007. Section 04. The Rough Climb to the Polar Plateau. 86-88 Degrees South.
008. Section 05. Across the Polar Plateau to the South Pole. 88-90 Degrees South.
The Pacific Crest Trail starts at the Southern Terminus on the Mexican Border by Campo and heads north along the spine of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges through California, Oregon and Washington for 2656 Miles to Manning Park in Canada.
01. My sledge from a previous trip in the Kebnekaise area with the pass beteen Tjaktastugan and Nallostugan cabins in the distance. From April 2008.
02. The hot desert was blessed with abundant rainfall in the winter 2016/17 allowing plants to flower like this Chaparral Yucca
03. The climb up from the first night’s camp at Hauser Creek. One had to get going early and get some miles done before the fearsome heat of midday sun kicked in around 1100
04. The view of Morena Lake on the second day. There was a small store in the village beside the lake which served breakfasts.
05. The Chaparral is a California’s most extensive ecosystem and is characterised by tough woody shrubs and succulents which tolerate a semi arid climate
The first section is the 700 miles of South California. It is often called the “Desert Section” but is more arid scrub than desert
07. My lightweight tent under the Ponderosa Pines at Mount Laguna on Day 3.
08. The glorious forests continued for another 5 miles to the north of Mount Laguna before the terrain dropped down into the Chaparral vegetation again
09. Coast Paintbrush grew in colourful tufts along the trail in between the Chaparral scrub bushes
10. A view from the crest of the ridge down to the desert on the east. This ridge causes the rain shadow which makes the desert so arid. It is into this furnace I will occasionally have to wander.
The Sierra Nevada Mountains are one of the highlights of the PCT 03. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are one of the highlights of the PCT
03. Day 2. Looking back down the Spey River Valley from Centre Pass
12. The prickly pear cactus was in bloom everywhere after a moist winter
14. Large Barrel Cactus have concertined sides allowing them to increase their water storing capacity when water is more plentiful
The North California mountains are smaller than the Sierras but are still wild and rugged
04. Going up Mikkajiegna glacier towards Sarek Stortoppen with Skåvatjåhkkå mountai, 1881m, in the distance and Alggavagge valley heading down to the right. From April 2008.
15. Beavertail Cactus were also flowering well after the bountiful winters rains
16. After 6 days i finally reach the 100 mile milestone. Today the desert was mercifullu overcast but the sweaty toil and desert dust of the previous week are engrained
18. The final descent to the old ranch at Warner Springs took one across grassland where the bulbous seedheads were flowing in the wind. The tough leaved Live Oak interspersed this drying pasture.
19. Just before Warner Springs the trail went past the remarkable Eagle Rock. An outcrop which was sculpted by natural forces only into a replica of an eagle.
047. Looking back to the north face of Heukuppe down which the Gamsecksteig descends
01. Hikers cross the extensive grasslands north of Warner Springs
The Oregon Landscape is dominated by massive volcanic mountains and occasional lakes, like Crater Lake pictured here
05. High up on the Mikkajiegna glacier looking south to the Båddejåhkkå, Balgattjåhkkå and Gådoktjåhkkå massifs which dominate the southern half of Sarek. From April 2008.
02. Climbing into the hills north of Warner Springs for the 40 mile crossing to Paradise Valley and the start of the San Jacinto Range
03. Looking south down to the extensive grasslands of Warner Springs.
05. A close up of a Beavertail cactus and flower
06. A family of Barrel Cactus whose concertined sides allow the cactus body to swell and store water. The flowers are on top.
The Cascade Mountains of Washing are wild and remote and often receive snowfalls in early October which may make the trail impassable
06. Looking south from the top of the Mikkajiegna glacier to the Båddejåhkkå, Balgattjåhkkå, both just over 2000m on the right and Gådoktjåhkkå, just under 2000m, on the left. From April 2008.
08. A Soaptree Yucca grows in clusters spreading from a single plant. The samll flowers grow in great spikes some 10 foot high.
09. On the thrid day of this section from Paradise Valley to Idyllwild the route parallels the highway 74 but keeps apart as it threads a path through pines and oak
10. Ocassionally the path from Paradise Valley to Idyllwild passes through a cultural landscape of small ranches where generally retired owners keeps horses
07. Day 3. Waterfall beside Loch Maree
07. A red fox at Mikka. With climate change and global warming the red fox is moving into areas previously solely occupied by the Arctic fox. In the background is Sarek Stortoppen and the Mikkajiegns Glacier. From April 2008.
