Another great year on the hiking front has come and gone.
Enjoyable shorter trips with friends, mixed together with memorable solo journeys. A fusion of coastal, desert and alpine environments.
Below are twenty photos from my five favourite trips of 2014. The hikes ranged in length from a three day walk on Washington’s Wonderland Trail, to a challenging sixteen day traverse of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca.
For more details and images on each of the trips, simply click on the heading of the hike in which you are interested.
Death Valley to the summit of Mt.Whitney.
From the lowest spot in North America (282 ft below sea level) to the highest point in the contiguous United States (14,505 ft).
The L2H is a 135 mile (217 km) backcountry route designed by Brett Tucker. Geographically diverse from start to finish, it entails a combination of trails, lightly used 4WD tracks and cross-country travel. I was joined on this particular trip by Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, Joshua “Bobcat” Stacy and Greg “Malto” Gressel.
“I’ve always loved the ocean.
Growing up on the east coast of Australia, it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Swimming, surfing, fishing, diving, and yes, walking along its shores…………..waves rolling in, cooling sea breeze, the feeling of sand beneath my shoeless feet……………
Fast forward to April, 2014. The other side of the Pacific. Some 7,500 miles from where I was raised. A place where the sun sets rather than rises over the water. California’s Lost Coast Trail; a 53 mile hike along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.”
I was all set to hike Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit back in 1996. Maps and food had been bought. Transport to the trailhead arranged.
The night before departure, news came in that a young Israeli guy had been killed whilst hiking in the Huayhuash. Apparently he had resisted a group of armed bandits and was subsequently marched off and shot at point blank range. The other three members of his trekking party carried his body back to civilization.
As a result of the tragedy, the area was deemed “unsafe for foreigners at the present time.” Handing over cash is one thing, potentially being shot is another matter entirely.
Eighteen years later I returned to hike the Cordillera Huayhuash circuit.
The highlight of 2014 and one of the best trips I have ever done.
A thru hike of the Cordillera Blanca, the jewel of the Peruvian Andes, was something I had dreamed of putting together for the best part of eighteen years.
Twenty three high altitude passes (between 14,000 and 17,200 ft) and 252 miles (406 km) of some of the world’s most beautiful alpine scenery.
My final multi-day trip of 2014 was a 93 mile circumnavigation of Washington’s Mt.Rainier.
The Wonderland Trail packs an incredible amount into a relatively short distance. Twenty plus glaciers, stunning cascades, alpine meadows and an amazing array of flora and fauna. Best of all was sharing the experience with hiking buddies Greg “Malto” Gressel, Joshua “Bobcat” Stacy and Liz “Snorkel” Thomas.