carrying furniture on the PCT?

Kolby Kirk is quoted. So this must be true. 🙂

… due to the recent success of the book and movie “Wild”, many hikers have expressed fears that the trail will become overcrowded with Oprah Winfrey fans wearing enormous backpacks and ill-fitting boots with red shoelaces. …

The 2014 hiking season saw a dramatic rise not only in the number of hikers on the PCT, but also in the number of hikers apparently carrying large pieces of furniture.

“There was a couch at Scissors Crossing, and another one outside of Big Bear,” said Renee “SheRa” Patrick, “I can only imagine that they were carried there by hikers and abandoned when they realized that couches are too heavy for a thru-hike. I mean, a section hike, sure. Maybe somewhere in Oregon. But in the desert? It’s crazy.” …

“Wild” Debates About PCT Overcrowding (Part One)

recliner PCT

finally – a waterproof backpack

Somebody tell Bill Bryson. 🙂

Mountain Hardware South Col™ 70 OutDry Backpack

The one-pack solution for mountaineering expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. The flexible design and highly evolved compression system lets you add and remove components as well as shrink and expand the pack as needed.

OutDry construction bonds a durable waterproof membrane to the main compartment so that your gear stays safe and dry in even the wettest conditions.


Click PLAY or watch a preview on YouTube.

(via Adventure Blog)

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:



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

Jeju Olle hike, Korea day 1

#Jeju #JejuOlle

As I post, tensions are high between North and South Korea after the artillery exchange of November 2010 – the Shelling of Yeonpyeong. I wish peace for all in both nations.

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (routes 1→ 6 = 106km)

Depart from the beautiful ‘Siheung Elementary School’ and climb up Malmi Oreum and Al Oreum. At the top of the volcanoes you’ll see Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise peak), along with Woo-do (Island) and many picturesque farms will catch your eye. The route continues along the salt fields in Jongdal-ri to the esplanade in Siheung-ri.

When walkers reach Sumapo Beach, the Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise peak) appears once again. The color of the sea at Gwangchigi Beach (the terminus of Route 1) is truly unforgettable.

[Route 1] Siheung to Gwangchigi

We started at the beginning, Siheung Elementary.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

The weather threatened, but turned out to be good walking. Windy and cool.

A group of us from the Walking Festival unloading from the bus to begin.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

These volcanic stone walls are emblematic of this island.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

In the Cotswolds, UK, stone wall masons study for 3yrs. Likely fitting these together takes more skill than it appears.

Jeju Olle is very well signed. Ribbons flag the route, as well as other devices.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

This was my first good view of Sunrise Peak (Seongsan Ilchulbong), the geological highlight of my hike.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

You could see how volcanic soil and a mild, wet climate make Jeju ideal for agriculture.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Our first of the famed Jeju ponies.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

They are one of the symbols of the Jeju Trail.

Route 5-6 - Jeju Olle, Korea

As part of the Walking Festival, we enjoyed many treats and surprises en route. A piano, at one point. Singers at many other highlight sections of the trail.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

The professor is also an opera singer. Our charismatic leader, Suh Myung-sook, convinced him to sing, as well.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

For the two days prior, at the conference, I had heard many apologies regarding too few toilets on the Jeju Olle. Much to my surprise the toilets were excellent.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Signs marked the distances between, rarely more than 4km apart. (Many are squatters, however. And some are signed only in Korean.)

We foreigners had much discussion about the many burial plots.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Tradition is that bodies are cremated. Then buried in sometimes spacious stone rings. … It seemed to us (from outside the culture) that much arable land is lost to the farmer.

More treats for the walkers. Fresh carrot juice. And some kind of tasty sweet.

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Finally, Sunrise Peak. The highlight is a short, steep climb to the summit. (That’s not actually part of the official hike, so I came back another day to join the throngs climbing it.)

Route 1 - Jeju Olle, Korea

Read more about route 1 on the official website.

See the rest of my route 1 photos on flickr.