Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

Times of London in December 1901 (legend has it) posted by Ernest Shackleton for a journey to Antarctica.

Now that was adventure. Once, having his ship frozen in the ice, he was forced to sledge across the Weddell Sea pack, then boat to Elephant Island. Then sail to South Georgia Island. The greatest survival story of all time?

The Endurance - Shackleton\'s Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia

In preparation for a Feb. 2007 trip to Tasmania, I’ve been consulting with John Chapman, by far the most authoritative author of Australian guidebooks.

I’ve decide to hike first the Overland Track, widely listed the best established walk in Australia. 65km (40mi) plus sidetrips, 5-6 days.

Overland Track on

I’ll be using John’s dedicated Overland Track guidebook.

Time allowing, I want to do more in Tas. John suggests:

  • Walls of Jerusalem (2-4 days)
  • Pine Valley (2-3 days)
  • Walls of Jerusalem to Overland Track (6-8 days)
  • Cheyne Range (4 days)
  • Eldon Range (9-12 days)
  • Traveller Range (7-9 days)
  • John even spoke of a trackless bushwalk on the wild West Coast of Tasmania from Strahan to Port Davey. On his completely undeveloped route you must swim a 1km river.


    More Overland Track photos by Paul Lenehan on Flickr

    wildlife protection –

    Trailex encourages users to share information about trail safety in the Bow Valley (from Banff to Bragg Creek in Canada). The goal is to keep humans and wildlife safe.

    Examples of information you should post:

    * Bear, cougar, wolf, aggressive elk or moose sightings
    * Dead animal carcasses that may indicate a large carnivore is in the area
    * Grizzly bear diggings or other signs of large carnivores
    * Recent trail closures, bear or cougar traps, or bear aversive conditioning


    Good idea.

    cycling tibet

    A really fantastic adventure is to buy a Chinese bike in Lhasa and ride the Friendship Highway to Katmandu, via Everest.

    Many adventurers are doing this — but it is technically illegal. (As is most of the hiking in Tibet.)

    Interested? Check Kym McConnell’s authoritative website and guidebook.

    Tibet Overland – Cycling in Tibet

    A Route and Planning Guide for Mountain Bikers andOther Overlanders

    Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Every hiker wants to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 5896m (19,344ft). It’s actually the highest freestanding mountain in the world, a volcano rising 4600m (15,000ft) above the giraffes and elephants roaming the plains.

    No independent hiking is allowed. You must sign on with a trekking company — minimum cost in 2006 is US$800 on the Marangu Route. Over 80% of people choose Marangu often disparaged as the tourist route, or the Coca Cola route. This is the easiest, fastest and quickest line. And the only route where you have the option to sleep in huts.

    If you can afford it, opt instead for one of the more challenging tent routes: Machame or Rongai.

    The other major consideration is altitude sickness. Unlike the Andes and the Himalaya, it is difficult to acclimatize here. Best strategy is to climb lower Mt. Meru just before you start Kilimanjaro.

    The snows of Kilimanjaro are melting. Get there soon.

    Mt. Kilimanjaro on


    books – Anthony Bourdain

    There’s only one cook who will be highlighted on, my culinary travel hero Anthony Bourdain.

    I recently got the chance to see Bourdain at a Vancouver book flogging event. He was irreverent, controversial and extremely entertaining. I got an autographed copy of his most travel related book — A Cook’s Tour — companion to the TV series of the same name on the Food Network.

    In July 2005 his new TV show, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, premiered on the Travel Channel.

    Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

    hiking out of Whistler, BC, Canada

    During a one night stop at the luxury ski resort I took the opportunity to research the hiking opportunities in these fantastic mountains close to Vancouver.

    I was shocked at how little hiking is being promoted. A visit to tourist information will get you only a list of short day walks appropriate for non-hikers.

    Why? The problem is that Whistler has so much to offer besides hiking — especially skiing and mountain biking.

    The tourist infrastructure is geared for the 2 million+ gift shop tourists each year.

    No need for a serious hiker to plan on basecamp hiking out of Whistler. Head for the much less expensive climbing mecca of Squamish instead.

    A day hike up granite Stawamus Chief looming over the town is an excellent warm-up.


    To plan your hikes, grab a copy of “Don’t Waste Your Time in the B.C. Coast Mountains” and head for the hills independently.

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