01. Up on San Jacinto looking back to the Saddle with the Devil’s Slide on the right leading down to Idyllwild
02. Walking through the remnants of the snow amongst the venerable conifers on San Jacinto
05. The long 6000 foot descent from the Fuller Ridge down to the desert near Cabazon. In the distance is Whitewater and San Gorgonio Mountain for the future days
06. The 200 mile mark with the north face of San Jacinto in the background.
07. Cowboy camping on the edge of the desert with San Jacinto in the background
08. Morning sun illuminates San Jacinto as set off across the short desert to Whitewater
12. Hawfrost sparkling in the pine needles up at Mission Creek Camp just before I saw the bobcat
13. Looking across the pine forests to San Gorgonio Mountain, 11 503 feet.
14. The citadel like Mojave Yucca formed huge clumps on the dry eastern slopes overlooking the desert.
15. Looking south over Big Bear Lake to San Gorgonio Mountain.
16. One of the giant Coulter Pine cones. These trees grow among the similar Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines but favour and even drier climate
17. Mile 300 in Deep Canyon with avid hiker “Crash” waiting patiently in the background
12. The approach to Warbeth Beach was riddled with skerries. Sometimes the skerries lie dormant, but if a bigger set of waves come over they erupt into crashing surf. One should always look ahead to see where these skerries are and avoid the spot
19. The catchment of the Mojave Creek West Fork with Mt Baden Powell in the distance which is the highpoint of Section 04.
21. The flowers of the Dendromecon rigida or Bush Poppy.
22. Silverwood Lake at a quiet moment without the confusion of jet skis and powerboats. PCT hikers camped at Cleghorn Picnic area at the very west of the lake.
23. Blue walking under his umbrella on the way up to Cajon Pass. He maintained it was like walking in the shade
12. The view from Rifugio Tita Barba looking east. The pass is Forcella Scodavacca. In the valley between this pass and Rifugio Tita Barba lies Rifugio Padova hidden from view. Monte Cridola is on the left with the Monfalconi-Spalti di Toro range starting on the right
01. An evening view looking across the pastoral valley where the San Andreas fault runs
02. Up on the mountains to the west of Cajon Pass headingto Guffy Spring and Mount Baldy.
03. Walking along the conifer covered ridge above Wrightwood town.
04. Mount Baldy from the crest of the Blue Ridge
05. The final slopes up Mount Baden Powell were covered in Jeffery, Pinyon and then Limber Pines, which were still being watered by melting snowdrifts.
06. There were some really gnarly 1500 year old Limber Pines on the summit of Mount Baden Powell
09. Looking SW from the main Angeles Forest ridge down towards the urban areas of Los Angeles which are all submerged in the mist.
09. The curious parasitic growths which sustain themselves off the roots of conifers. I have seen these in Europe also.
10. Mile 400 was just before Glenn Camp. Jusr 2260 to go now.
13. A view from the ridge over the coastal range before the deacent to North Fork Ranger Station
14. Top’O under his umbrella in the Chaparral sun descending down to the campground at Acton KOA.
15. Day 6. Looking West from 1348 on Heath Mountains to Mt Solitary (right)
04. Wild cucumbers were draped over many of the Chaparral scrub bushes. The prickly fruit was moist with large seeds
05. A prime example of a Poodle dog bush by the Lake Hughes Road. It stood 6 foot high
08. The 500 mile mark. Many hikers that evening mentioned the Proclaimers
09. The Liebre Mountain Guzzler Tank was full of cool water to quench a hot climb. The water collected on the roof.
16. Day 6. Looking SE down the Gardner Burn from Peak 1348
11. The last of the Chaparral before the parched grasslands of the Mojave Desert. Crossing it and the arid mountains in the distance is the jist of the next section
02. Joshua Tree
18. Paddling down towards Tor Ness, the SW corner of Hoy
17. Day 6. Looking South from Peak 1348 in the heath mouhtains to Katheryn Peak with the Long Burn Valley in the distance
04. The scrub oak and pasture near Hamp Williams Pass
06. The Californian Gnat Wren in its nesting hole
07. The 600 mile mark near Robin Spring
19. A redshank at our camp spot by Cantick on the Island of South Walls
12. The hills north of Walker Pass were on the edge of the Mojave Desert.
14. Rugged landscape between Walker Pass and Chimney Creek
16. The Kern River near Kennedy Meadows. I had not seen such a natural abundance of water since starting
17. The 700 mile mark just before Kennedy Meadows.
02. Gulliemots nest on ledges. Here on on ledge on Noup Head with some clustered along the ledge. If an Skua attacks they all present their sharp beaks to deter the predator.
02. Incense cedars glowing in 5he morning light by Death Creek Canyon
Grams are Gods
02. Cona Glen House is a lairds house and the main house of the Cona Glen Estate.
03. My first campsite on the Cape Wrath Trail was a few km up Cona Glen beside a waterfall
04. Looking up Cona Glen across some of rhe pastures in the lower reaches. Deer and Highland Cows were grazing on these pastures
06. The middle reaches of Cona Glen boasted large indigenous Scots Pine forests. The Ardgour Scots Pines are a sub spieces to Normal Scots Pine
07. The upper reaches of Cona Glen are rugged. They are the realm of deer.
08. The renowned Glen Finnan aqueduct is over 100 years old. It recently shot to fame in the Harry Potter movies
10. Looking SW back down the rugged glen to the NE of Corryhully bothy from the pass over to Glen Pean
11. Looking back up the pass over to Corryhully and Glen Finnan from near where the side valley joins Glen Pean. The magnificent snow covered peak is Streap and we are looking at its north side
12. A’Chuil bothy lies near boggy ground on the edge of a planted forest in Glen Dessarry. It was an old shepherds house.
