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Category: Backpacking / Hiking / Tramping / Trekking / Camping ๐ŸŽ’ (Page 1 of 6)

Norway has some 300 soaring mountain staircases

(Source BBC / Credit: Morten Falch Sortland/Getty Images)

  • Preikestolen is among Norway’s most hiked trails, with 331,000 visitors reaching its exposed top in 2019.ย  Its stone stairway was built by Nepalese Sherpas.
  • Around 300 stone mountain stairways have been built in Norway over the past two decades.

Mike MacEacheran / BBC Travel ยป

In many ways, the location and the sublime views from Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, near Stavanger in south-west Norway are irrelevant, because what is important is the journey to get there. It is a hike up an expertly engineered and well-maintained stone staircase that is as much of a marvel as the finale itself.

There’s an ancient beauty to the stairway and it comes from the fact that Preikestolen โ€“ like nearly 300 other natural stone staircase projects in Norway purpose-built over the past two decades โ€“ has been crafted by teams of Sherpas from Nepalese communities living in the shadows of Mount Everest.

There was a time when Norway’s mountain paths would only see a handful of local visitors. But social media has changed all that, and over the past decade, the country has seen such a dramatic spike in overseas travellers keen to Instagram its viewpoints that something has had to give.

 

A breathtaking video journey through The Lake District National Park

 

Filmed across two years in The Lake District National Park,ย Michael Lazenby‘s video takes you on a grand tour of the most breathtaking vistas and sights this stunning part of the world has to offer, including Derwentwater, Cat Bells, Blencathra, Buttermere, Ullswater, Helvellyn, Angle Tarn, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Grasmere, Windermere, Langdale, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Great Langdale, Striding Edge, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Wasdale, Scafell Pike, Loughrigg Tarn, Rydal Water, Whorneyside Force, Great Gable, Styhead Tarn, Swirral Edge, Catstycam, and The Scafells.

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Long-distance walking is also wonderful for mental health

Source ยป Outdoors Magic

Source ยป Outdoors Magic

Will Renwick,ย Outdoors Magic ยป

Back in 2010, in a controlled trial for the Journal of Physical and Activity, three academics asked one group of people to walk 10,000 steps a day for 12 weeks while another group was asked to maintain their usual activity. The results that came back for the group that had been walking showed a raft of physical improvements but also indications of personal growth and psychological wellbeing.

According to the mental health charity Mind, physical activity like walking can help to improve everything from your sleep to your mood, manage stress, anxiety and intrusive thoughts, better self-esteem, and reduce the risk of depression.

So walking is good, but what about walking long distances?

โ€œA long-distance journey makes me calmer, more grounded and more mindful,โ€ says Ursula Martin, a prolific wanderer who has chalked up thousands of miles over the last five years, most notably walking all the way from Kiev to her home in mid Wales.

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Is it time to get rid of the campfire?

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Source ยป Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Marjorie โ€œSlimโ€ Woodruff, High Country News ยป

Published 5 years ago, on July 13, 2016

In 1972, Grand Canyon National Park outlawed campfires in the backcountry. Backpackers like me considered this an outrage. After all, the only people who carried those fancy little stoves back then were people incapable of building a fire. I bring this up because we are living through another explosive fire season in the West.

Of course, popular campsites back then looked a lot like parking lots. No downed wood, no dead (or live) grasses, no bushes, no bark on the trees as far up as you could reach. When a dozen people a night are building campfires, anything burnable vanishes pretty quickly.

Note: Fires denude the camping area.

I had a stove. I remember setting up my tiny SVEA, putting the pot on to boil, and turning to organize my sleeping place, because when cooking on a wood fire, it takes forever for the pot to boil.

But my pot boileth over, more quickly than I expected.

Note: Stoves are more efficient than wood fires.

A fire is convivial, although I usually donโ€™t sit next to it: I spend a lot of time skulking around to avoid smoke. Said smoke also fills the whole camping area. I can see and smell a campfire from a mile away.

Note: Fires stink.

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Transcaucasian Trail nears completion

Rebecca McPhee, Explorersweb ยป

Since 2015, the Transcaucasian Trail Association (TCTA) has been developing a 3,000km hiking trail across the Caucasus Mountains. The finished Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) will consist of two 1,500km sections spanning Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

The northern route follows the Greater Caucasus Mountains and connects the Black and Caspian Seas. The southern route spans the Lesser Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea to the Aras River.

While the trail is still being developed in Azerbaijan, there are currently hundreds of kilometres of trail open to the public. The TCTA hope that a 1,200km route from northwest Georgia to southern Armenia will be fully open by 2022.

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ยป Transcaucasian Trail

Video ยป Trekking Assiniboine ยป from Sunshine Village to Mount Shark

Trekking from the Sunshine Village (AB) ski resort near Banff to Mount Shark (AB) along the Alberta (AB) / British Columbia (BC) provincial border.

Rick McCharles at Best Hike calls this one of the world’s ten best.

The folks in this video did the hike in 4 days. Best Hike recommends 6 days.

This area is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes the contiguous national parks of Banff (AB), Jasper (AB), Kootenay (BC) and Yoho (BC), as well as the Mount Robson (BC), Mount Assiniboine (BC) and Hamber (B.C.) provincial parks.

Video belowโ€ฆ

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James Gingell, a burnt out civil servant, decides to trek the length of Britain

James Gingell in Staffordshire

James Gingell (via The Guardian)

As a government civil servant, James Gingell was burnt out from working on Brexit and Covid. Trekking the length of Britain, from Landโ€™s End to John oโ€™Groats, was the change he needed.

James Gingell, via The Guardian ยป

Walking Landโ€™s End to John oโ€™Groats wasnโ€™t the original plan. All I wanted was freedom. I had worked as a civil servant for three years, first in central government as the country grappled with Brexit, then, after the pandemic hit, on the Covid response. Through the tumult, my colleagues were pleasant and supportive, and the material circumstances of my life did not change. When I took a burnout questionnaire, though, I ticked every box: tiredness, torpor, tetchiness. Iโ€™m normally a silly person. But I wasnโ€™t smiling much. Iโ€™m normally a creative person. But nothing was happening in my brain. I felt bleached.

โ€ฆ

All I wanted was to be free, of emails and objectives and obligations which could only disappoint, of defined, quantifiable purpose. I wanted to luxuriate in pure freedom, to walk in a wild, blank void. If our culture of metrics and targets and progress were more receptive to the idea of pointlessness as a point, I might instead have quoted another naturalist, Henry David Thoreau. He wrote that creative thoughts are like birds, coming to us only if they have branches to settle. โ€œIf the grove in our minds is laid waste โ€“ sold to feed unnecessary fires of ambition โ€“ they no longer build or breed with us.โ€ I needed to do nothing but walk and wallow in swamp and marrow for the trees to heal, for the birds to come back. The walk was more to do with that.

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