a South African mega-hike UPDATE

I saw on the Two Heel Drive blog details of the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative.

UPDATE – This hilarious picture (the socks are not hers) comes from a collection contributed by 7 hikers, so far. It gives you a good feel for this new hike.

more photos on a group shared Flickr photo stream

This extreme hiking experience is the first of its kind in South Africa, and your opportunity to traverse more than 400km of mountain landscape in the Southern Cape in support of the establishment of conservation corridors.

The objective of the Mega-Hike, is two-fold, firstly to give hikers the opportunity of walking through remarkable landscapes and secondly to raise funds for the Eden to Addo Conservation Corridor Initiative. The mega-hike is an inspiring walk through some of the most incredible landscapes of the region linking various nature reserves, national parks, working farms, communities and private lands.

official Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative website

Via Alpina – Europe’s best long distance hike

Via Alpina, 3100mi (4989km), is Europe’s best trans-Alps trail.

In the summer of 2005 signage was completed for the entire route. Start packing.

Hikers choose from 5 main colour coded routes. The Red Trail, for example, crosses borders 44 times and traverses the Alps in 161 distinct stages.


The Via Alpina includes some of the most famous hikes in the alps: the Tour du Mont Blanc in France, the Triglav Lakes Valley Circuit in Slovenia, and the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard between Switzerland and Italy, among them.

The official website is excellent offering detailed information on trail stages, hiking distances, GPS coordinates, challenge levels, and lodging options from huts (or refuges, in Alpine parlance) to chalets. In 5 languages!

NEED TO KNOW: In June and September there’s usually ample space in the hut systems along the Via Alpina. In July and August—or if you’re traveling with a large group—it’s smart to plan ahead. The Via Alpina Web site (www.via-alpina.org) lists contact information for huts, lodges, chalets, and B&Bs along each stage of the trail.

Another good starting point is Alps Travel along the Via Alpina – National Geographic Adventure Magazine

planning for the Pacific Crest Trail

Most PCT thru-hikers will start from Campo on the Mexican border after the annual kickoff party in late April or early May and hike northbound to Manning Provincial Park along the U.S-Canadian border in 5 to 6 months, averaging about 20 miles a day. Some PCT thru-hikers will finish in 4.5 months–starting in mid-May and finishing in late-September, averaging about 22 miles a day with a zero (rest) day every 7-10 days. Planning to do it this quickly, however, doesn’t factor in time for contingencies like illness and other medical issues.

plan your trip on the pacific crest trail
– Backpacker


introducing Andrew Skurka

Andrew Skurka was named 2005 Person of the Year by Backpacker magazine. He hiked 7700mi across North America, 339 days, the first to complete the new Sea-to-Sea Trail (C2C).

(This is not the American Discovery Trail (ADT) from Delaware to California. The C2C is tougher and almost 1000mi longer than the ADT.)

Interview – Andrew Skurka

finishing in the Pacific Ocean

Andrew’s home page is AndrewSkurka.com

introducing Chris Townsend

townsend.jpgChris is one of the world’s leading long distance wilderness walkers.

In 1988 he was the first to walk the continental divide of the Canadian Rockies, a 1600mi challenge. The book is titled High Summer.

He published too his 2002 desert trek: Crossing Arizona

In 1996 he climbed all 517 summits over 3000ft in the Scottish highlands.

He has walked the 2600mi Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, the 3000mi Continental Divide from Mexico to Canada and 1000mi south to north through the Yukon.

In Europe he has walked 1300mi end-to-end through Scandinavia and 1250mi from Lands End to John O’Groats in Britain.

The Backpacker\'s HandbookIf you buy only one how to hiking book, it’s his Backpacker’s Handbook.

Aside from his books, he’s authored hundreds of articles, and contributes regularly to TGO (The Great Outdoors) magazine. He’s their gear guru.

Chris Townsend’s official website.

The Great South Coast Walk, Australia

You may have heard of this adventure. It’s a long walk down the beautiful coast of New South Wales. A thru-hike for normal people.

David and Pennie Briese dreamed it. And then achieved it. Congratulations!

… time to walk, time to reflect and time to rejuvenate.

… splendid isolated beaches, around magnificent rock platforms, over windswept cliffs and headlands, though superb untouched forest, and past wetlands and lakes filled with birds.

Sounds lovely. But New South Wales is quite developed. They enjoyed a cold beer at the end of most stages!


Travelogue and photos.

traverse the Chilean Andes – Sendero de Chile

The proposed Sendero de Chile hiking trail system will stretch the entire length of Chile, from the northern border to the tip of South America. A total of more than 9,700km (6000mi) of trekking paths.

A main trail is being built to connect existing trails in Chile. It will cross some of the great remaining wilderness areas of the world.

Hard core through hikers will be interested. But it seems only about 25% of the proposed route exists today.

There is not much information available yet. The best source of information is AllSouthernChile.com

Chang Tang, Tibetan Plateau

Have you heard of the Chang Tang?

A part of the world half the size of the continental USA?

Me neither.

George Schaller made 11 trips between 1985 and 2001. I read a couple of his books so perhaps I did hear of the region.


The photographer is Galen Rowell, who’s work was admired by Ansel Adams. This was Rowell’s last adventure. He and his wife were killed in a plane crash in California.

National Geographic sponsored expedition to Chang Tang

Bruce Kirby pitched the idea to National Geographic and worked a year on the Chang Tang project. But NG went ahead without him.