13. Towards the top of Glen Dessarry near the pass over to Loch Nevis and Sourlies bothy. There was a herd of deer grazing here
15. Sourlies bothy is a restored barn with a wonderful lochside location. It has sleeping platforms for 7 only in its only room
16. Looking down Loch Nevis from the estuary of the Carnach River
17. Wading the Carnach River is now necessary as the rickety bridge was removed. It is a somewhat hazardous feat when the river is in spate
19. From the top of the pass between Sourlies and Barrisdale bothies there is a great view over to Ladher Bheinn (Larven), the king of Knoydart.
20. Looking down to Barrisdale bay with Loch Hourn beyond.
22. Barrisdale bothy has a wonderful location but the bothy itself lacks charm.
23. Barrisdale bay lies on the south side of Loch Hourn. There are huge sand flats exposed at low tide making it a great place for waders and shore birds
26. The green fields of Morvich with the mountain above Sheil Bridge in the background
28. Looking up Glen Elchaig towards the farm at Carnach and Iron Lodge beyond that
31. Coming down through the natural regenerating forest to Achintee and Strathcarron with the head of Loch Carron
33. Mist and cloud consuming on of Scotlands most iconic mountains, namely Liathach. This photo, taken from the Ling Hut, does Liathach no justice
34. Looking west across the lochs and lochans to the north of Liathach and Ben Aligin mountains which rise to the left of the photo
36. The waterfall draining the lake in Coire Mhic Fearchair with the triple buttress looming above it. This was taken from my campsite
37. The crystal clear waters of the Allt Toll a’ Ghuibhais flows over the sands of eroded Torridonian sandstone. In the distance is the low quartzite ridge before the descent to Kinlochewe
39. Heading north through Fisherfield en route to Shenavall bothy. In the near distance is Loch Nid and the mountain of An Teallach is in the distance
42. The green fields of Inverbroom at the head of Loch Broom were very fertile
44. Crossing the bridge over the River Broom at Auchindean with the Fannichs in the background
47. Crossing the Abhainn Poiblian river just befote it joins the Rappach Water river on the stretch between Knockdamph and The Old Schoolhouse bothies west of Oykel Bridge
49.The camp at the junction of the trails round the east and west side of Brn More Assynt with Geoffs, Russells and my tents
51. The atmospheric Loch Gorm Mor where I spent a hour watching a pair of Red Throated Divers before the descent to Loch Glencoul
53. The Eas a’Chual Aluinn waterfall. Reputely the highest in Britian. Even after a mornings heavy rain it was quite small.
59. The “Cnoc and Lochan” landscape of NW Sutherland. The loch below is Loch na Seilige just before the path descends to Loch Stack where I camped.
61. Approaching the beach at Sandwood Bay. Beyond here the craggy steep coastline continues some 10 km to Cape Wrath itself
62. Looking sound on Sandwood Bay over some rare bounders and the peach sands to the Torridonian sandstone sea stack of Am Buchaille (The Shepherd)
66. The last few km went up across the Parph, a flat moorland plateau on the edge of the Atlantic to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath.
03. The sandstone ledges on the west side of Stroma were ideal for the Guillemots and Razorbills who had the fishing grounds in the swirling currents below them
04. The Great Skua. A bully and a thug which predates the sea birds especially their eggs and chicks.
06. The Tails of the Tarf at the south end of Swona island marked the end of my crossing of the Middle Sound of the Pentland Firth and was a welcome sight
07. The Sooth Clett stack on the SE corner of Swona is home to a seal colony and there are rafts of Guillemots and Puffins in the sea here from the nest and burrows above
10. The impressive cliffs of Mouster Head rose above a row of caves. Like Halcro Head just to the south it was also teeming in Guillemots.
23. David Musk sitting at the base of the cliffs on Grey Head on the Calf of Eday watching the busy birds life with Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars coming and going.
25. Leaving the Red Head on Eday and about to head over the Sound of Faray to the island of Westray
06. A Tystie, or Black Guillemot, with a newly caught butterfish which often dwell in the intertidal zone.
07. A Yellow Bellied Marmot. They can spend 7 months a year hibernating in burrows under the snowpack
22. One of the abandoned houses on Swona. There were perhaps 20 such houses on Swona in various states of disrepair and the feral cattle were using them as shelter
21. Day 7. Brazen Kea by Pass 1039 before Camp
210. Looking down to the Goldbergkees glacier from well up on the east ridge of Hohen Sonnblick just before the mist descended and obscured all
08. Harvest crossing a log bridge over a freezing torrent on the way to our first deep creek crossing
10. Top’O leading the way across the sun cupped snowfield en route to our much too high snowy campsite at the very foot of Forester Pass; the highest point on the PCT.
