parallel for many days.
After a difficult life as a farm wife, mother of eleven children, and victim of domestic violence, she became famous as the first solo female thru-hiker of the 2,168-mile (3,489 km) Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in 1955 at the age of 67.
She subsequently became the first person (male or female) to hike the A.T. three times …