Trekking Fann Mountains, Tajikistan (June 2015)
In June 2015 I guided a lovely couple from Scotland around in the northern mountains of Tajikistan, the Fann Mountains. Having been here before a couple of times I could create a great trekking route, both landscape and culturally. Always good to be back in my beloved Tajikistan!
Winter ascent Halgurd, Iraqi Kurdistan (Spring 2015)
It's been a delight to return to Iraqi Kurdistan, this time as a guide. The main objective remained Mt Halgurd (3607m), still seen as the highest mountain in Iraq. We were lucky with a good weather window and after summiting Halgurd we went to the other side of the valley, the Sakran range. We attempted a side peak of Sakran via a gully but snow conditions proved to be too deep. It was great exploring this area though!
Big Pamir Trek, Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan (summer 2014)
I returned to the Wakhan Corridor to guide a three-week trip for UK based Secret Compass. The team succeeded in crossing form the Big Pamir to the Little Pamir plateau via the 4895m high Showr Pass. See here for a review on this trip.
Fjallabak Back Country, Iceland (summer 2014)
2 person back country trekking trip in the south of Iceland. Instead of following the beautiful and famous Laugavegur trail, we tried an alternative route to the South Coast. Record levels of rain made it at times a challenge to cross the many rivers.
First Winter Ascents, Iraqi Kurdistan (Spring 2014)
As a member of an international team, we aimed to climb Mt Halgurd (3607m) in winter conditions. This was probably one of the first ascents in winter conditions. The good weather window allowed the team to do the first winter ascent of Mamur (3365m), also close to the Iranian border. The expedition was complicated by the presence of land mines in the area. Local contacts provided us with advice on the locations of these mine fields. Two successful summit attempts in 4 days.
Exploring Tunisian Trails (2013-2015)
Tunisia is an unlikely destination for outdoor adventures. Fair enough, it takes a while before you know where to go. Zaghouan is the centre of outdoor activities in Tunisia. It has unlimited rock climbing possibilities, world class caving and excellent walking trails. But hardly anyone knows about this... In 2014 I want to publish a small book that makes the craggy, limestone mountain a bit more accessible for climbers, walkers and cyclists.
Cycle touring the Balkans and the Alps (summer 2013)
A 5 week cycling journey crossing the Balkans and the Alps. Getting off the ferry in Durres, Albania the tour went through Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria followed by a Trans Alp via 6 passes over 2000m ending in Avigliana, Italy. The 2500km trip went up nearly 30,000m.
Trekking Tajikistan (2012)
The third trip to Tajikistan in 3 years, finishing the research for the guide book project. I spent the first 2 weeks in the Zerafshan Range, crossing a big part of these mountains east to west. After that I did a trek around Bachor in the High Pamirs, after plans had to be cut short due to violence in Khorog.
Sea Kayaking Solomon Islands (2012)
6 day independent sea kayak expedition crossing the Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands. Paddling among dolphins, turtles and small black tip sharks this trip is as spectacular as the South Pacific gets!
Hiking Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia (2012)
5 day trek on one of Australia's most famous bush walks, the Overland Track. With a few days with some sunshine, the crossing of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair NP was marvelous. And doing it off-season (June) adds to the fun as it is a lot less crowded!
In this period I explored virtually every remote corner of this stunning country. For adventure sports, Scotland has it all, no need to move anywhere else! Rock climbing, the top of mountain bike trails in Europe, world class surf and literally limitless hiking possibilities. Here's a snap shot of what Scotland is like.
Cycle Touring Portland, OR - Sonoma Valley, CA (2011)
Riding 1200 km through spectacular Westcoast scenery and lush temperate rain forest. Oregon has it all! Not to mention the great brew pubs after a long day of cycling. Ending the trip in Sonoma was of course no coincedence either...
15 day trek in the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan (2010)
The most spectacular high altitude trek I have done so far. 15 days of walking surrounded by the giants of the Pamirs on the north side and the HinduKush on the south side. Supported by a yak, his manager and local guide Otembik we hiked past Kyrgyz settlements on the Little Pamir plateau and Wakhi herdsmen in the Big Pamir. A truly magical land.
Climbing Pik Korzhenevskaya, 7105m (2010)
In the heart of the High Pamirs lies Korzhenevskaya, a 7000m peak and and as remote as it gets. We were dropped of by a MI8 helicopter (an experience in itself!). 25 days on the glacier and the mountain were tough, but I made the summit. The climb is not very technical, but it does involve sections mind boggling exposure. And it's just high. The way back, carrying down tents and other equipment has been the most strenuous stretch of climbing/walking I have ever done (see one of the pictures in the slide show).
Trekking Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (2010)
I spent the summer of 2010 trekking and climbing in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This was the first research trip for the trekking guide book to Tajikistan. It didn't start to well with violence erupting in Osh forcing me to change plans. The treks in the Fann Mountains have been absolutely amazing. For a complete overview of this trip visit trekkinginthepamirs.com.
Wilderness trek XC in Sarek NP, Sweden (2007)
In July 2007 me and my partner Carrie embarked on a 10-day trek through the true wilderness of Sarek NP. No paths and lots of rock (so no mosquitos!) and a surprising amount of snow still around made this adventure a true adventure. There are supposedly a number of last wildernesses in Europe. This is a real one without any infrastructure. Magic!
Sermilik Fjord, Eastern Greenland (2006)
I guided a 14 day wilderness trek on the East Coast of Greenland in the summer of 2006. Spectacular scenery, rough terrain and weather made the trek a challenge (some mood management was needed!).
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal (2006)
In the Spring 2006 I guided a true classic trek, the Annapurna Circuit. We managed to make it to the trailhead, just, as the country grinded to a hold the next day due to the political unrest.
Altiplano, Northern Chile (2005)
I spent 10 days roaming around volcanos and deep blue lakes at an altitude of over 4000m on the Altiplano, Northern Chile. I guided this group for HT Wandelreizen. After this trip I managed to do a few adventures myself, among them climbing the volcano Licancabur (5916m) in Bolivia.
Trekking and climbing Ladakh, Indian Himalaya (2005)
I spent two months in the Indian Himalaya. Before guiding a trek from Manali to the pass Baralacha La, I spent my time trekking in the Zanskar Range and climbing Stok Kangri (6121m) in very snowy conditions.