Harder Ridge, Switzerland – best day hike on Earth?

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

  • dangerous
  • 10 hours
  • at least 18km on sharply defined ridge
  • should absolutely never be attempted when wet
  • plenty of exposure on both sides
  • frequent scrambling required
  • Brienz to Interlaken with rail assistance getting up to and descending from the ridge

Don’t hike the other direction. Logistics are easier starting in Brienz. And it’s safer as the last 2 hours (when your legs are tired) is on easier trails. 

I got up early in Interlaken, ready for my free hostel breakfast starting 7am.

Every half hour a train runs from Interlaken to Brienz for 8.20 francs (2018).

Happily I made the first steam train 8:36am — from Brienz to Brienzer Rothorn Station. It’s been making this run since 1891.

Price is reduced to 28 francs for the first train (2018) to encourage folks to get as early a start as possible on their hike.

At 9km / hour it takes an hour to get to the top of the ridge 2351m.

If clear, you can enjoy distant views over to Jungfrau highest peaks; the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn.

I climbed up to the viewpoint. This is as far as most tourists hike.

Looking down on Brienzer Rothorn Station.

At 10am I started to walk back to Interlaken. I would have about 11.5 hours to make the last teleferico down from Harder Kulm Restaurant. Otherwise I’d have to walk down in the dark.

You can’t really get lost. Follow the ridge no matter what.

The weather was perfect.

You have Brienz lake on one side …

… and Swiss foothills on the other.

I loved it instantly.

Most of the time the ridge is not all that intimidating.

It often looks worse than it turns out to be.

I’d heard everyone who comes up here sees ibex. … Are these ibex?

This adventure is more popular with trail runners than with hikers as they can easily make it in less than 10 hours.

I took very few breaks. Other than checking the GPS on my phone, I had no idea whether I was moving quickly enough to finish in time.

Each time I’d climb a high point on the ridge, even higher points would come into view.

I don’t think I saw another person over the first 5 hours.

Sadly I seemed to be a lot closer to Brienz than Interlaken.

There are sections with stairs, cable and chain assistance. These would be most useful when down climbing in wet conditions.

Hmm … I might finally be past half way.

I tried to quicken my pace on the easiest sections.

There are many more day hikers on the Interlaken end of the ridge. They assured me I’d make it on time.

Interlaken

The last 2 hours stays on the ridge, but you are mostly in the trees. It was the least interesting section … but I was pleased to have less exposure as my legs got tired.

Here it is at last. Harder Kulm Restaurant.

The last funicular descends at 9:10pm. If it’s busy they may run until 9:40pm.

I gladly paid 16 francs and found the short trip down very interesting.

It was dark by the time we arrived Interlaken.

And I was quite dehydrated. I’d brought only 1.5 litres with me. I could have used about 3 litres.

When I got back to the hostel I announced it was the best day hike of my life.

Click PLAY or see if I look happy on YouTube.

Snowman Trek, Bhutan – Fastest Known Time attempt

Wow. This looks epic.

A team of Ultra-marathon runners (Benjamin Clark, Timothy Olson, Anna Frost, & Matt Trappe) journey to Bhutan to set a speed record on the world’s hardest trek.

But Bhutan’s Himalayan landscape isn’t welcoming to athletes unused to the conditions, and it’s inhabitants must be persuaded to let the runners pursue their dream.

The result is a shared accomplishment and an adventure that constantly teeters on the edge of total failure.

It’s going to be launched in select U.S. theatres May 17, 2018.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve

Buenos Aires Ecological ReserveReserva Ecológica de Buenos Aires, also known as Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, is a 865-acre (3.50 km2) tract of low land on the Río de la Plata riverbank located on the east side of the district of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires CBDArgentina.

I walked the big loop enjoying most observing the wetlands birds and creatures. My highlight was spotting a Coipo (Myocastor coypus).

If you want to escape the traffic noise of the big city, this is the place to go.

Jogging or cycling that loop would be preferable to walking, in my opinion. It’s ideal for both.

Best of the Bruce – Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

This is the last of my hikes on The Bruce for 2017. I’m planning to return in 2018 to hike  the Bruce Trail Peninsula section, a maximum of 8-9 days averaging 16-20 km per day.

A trail runner friend had recommended the Halton Region area close to Toronto.

I parked at Rattlesnake Point, one of best and most popular destinations on the Bruce.

People come on a nice day to enjoy views from atop the Niagara Escarpment.

It’s popular with rock climbers though I saw none the day I was there.

The trails are well signed. Some would argue there are too many signs.

Still … this sign maker managed to bungle Buffalo Crag.

Rattlesnake is on the Milton Outlier, a section of the Niagara Escarpment that has eroded away from the rest.

I took the Nassagaweya Canyon trail down and then back up to the Escarpment on the other side. I did this hike as a trail run. Boardwalk in the canyon much appreciated.

Arriving at the Crawford Lake Visitors Centre first I was immediately attacked to the Iroquoian village longhouses.

Circa the 13th – 17th centuries over 10,000 artefacts have been recovered from this location.

Artist Robbin Wenzoski has some impressive chain saw sculpture on the lake trail.

Crawford Lake

From here I decided spontaneously to make up a lollypop loop heading back towards Rattlesnake on Woodland and Escarpment trails.

More great views this time from the other side of Nassagaweya Canyon.

By connecting trails it’s to decide how far to hike based on the weather and how you feel. I did about 20kms altogether in a half day.

By the way, you’ll only find harmless garter snakes here. There are no Rattlers.

See my photos on Flickr.

related:

• Bruce Trail app | Bruce Trail Reference Guide – 29th Ed

• BruceTrail.org

Best of The Bruce – Highest Point

trip report by best hike editor Rick McCharles

For no good reason other than it was the highest point on the Bruce Trail, I headed for the John Haigh Side Trail via Pretty River Valley Provincial Nature Reserve.

I stopped at tourist information in Collingwood and got a good map to find the trailhead.

There were several choices. Best looked to be Pretty River Access Trail. I could make a bit of loop with Pretty River Side Trail.

As a trail run, it was a pleasure. Lots of soft footing.

On the other hand, Pretty River Side Trail turned out to end in a bog. I had to backtrack uphill.

I was bitten by a small dog on a leash. (Actually it bit a hole in my running shorts, missing the skin.)

Later in the day I managed to lose my camera. Including the photos from this hike.

Rats. 😦

related:

• Bruce Trail app | Bruce Trail Reference Guide – 29th Ed

• BruceTrail.org

6th annual Ladakh Marathon (India)

Sunday 10 September 2017.

7 KM RUN LADAKH FOR FUN

HALF MARATHON

MARATHON

KHARDUNG LA CHALLENGE 

Check out the scenery. Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

 

The Khardung La Challenge (72 km) is the Highest Ultra Marathon in the World. … you will be running approximately 60km of the race at above 4000m ( 14,000ft) …

ladakhmarathon.com