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May 2016 Southern Appalachians – Steve and Bob decided to attempt to complete the South Beyond 6000, 40 peaks in Tennessee and North Carolina that exceed 6000’ and meet certain other criteria (specifically a minimum distance between an adjacent peak and a minimum rise from the col between it and an adjacent peak). Dave, Jerry, Julie and Lou decided to join them on the second half of the trip to sample some great hiking in the Southern Appalachians and perhaps lay the groundwork for completing South Beyond 6000 as well (Dave seems to have caught the bug at least). The trip took place over the first half of May and consisted of a combination of backpacking and day hikes. Everybody ended up topping at least one-half of the list (results here)! Pictures are by everybody – Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://goo.gl/photos/Zmt8a2yhwQ3zgSMC7
December 2015/January 2016 Ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – Bob and his daughters Michelle and Morgan successfully summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,341' around 6:45 AM on January 5, as part of a team of 7 clients from the United States and Canada on the 8-day Lemosho route. Pictures are by Michelle and Morgan, Bob Corscadden, Lynn Ranger, and Dale and Rebekah Hoffmann -- Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Kilimanjaro201516?authuser=0&feat=directlink
September 2015 Snoqualmie Pass WA to Manning Park, Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – Continuing where they left off in 2013, Bob and Rick, over the first 19 days in September, backpacked north 268 miles (with 65,000' of ascent) into Canada to complete the Washington PCT. They were joined by Dave on his first Washington PCT section, and by Gene to Stehekin (13 days) on his second. The North Cascades country they crossed is some of the wildest and most beautiful on the PCT. The trip encompassed 14 full days and five "Neros," with overnight town resupply stops at the ends of Days 6 and 13. The first 7 days were unusually wet with rain, small hail and snow, but the weather improved considerably the rest of the trip. The rain that first week, and the weekend before, helped mute the impact of widespread wild fires. This led to the reopening of a closed section that would have required a major road detour. Besides spectacular scenery the entire way, another highlight was meeting many thru-hikers close to finishing. Pictures by Bob, Dave, Gene and Rick -- Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/PCT2015Washington?authuser=0&feat=directlink
August 2015 AT from Grafton Notch to Rangeley ME – Bob, Carol, Rick, Steve, Tom and Dave's friend Jay escorted Dave on his final 47 miles of the Appalachian Trail. To warm up, Bob, Dave and Steve spent three days in the White Mts. bagging several of the New England 100 Highest, including what all agreed were two of the toughest bushwhacks they've experienced. Enjoy Carol's full report. Pictures by Bob, Dave, Steve and Tom -- Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/NNewEngland2015WesternMaineAT?authuser=0&feat=directlink
May/June 2015 Northwest Highlands of Scotland – Bob, his two daughters Michelle and Morgan, Dave, David, Jerry and Roger spent two weeks mostly hiking, but also touring on several days, in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. Carol joined them for the second week before spending several more weeks in Scotland with her husband. The group used three different locations as its base of operations, Ft. William in the shadow of Ben Nevis and convenient to Glen Coe, Glen Shiel close to Skye, and Achnasheen near Torridon National Park. Goals were ambitious and included many of the classic hikes, ridge walks and scrambles in the region. Although normally the best time of year to visit, Mother Nature failed to cooperate, forcing the group to scale back its objectives because of frequent rain, high winds and low visibility. Despite this a number of hikes were spectacularly successful and several others represented significant accomplishments under the circumstances. Pictures by all but Carol -- Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Europe2015NWHighlandsScotland02?authuser=0&feat=directlink
September 2014 Dolomites/Alta Via 2: Days 1-5 -- Bart, Bob, Dave G, Dave V, Lou, Mike, and Tom set out the second week in September to tackle the 100+ mile Alta Via 2 in the Italian Dolomites, the second longest of the numbered Alta Via routes and as challenging as any given the via ferrata and alpine variants they chose. The path stretches from one of the principal cities in the heavily german Sud Tirol, Bressanone/Brixen, mostly south through the heart of the Dolomites (including its highest range, the Marmolada), ending in the small mountain village of Croce d'Aune, north of the rail head Feltre in the northwest corner of the Veneto region. Along the way the group stayed exclusively in mountain rifugios. The picture narrative for the trip has been split into two parts covering days 1-5 and 6-13 for three reasons: (1) Three of the group ended their trek after 5 days, one by prior design and two by current necessity, (2) the highlight of the entire trip occurred on Day 4 and deserved more pictures, and (3) the trail was overall more remote and difficult after Day 5, i.e. the trail's character was quite different.
