6 months to walk anywhere!

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6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby tom_b » Wed 31 May, 2017 7:26 pm

Hi guys,

I was hoping to pick some of your brains to help answer a very fortunate problem I have!

I am going to have the opportunity next year to dedicate a significant portion of it (around 6 months) to complete a thru hike. I haven't completed one before, but I have walked the AAWT.

Basically, if you could walk anywhere in the world for 6 months (preferably a thru hike), where would you go and why?

I am leaning toward the AT simply because of its name, and the ease of logistical planning. Food drops (and collecting) for the AAWT was a significant task and I think funding and doing that overseas would be a challenge in and of itself.

Let me know what you think!
Tom
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby crollsurf » Wed 31 May, 2017 8:05 pm

Via Dinarica would be high on my list
https://trail.viadinarica.com/en/
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Suz » Wed 31 May, 2017 9:18 pm

The Red Trail... http://www.via-alpina.org/en/page/237/the-red-trail because Europe is the bomb.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Al M » Thu 01 Jun, 2017 2:03 am

If not a thru hike perhaps a series of them in particular regions like Nepal Everest Base Camp including Gokyo Valley, Three Passes and a Treking Peak, from Jiri town last bus stop and back (30 days) or exit via other routes all mostly self guided. Then recharge for a week in Kathmandu before going back out to the 21 day Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary self guided, recuperate in Pokhara town and then Kangchenjunga Mountains for another 24 days but need guided support.

The India Ladakh region has numerous long treks but more guided and supported walks.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby oldmanwalking » Thu 01 Jun, 2017 8:12 am

The Te Araroa is definitely worth doing.....https://www.teararoa.org.nz/

Just a thought,,,!
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby norts » Thu 01 Jun, 2017 8:22 am

I am biased but having done both the AT and PCT , I would recommend them both.
It also depends when your 6 months window is.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby biggbird » Thu 01 Jun, 2017 4:14 pm

As Norts said, it will depend on when your walking window is, but if I could do one of the US thru walks, I would pick either the PCT or the CDT. Both look more appealing to me than the AT, as they seem to have more big mountain scenery. The logistics would be a little harder, particularly on the CDT from the sound of it, but it looks worth it.

Otherwise you could always spend 6 months in a place like South America. You could work out some sort of Andean traverse using the old Inca road system. You could also consider doing the Great Himalayan Traverse, for something different. Pretty good problem to have indeed ;)
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby tom_b » Fri 02 Jun, 2017 6:59 pm

Awesome thanks for all your input guys! I can pretty much take the 6 months in the first or second half of the year which really spoils me for choice! It is either the first semester of uni, or the second semester.

It sounds like I might get better bang/buck by designing my own route combining the best bits of lots of places. However it might also be nice to do an 'official' route. I think I need to sit down and really think about what I want from that time, and but more specific than just hiking as different trails offer different things!
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby tom_b » Fri 02 Jun, 2017 7:04 pm

What do you think would be the main difference doing a thru hike in America, vs Europe, vs Nepal? I think they would all be quite different experiences.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby norts » Fri 02 Jun, 2017 7:52 pm

Your timings arent great for a complete thru hike of the big 3 in the USA,
You really need to take your 6 months from about Apr to Sep. The AT is probably the most flexible , you can start a bit earlier on it but it would depend on how bad the winter is.


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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby tom_b » Fri 02 Jun, 2017 8:55 pm

Yeah I know it's not ideal if I were to have a March 1 start. I would need to be back by the end of July (5 months) which would potentially add time pressure (to finish at least). I suspect I would naturally finish faster than that anyway but hiking the AAWT under time pressure really changed the experience.

If worse comes to worst I can just take the whole year off if I really decided I wanted to do one of the American trails.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Mark F » Sun 04 Jun, 2017 3:13 pm

You could consider the many long distance european trails. They are referenced with an E designator and usually combine trails from various countries. For example the E2 is an extension of the GR5 (France) which runs north through Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and UK. The logistics are usually simple as you pass though a village on an almost daily basis and guide books are usually available.

I did the E2 from Hoek van Holland to Menton (not the standard Nice finish) in 2004 and took a bit over 100 days. You start about 1 May and reach the Alps as the high passes open up after winter.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby ofuros » Sun 04 Jun, 2017 7:16 pm

Asian options...Nature Trails in Japan or the Baekdu-Daegan in South Korea although that one maybe a bit short for you.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Al M » Tue 06 Jun, 2017 12:33 am

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tom_b wrote:What do you think would be the main difference doing a thru hike in America, vs Europe, vs Nepal? I think they would all be quite different experiences.


Weather wise Nepal is best from late Sept to late Nov and then March to May but the monsoon starts soon after. March may not be enough time to fit in all three including EBC region, Annurpanas and Kanchenjunga as the monsoon approaches.

