54, in love with the world. Fell in love with Nepal. Then Iran. Now? ....
Where to next?

2016 Bibbulmun Track End to End 1050km in my home state. UPDATE 13/4/19- IT"S FINISHED!!!!!!!!!

2017- Well, that'd be the USA again then Mongolia.
Update- Mongolia is to be shelved for yet another year. Instead there is a wedding to attend in Edinburgh- but first, The West Highland Way to be walked.

2018 - Tajikistan is calling

Update- Tajikistan indeed did call, as did Kyrgyzstan. It was amazing - a 23 day 2500 km Fann Mountains/Pamir Highway Odyssey then amazing trekking in the Tien Shan. Blog hasn't even started!

2019 - Pakistan is in the pipeline

Update- Pakistan was incredible- K2/Gondogoro La Trek and the Hunza/Upper Hunza. Also took in Xinjiang Province through the Khunjerab Pass. The blog???? OMG, I have no idea when I can write it up (see above re Tajikistan).

"They do say that there is a thing called mountain exhilaration, that when in high places a strange elation seizes one; akin to ecstasy or madness."
-Han Suyin

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Augusta December 29th 2019

As was the case last year on enforced holidays over the Xmas break I needed to find somewhere to go for a multi-day hike, but where? I looked at a lot of places overseas (prohibitively expensive for just a week) and then over east- Kangaroo Island, Great Ocean Way or anything at all in Tassie, but travelling east was also really, really expensive (Perth to Hobart was about $1200 return!!!!). Then there were widespread fires across almost the entire east coast so it was definitely out. So, resigned to the fact that I would self implode, I got very lucky - a weather window of opportunity opened up for doing the Cape to Cape again- highest temp for the week was predicted to be 27C - bearable. Once again it only took a day or so ... read more
Sign In Ledger
After The Rain

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 22nd 2019

Day 23 Sleeping in Khaplu (2601m) Tour 2- North Pakistan Adventure is to commence today. I email conversed with a few companies but ultimately went with Iman Rahim from Snow Leopard Tours in Melbourne. We went back and forth to eventually come up with an itinerary and costing that we were happy with. Bottom line- private tour for 2 for 14 days with guide, driver, all meals (bar lunch), decent car and all transport, all entry fees and accommodation for USD $1235 each. This would cover Skardu-Khaplu-Machulo Village-Deosai National Park-Rama Lake-Fairy Meadow Trek-Gilgit-Hunza-Karimabad- Ganesh Village-Hopper valley-Gulmit-Ghulkin Glacier Trek- Borith Lake-Passu-Shimshal Village-Sost -border crossing into China (Tashkurgan) .... phew! Iman was easy to deal with, we were on almost the same time zone, all of the correspondence was professional and detailed and it was easy to make ... read more
Military Hospital
Garden At Snowland Guesthouse

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 21st 2019

The previous Pakistan blog posts are day to day events. If you don't want to bother with those then just read this one. The photos in the blog posts are awesome though so you may want to take a look. If there are any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Any comments? I really like to read feedback (I don't seem to get much). Trek Company Snowland Treks, Tours and Expeditions K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La Trek Snowland's Blurb This challenging trek gives great views of four 8,000m peaks and is thought by many to be one of the best high mountain treks in the world. Some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes on earth are found in the vast, rugged Karakoram Range situated in North... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 21st 2019

Sleeping at:Skardu Day: 22 Slept OK, it was strange having more noise around again- the sounds that villages produce, roosters, calls to prayer, continued coughing noises and more artificial light (the camp area light was shining bright all night). We have our final breakfast together- the food has been replenished- granola is back, honey is back, NUTELLA is back! Say goodbye to Juma, Danny and Lynton before finding our jeeps. I feel for them having to go straight back onto the trail again without a single day off. Their new buddies will be fresh and dying to get going. It has been decided that we will be going back with the Irish group so we get divied up accordingly- I'm travelling with Ali the horseman, the Irish group's guide (can't remember his name), Anthony and Mary. ... read more
Little Bit Of Clearing
Apricot Fest

