Blog

Read all about my hikes, my plans and my gear on the trail in Europe and the USA.

Kings Canyon Sunset Trail

Kings Canyon Sunset Trail

Before I started my eight-day SEKI Loop trail, I spent two days in Kings Canyon National Park to acclimatize to the elevation and do some preliminary hiking. I combined the Sunset Trail with the General Grant Loop Trail, the North Grove Trail and the Dead Giant Loop to a beautiful half day hike.

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TMB Day 8: Up and Down Col de Balme

TMB Day 8: Up and Down Col de Balme

Day 8 of the Tour du Mont Blanc was wet, cold …and short. I hiked up to the Refuge du Col de Balme, where I  warmed up and made plans for the rest of this rainy day. Then I hiked down to the valley to the first hotel that had a room available. The day ended nicely though, with 4 fellow TMB hikers in an Argentière bar.

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TMB Day 7: Fenêtre d’Arpette

TMB Day 7: Fenêtre d’Arpette

Day 7 of my Tour du Mont Blanc was the most impressive day of the tour, and one of the most spectaculair hikes I have done. More than a 2.000 meters up and down a very steep and rough trail, with an hour of scrambling boulders… and sometimes no trail at all.

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TMB Day 4: a Long Day in Italy

TMB Day 4: a Long Day in Italy

Day 4 of the Tour the Mont Blanc would be the longest day of all. Along majestic glaciers, mountain tops and refreshing lakes, I hiked all the way down to Courmayeur. And up again in search of a legal campsite. I reached camp after 12 hours of hiking and a distance of 32 km.

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Solar Charger review: the Flybox

Solar Charger review: the Flybox

Like most hikers, I want to be able to charge my smartphone, wether on a thru-hike or a multi day section hike. I have compared different options and finally chose the Flybox Solar power bank to carry on my SEKI Loop thru hike in the summer of 2018. 

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Cathedral Lakes trail, Yosemite

Cathedral Lakes trail, Yosemite

After my eight-day SEKI Loop trail, I headed north to Yosemite National Park for one last day hike. I chose the Cathedral Lakes trail – part of the John Muir Trail – because it combines alpine lakes, a magnificent peak and relative solitude.

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SEKI Loop Day 7: Elizabeth Pass

SEKI Loop Day 7: Elizabeth Pass

SEKI Loop day 7: going up Elizabeth pass I conquered the steepest stretch of trail so far. With the spectacular views soon obscured by clouds, I hurried down Deadman Canyon. Then I hiked in the rain for a few hours until I found shelter at the Roaring River rangers station

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SEKI Loop Day 5: to Hamilton Lake

SEKI Loop Day 5: to Hamilton Lake

Day five of my SEKI Loop was the most impressive part of the trail so far. From the tranquil Moraine Lake through the valley of the Big Arroyo, and crossing the Kaweah Gap at more than 10.000 feet to the stunning Precipice Lake. Then descending all the way down to Hamilton Lake with a view of the vertical wall of Valhalla.

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SEKI Loop day 3: to Kern Hot Springs

SEKI Loop day 3: to Kern Hot Springs

After two days of steady climbing, the third day of my SEKI Loop led me from the Bighorn Plateau to the lower elevations of Kern Canyon. During the high temperatures in the canyon, the lure of the hot  springs at the end kept me going during the 17.5 miles of trail.

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SEKI Loop Day 2: Forester Pass and beyond

SEKI Loop Day 2: Forester Pass and beyond

The second day of my SEKI Loop took me to the really High Sierra. Despite four days of acclimatization, the altitude still slowed me down to half my normal hiking speed. But I did climb Forester Pass: the highest point on the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail and the border of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. 

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SEKI Loop Day 1: to Upper Vidette Meadow

SEKI Loop Day 1: to Upper Vidette Meadow

The Sequoia Kings / SEKI Loop is a less crowded alternative for the John Muir Trail, without the difficulty to get a permit. I had been planning my SEKI-Loop trail thoroughly last year. But of course, everything went completely different. Because not a million spreadsheets, vlogs or gearlists can prepare you for the devastating beauty and power of the High Sierra. 

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The Colors of Kodachrome Basin

The Colors of Kodachrome Basin

Kodachrome Basin State Park is neighbour to Bryce Canyon National Park. Both parks share the rich red colors and strange rock formations, but Kodachrome offers more solitude. It’s quiet here, and empty. Full of amazing views, nice hiking trails and a main campground that offers a shady, green oasis in the barren desert landscape.

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My High Sierra Gear List

My High Sierra Gear List

Preparing my thru-hike in California’s High Sierra, I have read and viewed many gear lists that have inspired me to compile my own. Except for my hiking pants and shirt, my boots and my iPhone, everything I will carry in the High Sierra this summer is on the above photograph. Read on for the complete list.

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The Other Zion: Kolob Canyon

The Other Zion: Kolob Canyon

Zion National Park being such a busy tourist hotspot, we took a hike at the north-western part of the park: the relatively unknown but beautiful Kolob Canyons. Here we found no crowds, a refreshing creek, Navajo Sandstone walls in the most impressive red colors and a beautiful natural feature at the end of the trail.

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