Thursday, October 25, 2007

National Geographic names Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures as One of the Top 10 Best Hiking and Trekking Outfitters on the Planet.


October 25, 2007--Telluride, Colo.

National Geographic Adventure Magazine named the Telluride, Colorado-based tour operator and guide service, Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures, as one of the Top 10 Best Hiking and Trekking Outfitters on the Planet, in their November 2007 feature, “Best Outfitters on Earth.”

According to National Geographic Adventure Magazine, "Trekking's most dramatic landscapes-the mountains and desert, are where this company excels." They add, "Clients enjoy cushy accommodations at the beginning and end of each trail. In between, it's wilderness all the way."

Ryder-Walker provides inn-to inn hiking tours and treks throughout the mountainous regions of Western Europe. They also provide local backcountry guiding and instruction at their home base in Telluride, Colo.

N.G. surveyed more than 200 outfitters in their feature story, "Best Outfitters on Earth," and gave them a score from 1 to 100 in each of the following four categories: education, sustainability, quality of service, and spirit of adventure. Researchers then contacted client references for every company surveyed and generated a fifth score, also between 1 and 100. Ryder-Walker scored 91.7 for client satisfaction based on customer feedback.

National Geographic went further and categorized each outfitter based on their specialty. Hiking and trekking was Ryder-Walker's specialty and their score of almost 90 out of 100 for all of the categories combined, landed them within the top ten best hiking and trekking outfitters on the planet.

“We’re extremely pleased by this designation,” said Peter Walker, CEO and founder of Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures. “Now we just need to take it a step further and strive for the ultimate number one position. In fact, we’ve already improved upon the sustainability category now that we’re purchasing carbon offsets. We’re trying to make every round-trip flight to Europe carbon neutral for 2008.”

National Geographic recently launched an online database of all 160 outfitters that received overall scores of 80 or higher. The database includes the same review information published in the magazine, plus advanced search engine features allowing prospective travelers to plan their trips by activity, destination, price range and more. Visit ngadventure.com/ratings to read Ryder-Walker's review and view the scores. Just enter the search phrase, “Ryder-Walker,” or pick up a copy of the November 2007 issue.

National Geographic also highlighted the Engadine Trek as Ryder-Walker's signature tour. You can read more about our signature tour, at our website, ryderwalker.com. Just click on "Engadine Trek" or contact Ryder-Walker for more details.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shine the Green Light: We're Striving to Make Every Trip to Europe Carbon Neutral.


An avid traveler often faces some tough choices concerning the environment. While it's true that traveling helps breaks down cultural barriers and opens a window of education and enlightenment, it often does so at a detriment to the environment. Just a simple round-trip flight to Europe for example, burns fossil fuels and dumps enormous amounts of pollutants and climate-changing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; and that's just the start. A conscious traveler would look beyond the jet fuel and the CO2 and consider all of the resources that go into sustaining each person when they travel, but things can get really depressing really fast. What do we do? That's been the big question at Ryder-Walker.

For 2008, Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures hopes to make every round-trip flight from the U.S. to Europe as Carbon Neutral as possible. We've already purchased 300 Green Tags, (approximately 420,000 lbs worth of offset greenhouse gas emissions), from the Bonneville Environmental Institute. Please visit: www.b-e-f.org and www.greentags.org for more detailed information.

The Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization, sells carbon offsets as renewable energy certificates, which it calls Green Tags, to replace traditional polluting sources of electricity with clean, secure, and sustainable renewable sources of energy that come from solar and wind power from across North America. In short, one Green Tag is produced each time a unit of electricity is generated from renewable sources, like solar, wind and biomass. We figure that one round trip from New York to Zurich generates about 4200 lbs of CO2 per person, or three Green Tags.

The good news is that when you travel with Ryder Walker, you can take comfort in the fact that we're doing everything we can to make your trip as carbon-neutral as possible based on the data and the technology that's available today. This is just a small step but we believe that it's a necessary one.

Some other initiatives at Ryder-Walker:



Alternative Transportation
Seventy-Five Percent of our office staff commmute by methods other than the automobile. The most frequent modes of transport at RW are bicycling, walking and telecommuting.






Hybrid Technology
Our Founder and CEO, Peter Walker, uses a Toyota Prius anytime driving is required.

Recycling
The old standby. We've been doing it for years.

These are just small steps but like Ben Franklin once mused, "Little strokes fell great oaks." If you have any ideas that might help us to shine the green light a little brighter then please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Environment: One topic, many voices.


Monday, October 15th is “Blog Action Day” and bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. More than 10,000 blogs (with 7 million readers) have already signed up, and every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. The goal is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Ryder-Walker jumped on board, and we’ll be talking about the various initiatives that we’ve taken to try and clean up after ourselves with hopes that we might preserve a little corner of goodness in this world that we cherish so deeply. So join us on Monday, and if you have your own blog, then get in on the action. You can find a comprehensive list of participants, and more information, at blogactionday.org/

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

more eye candy

This is what the Jungfrau region looks like at the end of August. Our thanks to Mark Saurer and Kristi Jahn for sending this image. We always enjoy good views so please send us your photos if you find something worth sharing.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rifugio Prarayer


People often ask us, "What's the "hut" like? Take a look at the second picture and note the espresso machine. Do you also see the collection of liqueurs above the bar? These are not AMC huts.

It's no surprise that this is one of our favorite stops along the Italian High Route.