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 20th 2019

Sleeping at: Askole Sleeping Altitude: 3000m Trekking Distance: 35km Day: 21 Last day of trekking. We are on the trail by 06:30 in order to cover the 35km back into Askole. It's cool and perfect for hiking. Very flat patches interspersed with climbs, same path that we took on the way in but still totally awesome. Body is feeling good, have lost some weight and we're losing altitude quite quickly. We meet quite a few people heading up and down to various points - lots of Pakistani students and a couple of groups (looking like we did at the beginning of our trek- clean but sweaty and out of breath). Ashan, Lynton and I take a break at Johla which is deserted bar a couple of young guys and an Italian girl. She tells us that ... read more
Final Morning Pack Up
Still Getting Red In The Face
Easy Section

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 19th 2019

Sleeping at: Bardumal Sleeping Altitude: 3305m Trekking Distance: 27.6km Day: 21 On the trail by 06:45, overcast but not really cold. We are taking an alternative route this morning back through the glacier as the conditions with the glacial rivers have changed (according to the porter grapevine), the first part is pretty easy and flat-ish through a big sandy, riverbed like area. We reach a network of riverlets and decisions are required to find the best part of this network to cross. Gen, Anthony and Danny are ahead and all get across having stripped off shoes and socks and pants- they are up to their mid thighs (Gen a bit deeper, he isn't the tallest of guys). Ashan is with Lynton, Ian and I and thinks we should walk further around to find a narrower section. ... read more
Towering Columnar Rocks
River Crossing

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 18th 2019

Sleeping at: Khoburche Sleeping Altitude: 3830m Trekking Distance: 21.6km Day: 20 Unbelievable the difference a day makes. The sun is back out and it's looking like a beautiful day to be out there. Only 21 km to do today and we're losing significant altitude- piece of cake- hahahahahaha..... Feeling energised again. Breakfast is cornflakes and pancakes (!) and a never ending jar of nutella, there also seems to be a never ending assortment of lurid orangey-yellow tropical fruit jams but the pictures on the label always have a mango so they are off limits for me- although they would probably be ok, I suspect the fruit jams don't actually contain fruit. I secrete away a pancake into my lunch size dry bag-still in the habit of packing half of my breakfast away for later. Gulp down ... read more
Beautiful Morning Views
Packing, Packing, Packing

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 17th 2019

Sleeping at: Goro II Sleeping Altitude: 4380m Trekking Distance: 26.4km - YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT - 26.4km Day: 19 It's a heavy cloud, heavy atmosphere morning. There is still a lot of discussion about going over the pass even at this time of the morning. Traditionally you leave in the early hours of the morning because it is a 10 hour day and you want to be over the difficult sections before any risk of the sun thawing snow and avalanche ensuing. We watch the group that tried to leave earlier come back in. There is great disappointment within my group, but on a personal level I am glad that we are making the decision to be safe, especially when it is not just us but the health and safety of the porters that were ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 16th 2019

Sleeping at: Ali Camp Sleeping Altitude: maybe 4800m, maybe 5000m Trekking Distance: 12 km Day: 18 The sky is blue, the sun is out and today we are heading to Ali Camp. We have a last breakfast as a whole group- Danny, Gen, Lynton, Anthony, Ian and myself are proceeding with Juma and some of our porters. Mary, Chisato, Fernando and the horses are staying another night at Concordia in the hope that the helicopter will pick up Chisato and Fernando today, if not they will proceed back towards Askole on horseback. Chisato can now weight bear on her ankle but obviously can't walk any distance or climb and jump down from rocks as we have on the way up here. Originally the plan had been that Mary would leave today with the horses, Ali, the ... read more
Scree and Ice
Walking Up and Over Ice Hill

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Gilgit-Baltistan August 15th 2019

Sleeping at: Concordia (Rest Day) Sleeping Altitude: 4590m Trekking Distance: 18.7 km Day: 17 There were 2 big events today, the first reduced our party by 2 members, the 2nd could have taken out 2 more of us... Event 1 happened within an hour or so of leaving Concordia enroute to Broad Peak base Camp (4600m). Chisato, Fernando, Anthony, Gen, Danny, Lynton, Juma, Ishpak (our kitchen porter) and I left at 0700, we picked our way along the moraine, the French group were ahead of us so we watched their progress with interest. Juma chose a similar route to them, reading the safest way to traverse a non existent trail. It wasn't massively difficult but you had to set carefully due to the ice and moving rocks. After we had cleared some challenging parts of the ... read more
Glacier Moraine
Cloud Lifting

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