13. The descent down the north side of Forester Pass was long but quite easy
23. The tilted strata in the sandstone were laid bare and eroded uniformly in the bay on the SW side of Swona. The Tails of the Tarf light beacon and headland is just beyond
25. A Greater Blackback Gull chick on Swona. It;s noisy parents were nearby watching me!
26. a Grey Seal hunting for fish in the current between Swona and the stack of the South Clett on the SE corner of Swona
27. Day 10. Peak 1299 from the Mouat-Richard Saddle With the Mouat Valley to the left
04. The view from near Purple lake to part of the Silver Divide, a great barrier ridge in the Sierras. Silver Pass is on the left and Goodale Pass is on the right of picture
05. The 900 mile mark just before Red’s Meadow
06. Red’s Meadow is a small friendly place on the PCT offering food and lodging
29. 2 eider duck mothers and their ducklings on Swona
07. The North Fork of the San Joachim River as it flows down from 1000 island lake and beneath Agnew Meadow
29. Day 10. Taken from 1135 between the crescent lake and peak 1299 looking west down the Richard Burn with the Houseroof Hill range to the center and right
13. Deer were commonplace in the Central Sierras. Here is a deer crossing a creek near Toulumne Meadows
30. Day 10. Looking NE from peak 1288 to the crescent shaped lake 755m, to the North Cameron Mountains. The peak centre right is 1334 north of Lake Kakapo and centre left is Cone Peak 1464
18. A Sooty Grouse (I think) which i stumbled across near my campsite before Seavey Pass. The grouse lives off pine nuts.
22. “I will walk 500 miles then I will walk 500 more, lal lala, la la.” as the Proclaimers sing. The 1000 Mile Mark after coming down from Dorothy Lake Pass
24. From the top of the final climb the geology changed to a volcanic rock which shattered easily into scree or talus and water became scarse from here to Sonora Pass
31. Day 10. Peak 1299 seen looking south from Peak 1288
01. The exquisite flowers of the Crimson Columbine are frequently found beside streams and damper meadows
03. There were still plenty of smaller snowdrifts in the shaded forests but in the meadows summer had unfolded
32. Day 10. Lake 761m lies just to the west of Rugged Mountain
05. One of the many small lakes and a meadow in the beautiful landscape south of Carson Pass
10. The 1100 mile mark was just north of Lake Aloha in a snowfield
33. Day 10. Looking South from Peak 1299 to Lake 611 and beyond that Lake Monk.
16. The young Dutchmen, Bear Can, dwarfed by the Californian Red Firs on the path down to Five Lakes Creek
34. Day 10. Looking NW from the saddle on the south side of Peak 1299 down the Richard Burn towards the Cascade Basin at the head of Long Sound
18. Hundreds of thousands of Painted Lady butterflies were feasting on the flowers of the Mountain Monardella or Coyote Mint
01. The 1200 mile mark just after Sierra City
04. The Sierra Buttes rose up steeply to north of Sierra City
06. Gold Lake was also to the east of the ridge
10. A chipmunk feeding on winged nuts. This time of year much be bountiful for most animals
12. Bam Bam crossing a high meadow near the 3 lakes junction before the campsite prior to the long descent to Belden
01. Belden Hotel and Saloon was situated beside the river in the deep valley. It regularly hosted raves with 2-3000 people at each one
03. The meadows on Frog Mountain were full of flowers and surrounded by large Californian Red Firs
04. The 1400 mil mark just north of Frog Mountain.
38. Day 11. Looking South from the saddle between 1174 and Peak 1203. The route down the peak of 1203 was steep and I had to backtrack and descend left to a tear shaped tarn
38. Looking down some 1500 metres from Pizzoc down to the Venetian Plair where the Alta Via 6 finishes in the town of Vittorio Veneto
05. A view from the ridge down one of the forested side valleys
08. A meadow in the wide valley floor of the North Fork of the Feather River just before the southern boundary of Lassen National Park
10. Some of the meadows in the lower lying regions of Lassen National Park where a lush oasis of full summer foilage
13. One of the few.views I saw of Mount Lassen. It is a volcanic plug which last erupted 100 years ago. The whole of the National Park is volcanic and made up of igneous rock.
15. The 1400 mile mark. Just another 300 odd miles to Oregon now.
16. After a day on the arid escarpment rim overlooking Hat Creek Valley the trail descended to the valley where there were some lakes and ponds, many with flocks of Canada Geese
04. Many on the valleys now contained huge Douglas Firs. Some of these valleys were too deep to harvest and the trees flourished to a mature age.
