Monday, July 28, 2014

Mid Summer (and Above the Clouds) in the Alps



There are basically three types of hiking in the Alps.

1. Hiking below tree line.
2. Hiking above tree line.
3. Hiking above the clouds. 

The first two categories are straightforward. Experiencing the third category, however, requires a special blend of weather, timing and geography. Fortunately for our guests, the last two weeks have been exceptional for getting above the clouds. 

In the first photo, our group of 14 hikers enjoyed ethereal views while descending the famous GR10 long distance hiking trail on our Pays Basque and Pyrénées Trek. The photo shows the stretch of trail between the Refuge Bayssellance and the village of Gavarnie, France in the Haute Pyrénées. Situated at 2,651 meters, the Refuge Bayssellance (our home for one night) is the highest hut in the Pyrénées. The time was 8:20 am when we shot this photo. 


In the second photo, Ryder-Walker trip leader Dave Gruss pauses above the Lunghinsee, a dramatically situated mountain lake in the Engadine region of eastern Switzerland. The Lunghinsee, (Lac de Lunghin in French) sits at 2,484 meters—just 300 meters shy of the summit of the Piz Lunghin (2,780 meters). The Piz Lunghin is a very popular climb on our Engadine Trek and Engadine Summit Series hikes. (Image by Mike Thurk.) 


The third photo puts the splendor of central Switzerland's Berner Oberland on center stage. Ryder-Walker trip leader Babsi Glanznig shot this photo of her guests on top of the Schilthorn (2,970 meters). In the distance you can see the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. The Schilthorn makes a nice addition to the Eiger Trail or any of our self-guided Berner Oberland hikes.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Superhuman in Austria or....?



Superhuman, or a master of quantum physics? Only Tucker, a recent guest on our Heart of Austria hiking tour, can explain how he appeared in two places at the same time.

Note: This image is not photoshopped.

Ryder-Walker guide Daniel Sundqvist shot this photo of Tucker on July 4th in the Alps above Hallstätt, Austria. According to Daniel, "I lined up my shot, pressed the button, and the next thing I knew, there were two Tuckers waving flags on my screen. Granted, Tucker is a fast hiker, so it is possible that he ran between both locations within a nano second. Or, he warped space time to work in his favor."

Either way, Tucker's pose with the American flag in the Austrian Alps made for a great Independence Day photo. We hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!