I did some of the popular treks 4-7 days each in S America but beyond that facilities, support and language isn't easy to DIY so it you may need to go with an expedition tour group. The section from Patogonia and Tierra del Fuego from the very bottom upwards for 2000km is completely wild and uninhabitted and mostly inaccessible.

I havn't done much in Europe and N America, but to be completely honest once you experience the Nepal region massive scale, altitude at length of stay, vastness, interesting hill cultures, spirituality and support structures at extremely low cost (starting $30 per day self guided) and freedom, nothing compares. The downsides are greater risk of illness from altitude and diarrhoea from bad water but that can be mostly managed. Also, with the higher levels of trekker traffic it can be a very sociable event as you will meet up with lots of great people, mountain climbers and best of all the local people who live up to 4000m into the mountains. The physical mountain scale dwarfs anything to that of other continents, you could be walking a trail at 3-4km altitude, below is a river 3km vertically down and above is 3-4km+ peaks, valley systems 7km deep. You will also be able to see four 8000m mountains in the EBC region of which there are only 14 in the world. The other region you will experience similar scale is in Pakistan around K2 but the support and security is not as good and you will need to join a trekking tour group, no DIY self guided.

In addition, any half decent independent minded hiker can quite easily self guide a trek so the style of trekking in the supported Nepal trekking areas staying in tea houses, means you can get away with pretty much total freedom, in relative safety with a lightish pack of around 10-12kg and without heavy gear. No need for tent, stove, extra water and food supplies etc if that's what you like to do.

If you manage to do all three Nepal treks you will have seen about half of the worlds highest iconic mountains above 8000m if that is of interest (Mt Everest 8848m & Lhotse 8516m within an 8000m ridge that obscures most of Everest, Makalu 8485m & Cho Oyu 8188m both in the vicinity of Everest; Dhaulagiri 8167m & Annapurna 8091m in Annapurna region and Kangchenjunga 8585m to the east, plus heaps of sub 8000m peaks just shy of that around 7500m plus.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby tom_b » Fri 09 Jun, 2017 9:07 pm

Awesome thank you so much for all the replies everyone. I think it is going to be Te Araroa this year and hopefully Nepal next year!
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby oldmanwalking » Fri 09 Jun, 2017 9:13 pm

Great choice.....in my humble opinion....enjoy.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Suz » Sun 11 Jun, 2017 5:07 pm

Omg now I really want to go to Nepal...
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Lizzy » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 7:59 am

Did you read 'Wired's' blog on the Te Aroroa? It sounds like a lot of road bashing on the North Island if you are a purerist or a lot of hitching if not.... while the idea of a thru hike appeals I think if it were me I'd just go do all the wonderful tramps over there that I have my eye on. Anyway it depends on what you are after.

It's been 20 years since I went to Nepal but I spent a couple of months solo tea house trekkking the Annapurna Circuit & Sancturay and also the Gokyo Lakes in the Everest region. spectacular and wonderful areas!!!
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby oldmanwalking » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 9:11 am

Hi Lizzy and tom.b

There are alternatives to some of the road walking sections on the North Island, but you need very good navigation skills to do them.

A trawl of the posts in the TA Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/26638669574/ will throw up a few different options I'm sure.

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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby Al M » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 9:09 pm

tom_b wrote:Awesome thank you so much for all the replies everyone. I think it is going to be Te Araroa this year and hopefully Nepal next year!


NZ is great, gentle beech forests, giant ferns and crystal clear mountain streams and endless hut routes.

My first trip to Nepal was when I was 22 backpacking for 18 months in 1986 starting from Bali, island hopping thru to Sumatra, across to SEA, over to Nepal for 3months of trekking. After returning to Oz via Africa, Europe, Trans-Siberian and Hong Kong. The one section I could never get out of my mind was trekking Nepal and the near freedom of a tea house trek self guided carrying own pack.

Since that time I have been back 4 more times to do EBC & Gokyo Valley always from the last bus stop in the hills starting from Jiri town. Nowadays most Trekkers do it through flying to Lukla and out and miss the classic approach route in beautiful lower valleys and places and climatactic buildup to the end point of EBC. The entire journey matters, not just getting to EBC.

Another suggested extended route in the EBC region is to exit via Shivalaya that adds another few weeks eastwards and bus it back to Kathmandu from there. Within that also try the 3 Passes route hopping between the 3 valleys in the EBC region (passes between Chukung, EBC, Gokyo and Namche) rather than up down around under each valley system. There is a good account of this in this forum at: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=18789

I've trekked EBC region both March and October and my preference is the latter as the monsoon rains clean the place up and the atmosphere is generally much clearer from wood burning haze etc and the ground less dusty.
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Re: 6 months to walk anywhere!

Postby jimmeyer176 » Sun 02 Jul, 2017 12:51 am

Learn about Lyme Disease before heading to the AT, I grew up 100 miles from ground zero, Lyme, CT. it's reaching alarming levels and there are new strands now.
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