Amathole Trail, South Africa

The 6 day 100km long Amathole Hiking Trail starts near Kings Williams Town and ends at Hogsback in the Amatola Mountains. This trail has been voted the best in South Africa by Getaway Magazine, and is undoubtedly one of the toughest trails as well as one of the most beautiful, descending and ascending through steep, lushly forested valleys and up to the flower strewn grasslands and peaks of the Amatola Range …

The trail is rated as difficult, although there are various paths that can be taken within the overall hut to hut routes, some easier than others. …

Show Me – East London

waterfall hikers

trip report – Amatola Hiking Trail

Google Earth flyover Everest Base Camp

Kraig Becker is getting revved up for the 2012 Spring season on Everest:

… The video below gives you a good idea of what that trek is like. It was created with Google Earth and give an accurate representation of the terrain that surrounds you while hiking through the region. Those that have visited the Khumbu before will recognize some familiar sights, including that grueling hike up the hill into Namche Bazaar, while those just following along at home can get a better sense of scale for the region. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Adventure BlogVideo: Trekking To Everest Base Camp With Google Earth

related – my 2009 17-day Everest trek via Lukla

hiking alone in grizzly country – or not

John Flinn in SFGate:

… Everyone I talked to in Jasper agreed that the trail I would be walking was one of the most reliable places around for coming face-to-face with a grizzly. Someone pointed me to a YouTube video, shot two weeks earlier, of an enormous mother and two cubs lumbering alongside the path.

My courage needed some serious bucking-up, so the night before the hike I went to a lecture on bear safety. The naturalist began with a scary story about a close call she’d once had with a grizzly – on the very same trail I’d be walking, naturally – and stressed that the safest thing hikers could do was travel in a group of four or more. …

Hiking in grizzly country – or not

Click through to see if John overcame his fears and made it the 14mi to the backcountry lodge.

(via Meaderthals)

Having grown up close to the Canadian Rockies I’m pretty blase about Griz. In fact, I’ve only seen two over the years.

It’s true that a lot of Grizzlies live close to Jasper. I’ve heard stories.

Ted Bear – Aussie Bear Grylls

Tom Mangan calls the misnamed Hiking in Finland editor Hendrik Morkel the best hiking blogger we’ve got at the moment.

I’ve long subscribed. But on Tom’s recommendation I went straight to the site to see what I could learn. … Unfortunately, I was instantly distracted by this hilarious video linked by Hendrik:

Ted Bear teaches you how to survive, against all odds.

(via Hiking in Finland)

From now on I’ll pay closer attention to Hiking in Finland. Hendrik does have some near poetic content, including this one – Driving In The Mud and Rain

Trail Days, Damascus, Virginia

Trail Days 2011 will be May 13 – 15th.

It’s always the weekend after Mother’s Day.

Trail Days draws about 20,000 tourists, mostly hikers, every year. Here’s a photo from last year.

Damascus (pop. 981) is the home of the annual Trail Days festival, and is known as Trail Town USA due to the convergence of four scenic trails in the town, including the Appalachian Trail, U.S. Bicycle Route 76, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. …

For years I’ve been hearing about the biggest hiking party in the States, perhaps the world, from Tom Mangan.

He’s linked to another hiking festival:

VIRGINIA JOURNEYS 2011

THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL CONSERVANCY’S 38TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE

July 1 – 8, 2011
Emory & Henry College – Emory, Virginia

Every two years, Appalachian Trail hikers, enthusiasts, supporters, and conservationists get together at an Appalachian Trail Festival and Biennial Conference to swap stories, take a hike or two, and attend workshops.

…All the details are at www.virginia2011.org.