Magnify the picture when the caption suggests. Pictures by everybody but Bob (who produced the narrative) but including Francesco at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Europe2014AltaVia2D15?authuser=0&feat=directlink
September 2014 Dolomites/Alta Via 2: Days 6-13 -- Bart, Bob, Dave G and Tom continue their quest to complete the Alta Via 2, setting out on September 14 from Lago Fedaia to cross the Marmolada and move south into lonelier, more remote and more difficult country. Again, be sure to magnify the picture when the caption suggests. Pictures by Bart, Daves G and V, and Tom -- Bob produced the report. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Europe2014AltaVia2D613?authuser=0&feat=directlink
July/August 2014 Canadian Rockies -- After 3 years the Vigorous Hikers returned to the Canadian Rockies for 12+ days of backpacking and hiking. Bob, Barry, Bart, Dave G., Gene, Mike, Morgan (Bob’s daughter), and Steve backpacked and day hiked 80 miles through much of the most spectacular scenery of Banff National and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Parks. The track was generally southeast, from the Vista Lake to Mt. Shark trailheads, over a half dozen high passes. Afterwards, all but Dave and Morgan, who had to return home, spent 4 more days at the Lake Louise Alpine Center to hike each day on one or more of the region’s premium walks and climbs. On top of this, Dave and Steve kicked off the trip by climbing Alberta’s highest peak, glaciated Mt. Columbia. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Canada2014BanffYohoAndAssiniboineByBartBarryDaveGeneMikeAndSteve?authuser=0&feat=directlink
September/October 2014 AT from Beckett MA to Manchester Center VT – Tom, Steve and Carol completed a 9-day, 97-mile section of the AT, 12 miles short of our original109-mile goal, due to logistical issues. The trail is excellent in this section, well marked and maintained, with no obstructions and gentle ascents but very few mountain-top views. Enjoy Carol's full report.
May 2014 AT from Bear Mt. NY to Dalton MA – Tom Kloster, Dave Green and Carol Christensen (Parker) managed to complete this relatively easy stretch of the AT in mostly cool spring weather, avoiding rain on several nights by staying in motels. We had a bit of rain while hiking only on the first two days and on day 5. Enjoy Carol's full report.
September 2013 Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) - Bill, Bob, David, Lou, Rick and Wednesday Hiker Diane completed the famous circuit of the Mont Blanc Massif, the highest range in the Alps, over 11 days. They started and finished in Les Houches, France, traveling counterclockwise through successively Italy, Switzerland, and again France. For much of the journey they were accompanied by new friend and honorary Vigorous Hiker, Chris Lodge from the UK. The walk totaled about 105 miles, 39000 feet of ascent and over a dozen high passes (with all the high variants), passing through long wilderness stretches but also 5 large towns and several smaller. In the spirit of the Vigorous Hikers, 4 of the group completed all 6 of the higher alpine variants indicated in the Cicerone Guide and an unofficial additional variant on the final day. Whenever possible (5 out of 10 nights on the trail), the trekkers stayed in high mountain refuges. Note on pictures: About 60 % are bill's work, but the other 3 photographers contributed substantially. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/Europe2013TMBByBillDianeLouAndRick?authuser=0&feat=directlink
August 2013 Walupt Lake to Snoqualmie Pass WA on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – Bob and Rick, with Gene and Bob’s daughter Morgan, continued their quest to do the Washington PCT by backpacking 135 miles in 11 days with resupplies at the end of Days 3 (White Pass) and 6. The group started where Rick and Bob exited two years ago: The Nannie Ridge trailhead at Walupt Lake in the Pinchot National Forest, rejoining the PCT at Sheep Lake. Snow presented no obstacles, unlike two years earlier. In fact, the trip included a luxury (shower, bed and restaurant) stop at Crystal Mt. Resort to resupply and send Morgan home for her 2nd year at college, with the price a 4-mile round trip off the PCT with 1600’ of vertical both ways. Otherwise, highlights were spectacular walks in the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas, and Norse Peak Wilderness, almost constant views of Mt. Adams and Rainier (close up), and endless fields of Lupine early in the trip and blueberries and huckleberries most of it. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/PCT2013WashingtonByGeneRickAndMorgan?authuser=0&feat=directlink