41. Day 11. Looking South from the saddle between Peak 1203m and hill 1098. The ridge of the Cameron Mountains I was to follow for the next days is to the left
41. A typical canal scene in Venice in the vicinity of the Grand Canal. There are no roads in Venice just canals and even ambulances are boats.
03. Walking along the ridge to the first campsite of this section with the sun going down in a blaze through the trees.
43. Just to the north of Venice is the island of Murano, famous for glass, and it is my preferred place to stay as it is quiet and yest just a short boat ride from the main hub of Venice
03. The meadows of Oregon were more arid and larger, with drying grasses and patches of gravel
04. The 1700 mile mark just inside Oregon
44. Day 12. Looking south from the NE ridge of Solitary peak towards 1209 and 1146 (distant) with Big River and lake Hakapoua in the right valley
11. The 1800 mile mark just before Seven Mile Trail junction where I left the PCT to take the fire closure alternative
01.Crater Lake and Wizard Island. The lake sat in a collapsed caldera and the island was a cinder cone
04. Picnic tables make for perfect cowboy camping, well away from the forest ants
45. Day 12. Looking North from the final slopes up the NW ridge of Solitary Peak, 1180m, with the head of Lake Mouat in the valley
03. The 2000 mile mark. The Proclaimers were home long ago!
47. Day 12. Looking SE from Solitary peak to Lake 780. The valley runs down to Lake Poteriteri and my route continues right out of the picture
06. From the slopes of Mount Adams there is a great view to the Queen of Washington, namely Mount Ranier. At over 14,000 feet its glacier is the largest in the US outside Alaska.
12. Gentians were one of the few flowers still in bloom mid September.
01. Some of the beautiful lakes and ponds which were scattered through the forest on each side of the PCT north of White Pass
02. The 2300-mile mark just north of White Pass
03. The mossy stream that is some typical of the lush temperate Washington forest. This stream was to become the Bumping Creek
04. An Elk deer and her calf in a rainy meadow beside Bumping Creek on the way down to my campsite near Bumping Lake
05. The second road block manned by the military police stopping the public going up Little Naches Road.
50. Day 13. Looking South from near 1076 towards Mount Aitkin
06. Atmospheric scenery when the mist lifted for an while on my way up Mount Clifty while crossing the Manastash Ridge
07. The arrival of the cold front with a gale and frequent snow showers at about 6000 foot on Mount Clifty
08. It did not take long for the snow to start to accumulate on the branches of the hemlocks and firs on the North Ridge of Mount Clifty
09. Descending the North Ridge of Mount Clifty between showers. As I dropped below 5500 feet the snow turned to sleet and did not settle on the autumnal colours
10. In the depths of Big Creek Gorge with an intact section of the path. Frequently it dissappeared and I had to cross the creek pr walk down the middle of it.
11. A view down the John Wayne Pioneer Trail which was.on the bed of the old Chicago to Seattle railway. I followed this trail for and easy 20 miles between Easton and Snoqualmie Pass.
02. The path hewn into the side of a slab at the saddle by the top of the first climb from Snoqualmie Pass. This section of the trail was called the Kendall Catwalk.
51. Day 13. Looking north from the saddle between 1132 and 1066 just north of Mt Aitkin along the ridge of the southern Cameron Mountains which I had just walked
06. The 2400-mile mark in a snowy meadow at the head of Joe Lake.
09. The view west at the top of the climb up from the Lemah Valley with more peaks in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of the North Cascades.
52. Day 13. Looking NE from Peak 1135 just north of Mt Aitkin towards the Princess Range beyond Lake Poteriteri. In the far distance is Helena and Beatrice Peaks
17. Grouse were plentiful in the area. They were not nervous of me but moved off at the last minute into the understorey or flew up to the lower branches of the conifers.
02. The simply stunning autumnal colours in the North Cascades. The dark and iridescent crimsons are the berry bushes and the ye?lows and oranges are the mountain ash and willows.
04. Looking over the mountain ash across one on the hundreds of hemlock and fir filled valleys in the North Cascades to one of the numerous massifs which are around 7-9,000 feet
05. When the sun shines at a certain angle and the light almost passes through the berry bush leaves they light up and whole hillsides look like they are on fire
07. The 2500 mile mark. 2500 miles!. 5 times what the Proclaimers made a song and a dance about
09. Another massif in the North Cascades. The forests in the valleys are usually accessible through a network of well maintained paths, despite the intensive upkeep needed
10. On the second day of approach to Glacier Peak the mountains many glaciers started to reveal themselves
12. Even when the weather is grey there is enough colour in the foilage to lift one spirit. These colours are from the maple vines which go yellow, then orange and crimson as the chlorophyll drains from the leaves
16. On the way up to Cutthroat Pass where I camped in the dry snow just before the pass at about 6400 feet
18. The morning sun always brightens up the autumnal tamaracks when its rays hit the golden boughs. This tamaracks were on Cutthroat Pass
20. Looking east down Pine Creek towards the needles from the ridge between Cutthroat and Granite Passes in the early morning sun.
