Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo of the Day: View From the Grand Teton

This is yesterday's view from the summit of the Grand Teton in Wyoming. At an elevation of 4,199 meters, the Grand Teton is the high point of Wyoming's Teton Range. The Grand Teton is a particularly pleasing peak to look at, and it's a fun climb, which makes it a favorite of mountain climbers from around the world.

Ryder-Walker guide Porter Teegarden put on a big smile when she reached the summit. She and veteran trip leader Daniel Sundqvist accessed the Grand Teton via the Exum Ridge. The conditions were perfect, as you can see from the photo.

Now it's back to Europe. Daniel leads our Hiker's Haute Route on July 5th.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Every Day is Bike to Work Day!

June is Bike Month for the state of Colorado, but for the staff at Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures, EVERY day is Bike To Work Day.

This is Peter Walker's bike parked in front of the office yesterday. Peter uses his bike to commute to work, to run errands around town, and to carry much needed office supplies including, but not limited to, bubble wrap.

Truth be told, we feel quite guilty about using bubble wrap. It's not the most environmentally friendly product on the planet, but it's better than packing peanuts, and it's fun to pop! It's also the best thing we've found to ensure that your expertly assembled tour materials arrive unblemished. When we find something better, we'll definitely use it. Any eco-friendly ideas out there?

In the meantime, our bikes help to mitigate some of our "bubble guilt."

In Peter Walker's own words, "Bubble wrap is not perfect in environmental soundness. But factor in that this bubble wrap traveled nine miles and over 1200 vertical feet to get to the Ryder Walker office. (on my Salsa Vaya Titanium XBike)!"

Transporting the bubble wrap by bike is one step closer to something we call, "bubble neutral."

Side note: This is a much smaller load than what Peter normally carries. You can usually find him with tour packages stacked 18 inches tall, a load of groceries, and a much larger roll of bubble wrap.

When I asked him about the small load he replied, "They only had a half roll at Mailboxes. I feel cheated."

He didn't really feel cheated, of course. We never feel cheated when we get to ride our bikes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Your Best Mountain Photos Ever: Photo and Film Classes in Chamonix, France

Here’s an idea. Register for the Adventure Photo School, running August 20-23, 2012 in Chamonix, France, then use your new found skills to grab some awesome shots during your self guided Tour du Mont Blanc or Hiker’s Haute Route. Both hiking tours begin in Chamonix, France, which make this year’s Chamonix Adventure Festival and accompanying photo courses an easy add on.

This year’s Chamonix Adventure Festival takes place August 20-26, 2012. There’s an initial one-day workshop on August 20, which lays the groundwork for improving your photography, followed by the three-day Adventure Photo School covering everything from equipment and composition to post production. Take the one-day workshop as a standalone course, or use it as a primer for the more advanced three-day course.

How awesome would it be to take outdoor photography classes in Chamonix and then apply your skills during your ensuing hike!

What about aspiring film makers?

There’s a course for you too! The three-day Adventure Film School runs during the same peroid and focuses on movie making skills from novice to expert. Award-winning outdoor filmmaker Paul Diffley, together with local Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, will offer tips, tricks and practial information for filmmaking on and off camera. What better place to dabble in movie making, (or hone your skills), than in the spectacular mountain setting surrounding Chamonix.

Let us know if you’re interested in attending the festival and/or the accompanying courses. We can help you plan your hiking tour around these dates.

Get more information on the Chamonix Adventure Festival and courses at:

Image: Chamonix's famous glacier, the Mer de Glace, snakes its way down from Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photo of the Day: Ireland's Beautiful Beaches

THIS is what hiking in Ireland is all about! Longtime Ryder-Walker family member Jon Moyer shot this image while hiking Ireland's Dingle Peninsula.

Beach walks are part of western Ireland's charm. That's Mount Brandon in the distance, Ireland's second highest mountain at 952 meters, (3,123 feet). 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Rockslide Closes Swiss Railway Line to Italy

Thinking about visiting Italy after your Swiss hiking tour? Doing a little sightseeing in Ticino? What about entering Switzerland from Lake Como or Milan? Check this out:

The Gotthard railway line, the main north-south axis through the Swiss Alps, will be shut down for at least one month after a landslide damaged the track near Gurtnellen in canton Uri.

Affected connections include the international line from Zurich and Basel to Milan, Italy.

Other routes to Italy remain open.

Those leaving Zurich can transfer to buses to get around the accident site, though travelers should expect to arrive at their destinations up to 90 minutes later than usual.

The railway line from Brig, Switzerland to Domodossola, Italy (through the Simplon Tunnel), remains open, as does the scenic bus line from St. Moritz.

Read more about the landslide here.

Please give us a shout if you think this affects your travel itinerary. We can help with your plans.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Photo of the Day: Raking Hay


We pause. 

A woman rakes hay in traditional dress.
The warm sun beats down on a slate rooftop. 
A smell of aged pine and cut grass permeates. 
Gentle breezes descend from the snow and ice covered peaks.
We feel the coolness on our cheeks.

We hike onward.