June 2013 Corsica’s GR20 - For the third time in the last 5 years a contingent of vigorous hikers, Bob, Lou and Steve, followed Cliff Noyes longstanding lead and journeyed to Corsica, France to hike the famous and spectacular GR20, widely considered the most challenging long distance trek in Europe. The 3 groups all had somewhat different but positive experiences, even though this time the group planned their trek following closely the lead of Bart, Dave and David last time. Bob and company traveled south to north unguided and without reservations covering 14 stages from the Col de Bavella to Calenzana, completing all but Stage 4 because of concerns about dangerous snow conditions. Along the way they covered about 110 miles and ascended about 37,000 feet, utilizing all of the high variants except for Stage 11 (bad weather) and Stage 9 (dangerous snow traverse). Bob and Lou did all but 3.5 km of Stage 4 and added the old GR20 high route that connects Stages 3 and 4; Steve summited Monte Cinto, Corsica’s highest peak. The 2013 contingent experienced more snow than the other two, but also more crowded refuges despite hiking in early to mid-June. Pictures at
September 2012 White Mountains New Hampshire - 11 vigorous hikers and a fully-qualified representative of the Northern Virginia Wednesday Hikers descended on the White Mts. over the course of a week to sample many of the classic day hikes the region has to offer and/or (in the case of 3 of our number) to knock off another section of the northern New England Appalachian Trail. Most of us split our base camps evenly between Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch first and the Highland Center Bunkhouse in Crawford Notch later. Over the course of the week we initiated hikes into the back country on both sides of the base camp notches as well as both sides of Franconia Notch. The weather was mostly excellent with spectacular days up Huntington Ravine to Mt. Washington and exploring the northern Presidentials and traversing the famous Franconia Ridge. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/NNewEngland2012WhiteMountainsByBillEdAndTom?authuser=0&feat=directlink
July/August 2012 Southern Sierra Nevada - Barry, Bill, Bob, Gene, Reid and Tom backpacked about 160 miles in the southern Sierra Nevada over 13 days. The first 8 days took them north on the Pacific Crest Trail from Walker Pass in the high desert at the edge of the Mojave to Wallace Creek north of Crabtree Meadows in alpine meadows in the shadow of Mt. Whitney. Half through this stretch they resupplied at Kennedy Meadows, where Bill had to stop because of injuries. At Wallace Creek the group headed west into the interior of Sequoia National Park to traverse the mighty Kern Canyon and ascend Rattlesnake Canyon to Franklin Pass before finishing at Mineral King in the midst of giant trees. Pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/PCT2012SequoiaNationalParkByBarryBillGeneReidTom?authuser=0&feat=directlink
January 2012 Trek through Torres del Paine NP in Patagonia, Chile - Barry, Bart, Bob, Carol, Dave, Lou and Michelle hiked 115 miles (about 70 with full packs) over 9 days over most of the famous "O" circuit (part was closed because of fires) in S. America's premier national park. Enjoy Carol’s trip report.
August 2011 Great Divide Trail (GDT) Hike in Canada - Barry, Bob, Dave and Gene backpacked 127 miles of the Great Divide Trail (GDT), Canada’s extension of the Continental Divide Trail, over perhaps its’ most spectacular stretch in 11 days in August 2011. They began the trip by meeting at the Lake Louise Alpine Center Hostel on August 12, Barry straight from civilization, Bob from 12 days on the PCT, Dave from several days on glaciers and rock scrambles with Canadian climbing friends, and Gene from 2 days of day hikes in and around Lake Louise. (Read more.)