22. Mount Hardy, a precipitous near 8000 foot mountain at Melthew Pass. The trail went under it and down the Melthew Valley to the north
23. The 2600 mile mark in the Melthew Valley. Just 59 miles to go from here to the end
26. At the top of Woody Pass looking south to Rock Pass. The end of the trail now beckons
29. A final picture of a grouse spieces I saw on the way down to the Northern Terminus
08. At the end of the Via Feratta San Casara is the saddle of Forcella Maria. This is looking from that saddle north towards the large pass of Forcella Giralba and the white Rifugio Carducci beneath it on the right.
11. My rucksack posing on a Lamborghini in the Val da Rin en route to the La Primula ristorante 3 km up the valley
20. There are many saxifrages in the Dolomites. Here is one of the most spectacular Livelong Saxifrage,
Saxifraga paniculata, which likes rocky screes.
22. The small red Bivacco Tizian is overshadowed by the historic Rifugio Tizian which is locked and owned by the Alpine Club of Italy (CAI)
28. Looking over the main Marmorole massif ridge from Cresta Vanedel into the arterial valley of Val d’Oten and the Lago de Centro Cadore shimmering in the distance before the Splati di Toro range
32. Looking across the Val de Mezzo valley to the short via feratta section to traverse the rockface from left to right. In the distance is the Forcella Croda Rotta pass, where I was 4 hours previously
44. The crowning glory of Venice is the Campanile di San Marco in Piazza San Marco, or St Marks Square.
45. The Grande Canal in Venice cuts the island in half and is the pulsing artery through the middle of the city.
46. One of hundreds of smaller canals in Venice. In a city without roads canals are the means of transport and everything from ambulances to rubbish collections use them in various watercraft.
05. The unique Sheep of North Ronaldsay which can survive on seaweed alone
01. The west coast of the Orkney Mainland
50 The completed route from Bjorli in Reinheimen to Haukeliseter in Hardandervidda
07. From Kearvaig Bay there is a great view looking back to Cape Wrath
The Eshaness Coastline
01. The town of Brasov has Saxon heritage but is now fully assimilated into Romania. It lies in Transylvania, an area almost totally surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains.
13. A large flock of sheep on the lush green high pastures. These flocks would be about 1000 sheep and would be guarded by 5-6 dogs to deter bears, wolves and lynx. If the sheep swarmed towards you it is best to alert the shepherds to calm the dogs.
15. Looking back east to Varful Galasescu Mare, 2470m. from the saddle between it and the neighbouring Varful Galbenele, 2456m.
21. One of the steeper sections on the ridge between Varful Vistei, 2527m and Varful Moldoveanu, 2544m, which takes about half an hour to walk
23. Looking back east to Varful Vistei, 2527m (centre) and separated from it with a deep gully, Varful Moldoveanu, 2544m (centre right)
25. A Romanian shepherd. The shepherds drive their flocks of a couple of hundred to the mountains in the summer where there are lush pastures. The flocks ofter merge into a huge herd of 1,000 with the shepherds pooling their resources and dogs.
29. White False Hellebore (Veratrum album) looks quite similar to the Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea) but is poisonous. The Hellebore has alternative leaves with the Gentian has its leaves in pairs.
31. A small flock of sheep grazing on the lush slopes in the bowl of Lacul Capra, 2249m.
33. Looking back east from Varful Laitel, 2390m towards Varful Paltinul, 2399m, shrouded in the mist. The Transfagarasan Highway road runs under Varful Paltinul in a deep tunnel.
35. Looking back down to Lacul Caltun, 2135m, from the slopes to the west of it where the main path climbs up stone slopes to reach the bottom of the Strunga Doamnei chimney which is easily climbed with cables for protection.
37. Lookoing east from near the summit of Varful Negoiu, 2535m, towards the mountains which have already been hiked over in the last days
39. On the summit of Varful Negoiu, 2435m, the second highest mountain in Romainia, after Moldoveanu, 2544m
41. Campanula alpina is found throughout the Zagaras Mountains and indeed the Carpathians and Eastern Alps
42. The airy arete between Varful Serbota 2331, on the left and Saua Cleopatrei, 2455m, on the right dips down to the Custura Saratii saddle. It can be avoided to the south side in bad weather via the Caldera Pietroasa bowl
44. The airy arete between Varful Serbota, 2331m and Saua Cleopatrei, 2455m, It can be avoided to the south side in bad weather via the Caldera Pietroasa bowl (on the right)
45. Looking east from Refugiul Scara, with Varful Serbota, 2331m, (not breaking the skyline) above the hut and Varful Negiou, 2435m above it. Between the two is the Custura Saratii saddle.
