Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quick Tip: Dry your trekking poles.

Pull your trekking poles apart and let everything dry following a particularly rainy hike. Performing this simple maintenance will help to prevent the barrel adjustment screw from corroding like the one in this photo.

Once the screw corrodes, the barrel adjuster freezes and your poles neither expand nor collapse. Some newer poles appear immune to this problem, but it never hurts to be on the safe side.

If you don't feel like completely dismantling your poles, at least expand them and give everything a quick wipe down before putting them away. Doing this, even with new poles, also affords the opportunity to visually inspect your sticks to ensure they're in good working order for your next hike.

See you on the trail!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Music is in the Air!



If you happen to start, or finish, one of our hiking tours around Saas Fee, then be sure to check out the International Alpine Music Festival. Attention Hiker's Haute Route and Swiss Haute Route guests; THIS MEANS YOU.

This year’s 12th annual International Alpine Music Festival takes place in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, a mountain-ringed village also known as the “Pearl of the Alps”, from July 9-12, 2009.

The emphasis of this year's festival is "Folk music for, and by, folk musicians".
There will be dancing and entertainment evenings as well as different performances on the village square. The entire village of Saas-Fee becomes a stage, and different Swiss folk music bands will perform outside a number of restaurants from Friday through Sunday.

Do something fun and unique during your trip. Experience storybook Switzerland in a true storybook village.

Please contact us for more details.


Image courtesy of www.saas-fee.ch

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our 25th Year Officially Begins


It's pictures like this one, of the people that we meet along the trail, that remind us of the many reasons that we do what we do.

Ryder Walker guides Ken Fuhrer and Mike Thurk sent me a celebratory message this morning. "Ryder-Walker's 25th anniversary guided hiking season has officially begun in Europe!"

Indeed it has. Our Italian Dolomites Trek departed this morning and marked the first guided hiking trip to depart in Europe this summer.

Please join us as we raise our glass to 25 extraordinary years of adventure both in the U.S. and abroad. We couldn't have done it without our guests, so to everyone that accompanied us throughout the years, we salute you.

Please drop us a note, and tell us about your most memorable moment with Ryder-Walker.

Here's to many more!

Photo by Ken Fuhrer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Using the iphone to curb Global Warming?

Using the iphone to help protect Europe's vast, melting Glacier System. What an interesting and modern world we live in. Click here to read more.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gear Review: Petzl TacTikka Plus


I always feel like a secret agent when I don my TacTikka Plus headlamp from Petzl. It’s the red flip filter that separates this LED powered lamp from other conventional torches.

My wife originally gave me this headlamp so that I could hike, camp, and participate in other outdoor activities at night without drawing too much attention to myself. I quickly discovered, however, that the TacTikka Plus offers benefits to our hiking tour guests as well.

If you have any hut stays along your tour that require bunk style accommodation then you’ll love the red “secret agent” filter built into this lamp. We always recommend a head lamp for hut stays, and this one is perfect for fumbling around during the middle of the night without disturbing your sleeping neighbors. Originally designed for hunting, fishing, and sailing, the red filter ensures discreet lighting when you need it most. Just alternate between white or red light simply by moving the pivoting filter over the LEDs . This lamp is super compact and lightweight so it’s also easy to throw into a daypack. Be careful though, it’s so small that you might lose it in an obscure coat pocket.

Some of the features of this lamp include:
  • Four LEDs instead of three: Making it 80% brighter than the old Tikka and offering more even lighting without blank spots in the beam.
  • Compact size: Not much larger than the small batteries that power it; Tactikka weighs a mere 2.75 ounces.
  • 3 brightness settings: Maximum, optimum, economy, and a blinking mode (for conserving battery power or for signaling the user's location).
  • Long light duration: Up to 150 hours
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Water-resistant for all-weather use.
  • Ergonomically designed, comfortable to wear elastic headband.
  • Pivoting light housing: Beam can be aimed where needed.
  • Powered by 3 AAA / LR03 batteries (included)
I’ve had my TacTikka for 5 months now and I’ve tested it while hiking, camping, snowboarding, cycling, and more. I’ve used it in rain, sleet, cold and snow, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Petzl upgraded the switch on this new TacTikka, and I like it much better than the old one. The entire unit also feels tighter and more durable.

The blinking option has been great when I forget my normal bike blights, and the red filter allows me to read until the wee hours of the morning without waking my wife. Interestingly, the red light also feels easier on my eyes. My only concern is that I might accidentally break off the red filter while it’s in the down position, but this hasn't happened yet.

In all, I give the TacTikka Plus two thumbs up, even if for those that aren't aspiring secret agents.

Suggested Retail: $44.95

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another Satisified Guest

(One of our guests recently offered the following recommendation to a prospective customer.)

"Do you have an ELEVEN on your scale, because that is my rating of all of the trips I have done with Peter. He is an extremely knowledgeable individual in all aspects of mountaineering and taking impeccable care of his clients. He, and his incredible team of guides, have a knack for getting us to places that Americans just don’t get to. These adventures have been researched on foot and distilled down from a huge number of choices, so you’re getting the very best in terrain, accommodations, and a great balance between a good, solid day on the trail, and a 5 star experience at the end of the trail.

No, I’m not on the payroll, but I am enthusiastic about Peter and his operation and look forward to many more adventures with him in the future."

Cheers,
John

(John. Thank you from the entire staff at Ryder-Walker! You've been a pleasure to hike to with. We look forward to many more trips with you.)