July/August 2011 Cascade Locks OR to Walupt Lake WA on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – Bob and Rick backpacked 127 miles in southern Washington over 11 days with a resupply early on Day 7. Their original intent was to reach White Pass at the end of the Goat Rocks Wilderness, but they had to exit via Nannie Ridge 25 miles short of their goal. On three separate PCT sections where the trail rose well above 4000’ for extended stretches, they were slowed by massive amounts of unmelted snow. Obviously the snow made progress more work and in some cases more tricky, but they were slowed mainly because of difficulty finding the trail route. Rick took relatively few pictures, but at least they give you a sense of both the snow pack and the dramatic volcanic landscape (Mts. Hood, Adams, St. Helens and Rainier).
May 2011 Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru – 10 Vigorous Hikers and friends joined 2 new friends from Chicago on a 7-day, 40-mile trek via the Salkantay approach and classic Inca Trail to the spectacular Inca ruins and World Heritage Site at Machu Picchu. The Vigorous Hikers were Aileen, Bart, Bill, Bob, David, Joe, Lynn, Lou, Stacey, and Tom, with Russ and Ann rounding out our party of 12. (Read more.)
August 2010 Muir Trail Hike - The six of us (Dave, Mike, Tom, Gene, Rush, and Ken) completed the John Muir Trail through California’s high Sierras in 18 ½ days (approximately 225 miles and 84,000 feet total elevation gain). We leave left northern Virginia Tuesday, August 17, at 5:30 p.m., flew to LA and caught the Amtrak bus/train/bus at 1:30 am on the 18th. We arrived in Yosemite Valley by noon and took off about 2:00p.m. The first night we camped above the trail to Half Dome and hiked up Half Dome early the next morning. We ended at Whitney portal on Sept. 5 hiking, on the average, of just over 13 miles a day.
July/August 2010 Yosemite to Tahoe on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – Barry, Bill and Bob backpacked about 140 miles over 12 days in the Northern California Sierra Nevada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Our starting point was Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park and ending point at the Big Meadows Trailhead on the Tahoe Rim Trail. The motivation for the trip was to connect the John Muir Trail (completed by Bill and Bob in 2003 and 2004) and the Tahoe Rim Trail (completed by Bill and Bob the previous Summer). More about PCT 2010
Many of Barry and Bill's pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/PCT2010TuolumneToTahoeByBarryAndBill?authuser=0&feat=directlink
May/June 2010 Cape Wrath Trek in Scotland - Bob, Bill and Bart's Cape Wrath Trip Report (with pictures)
November 2009 Grand Canyon Trek - Bill, Bob, David, Dyana, Lynn, and Tom spent 8 days in the canyon, the first day a dayhike to Horseshoe Mesa and then 7 days of backpacking. The 7 days encompassed a Rim to Rim to Rim trip that included the entire length of the Kaibab Trails, a side trip along the Clear Creek Trail from Bright Angel Campground, then several days out via the Bright Angel, West Tonto and Hermit Trails, including a side trip to Granite Rapids.
Follow the itinerary with Bill's pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/112694911539228438537/West2009GrandCanyonByBillCollins?authuser=0&feat=directlink
August, 2009 Maine hike - Bob, Tom and Gene backpacked the Grafton Loop Trail which uses the AT between Old Speck and Baldpate (4 days). Then we hiked on the AT north from Rt. 4 in the so-called High Peaks Region of Western Maine (6 days). After Katahdin, this is the best and most challenging mountain scenery in Maine.
October 2008 Grand Canyon Hike - October 23 – 28 (Dave, Gene and Barry) After parking our cars at Indian Hollow Campground we went cross-country to Sowats Point. We went down Jumpup Canyon the Kanab Creek's slot canyon to the Colorado River. Then up along the Colorado to and up the Deer Creek and other trails back to the campground and our cars. On the way up we took a side trip to the Thunder River spring.
After doing the Kanab-Colorado-Deer Creek loop we did a 3 day hike down the North Kaibab trail from the North rim to Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground. We dropped our backpacks at the campground and went part way up the south side on South Kaibab Trail. The next day we took it easy (Barry and Dave hiked some side trails) and hiked part way back up the North side to Cottonwood Campground and back up to North Rim the next day.
Pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/genewhit/Kaibab#
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