49. The large flockes of sheep are guarded by about 5-6 dogs per herd. Some of them are ferocious and used for attacking predators and some, like this one, are used to control the sheep and alert the attack dogs
50. Towards the west end of the Zagaras Mountains the terrain becomes softer again. At Saua Corbului pass, 1560m, pictured here, the route leaves the main ridge to descend to Turnu Rosu through the forest.
51. The entrance into the forest after a week in the mountains just below Saua Corbului pass, 1560m.
53. The Monastery before Turnu Rosu is an Orthodox monastery which is thriving and expanding. From here there is a road for 4 kilometres to the end of the trek and train halt at Turnu Rosu
Daffofils. Need more than this to help the Welsh #pctbaxternature
The Island of Fetlar
014. Laligras as it is known in Nepali is the national flower of Nepal. It thrives around the 2500m mark.
026. The porters, Ramesh and Santos, had 4 days off as we left all the gear in Ghunsa for the there and back trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp.
053. Yaks crossing the river at Thudam from the pastures on the south side to the hamlet on the north side.
070. Santos coming up the gully full of avalanche debris. At the bottom of the snow chute in the right was a small meadow which was our campsite.
072. About two thirds of the way up the snow chute we got a great view across the valleys up to Dhungee Kharka from 48 hours ago. Dhungee Kharka is about mid photo and a meadow covered in snow.
077. Typical conditions after about 1000 in the morning, when as a rule mist quickly blotted out the sun and then snow showers followed.
079. Looking from our final campsite down into the deep Barun Nadi river gorge.
080. The final steps up the third and final pass on the Furling Danda ridge. Beyond this obstacle it was downhill to the fleshpots and drysocks of Yangri Kharka.
095. Ramesh on top of Sherpani Col with the valley we spent the night in and just walked up in the background and beyond that Makalu.
101. My small Vango F10 on West Col after a bitterly cold night. In the background is Makalu. Just above the roof of the tent is the darker rocky ridge on which Sherpani Col is found.
106. Me near West Col with Makalu in the distance and the ridge on which Sherpani Col is found below that. The human in the distance is the lone Russian with the huge rucksack who we ‘rescued’.
108. After some 6 trips, and 100’s km together, Bharat and myself both reach 6000 on top of West Col.
110. The first of the baggage about to be lowered down the snow slope beside the abseil. The lowering of the baggage was always fraught with difficulty and this package went down the wrong chute into a crevassed area.
111. Santos on a fixed rope trying to dislodge the baggage stuck on a rock on the bottom of the west side of West Col.
113. Ramesh in his element as the expedition cook having commandeered the kitchen to make us breakfast.
485. Looking south across the rooftops of Til towards the mountains on the south side of the valley
001. The highest temple in Bhaktapur remarkably withstood the 2015 earthquake and remained intact
004. The stalls at Pashupathinath are full of the vibrant colours of Hindu worship
009. A homestead just north of Taplejung heading towards Kanvhenjunga. These cottages are warm in winter and cool in summer. ( photo from 2016)
451. The holy lake and our Brahman guide placing a stone near the shrine. in the background is a small notch in the ridge and this is the pass over to Lurupya Khola. it was still about a 2 hour walk to reach it from the holy lake
The craggy islet headland of Giltarump by Westerwick
01. Flying over the Qoornoq fjord between Sermersog Island and Nanortalik island on the way to the latter and looking NE up to Sarqa Fjord and the peak of Napasorsuaq (Kirkespiret), 1590m.
52. One of the small houses typical at Nanortalik in a meadow of buttercups during the height of the summer.
54. An old camp at the abandoned fisherman’s village of Umiviarssuk where there were 3 or 4 delapidated huts on a smooth grassy headland
03. A great sunset near Litlos cabin on the Hardangervidda. Taken on a previous trip
05. On the last day of a previous trip I took a shortcut over Helvetes nutane (Hells knolls) before reaching the end at Finse. From here there was a great view south ober the plateau I had skied across for the previous week.
My intended 450 km through the Langfjellene of Norway
12. At the summer farms by Sota Seter lodge. This view is looking north down Liavatnet lake
13. Tverrådalskyrkja, 2088m, from the doorstep of Sota Seter lodge
18. Tverrådalskyrkja, 2088m, from the northern edge of Fortundalsbreen glacier.
19. At the top of Fortunsdalsbreen glacier around 1600m. In the background is Tvrrådalskyrkja, 2088m. From here is is a long descent to Nørdstedalseter cabin to the south
21. Looking down Fortunsdalen valley from Nørstedalseter cabin. In the distance is Austanbotntind in Hurrungane
22. Near the top of the climb on the quite demanding ski route between Nørstedalseter cabin and Sygnefjellshytte lodge
25. Looking up Gravdalen valley towards Rauddalstind from Utledalen valley
06. Looking north along Tordsvatnet lake from near Torsbu cabin
07. Tordbu cabin is cosy with a wood burning stove and a supply of wood. It also has a larder of simple provisions and a gas cooker. Payment for these services is done by means of an honesty box
Muckle Flugga is the Northern tip of Shetland where East and West meet,
012. The Numbur Himal is nearly 7000 metres and dominates the vew to the north of Pikey Peak
12. The homestay on Paniki island looked like it was abandoned and there was no sign of life on the tiny island
28. Looking west down the beach on Palau Quoy island where I spent the night. Even early in the morning the sun was merciless.
39. The corals just off the jetty at the Wayag Ranger Station were stunning and were great to snorkel over with small carverns fuull of tropical fishes
50. There were also some magnificent coral clumps and coral fans which many of the smaller fish swam in the vicinity of and darted into them when anything suspicious or threatening appeared.
18. Day 04. The highest mountains in the Sarek massif are Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen, 2089m, (centre) and Sydtoppen, 2023m (right).
28. Day 05. Looking NNE from the summit of Sarektjåhkkå towards the Ahkka massif some 25 kilometres away.
33. Day 05. Looking NE from the summit of Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen to the Nordtoppen, 2056m. There is a sensational arete connecting the main top to the Nordtoppen.
34. Day 05. Looking NW from the summit of Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen with a view down the west ridge to the glaciated saddle I came up from.
36. Day 05. Looking east from Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen down the crevassed Gaskka Sarekjiegna glacier.
38. Day 05. Looking NW from Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen over the Alep Sarekjiegna glacier and the north facing side of the Sarek massif.
39. Day 05. Looking west from Sarektjåhkkå Stortoppen over the Mihkajiegna glacier and the south facing side of the Sarek massif.
47. Day 07. In the morning after my night camped beside Alkavare Kapell the good weather had broken and there was a gentle snow shower and very limited visibility.
60. Day 10. Looking from the delta land of lower Rapaselet in Rapadalen up towards the steep and intimidating mountains of the Bielloriehppe massif.
00. From a previous trip looking south to the Pårte massif in Sarek from the saddle between Mihkajiegna glacier and Alep Sarekjiegna glacier.
08. It was possible to paddle between many of the stacks which were riddled with slots and caves and even some tunnels
14. The stacks of Lamba Ness on the north side of Papa Stour are are part of the magnificent coastscape, with jagged headlands and deep bays.
33. A Golden Plover on the Hermaness peninsula. This was a hiking day.
38. Red campion, Silene dioica, grows everywhere in Shetland especially in the coastal areas. This was a hiking day.
40. A Great Northern Diver in Sand Wick bay. Divers overwinter in Shetland and a few non breeding birds remain in the summer rather than return to Iceland to breed.
46. A Red Necked Phalarope on a lochan on Lamba Hoga. The Phalaropes migrate from the Middle East to breed here.
48. The Out Skerries, the easternmost islands in the Shetland Isles, lie in tidal waters with powerful currents but the central lagoon is very protected from the swells of the North Sea. This was a hiking day
65. Wheatears are common all over Shetland where they come to breed and take advantage of the glut of summer insects and lavae. They over winter in central Africa
The spectacular Stacks of Silwick
The craggy coastline of the enchanting St Ninians Isle
03. Day 1. The campsite at Seron has set-up tents with mattresses and sleeping bags for hire. There are also simple meals provided in the building
04. Day 2. Above the river Torres between Seron and Rifugio Dickson
07. Rifugio Dickson has small rustic rooms and provides simple meals. Alternatively there are set up tents and sleeping bags for hire and independent camp sites. It has a glourious location
08. En route between Rifugio Dickson and Camp Perros. Snowy weather can be expected anywhere on the trail at anytime, but the Eastern side of the massif is generally better.
09. Day 3. At Camp Perros there are no meals provided so trekkers are provided with a simple 24 hours army ration pack. Although there are tents and sleeping bags for hire by prior arrangement. In addition there are campspots for independent campers
11. Day 4. Leaving the shelter of the forest for the climb up to John Garner Pass from Camp Perros
16. Day 6. A avalanche coming down the east side of Paine Grande seen from the first viewpoint up Valle Francés (French Valley)
17. The Cuernos del Paine towers seen from Camp Britianico up the Valle Francés (French Valley)
19. The Cuernos del Paine from Camp Britanico viewpoint up the Valle Frances
20. Day 6. Looking up to the summit of Paine Grande with it’s distinctive mushroom formations of snow from Valle Frances. It is the highest mountain in the massif at just over 3000m,
24. Day 7. Looking towards the 3 granite towers of Torres Del Paine from the Mirador,.which soar some 1800m over the lake at a height of 2640 meters
04. Walking down on of the small lanes between Florence and Galluzzo
06. A villa beside the small hamlet Sant’Andrea in Percussina. Machiavelli lived in this hamlet when he was exiled from Florence and wrote The Prince here founding the subject of political science
12. The small church at Pietrafitta was getting a bit lost in the developments of a holiday home complex
19. A rare sight of a herd of sheep to the west of the town of Quercegrossa. there were very few livestock to be seen