It’s nearly the end of December so about time to start with our year lists. As I didn’t just want to make a list of all the trips we did like many other bloggers do, I thought of a number of subjects to remember 2015 and relive all the highlights. Today we’re sharing our favorite hikes of 2015 with you!
The N70, The Netherlands
In all honesty, when my physiotherapist told me that N70 would be an amazing hike to get in shape for Nepal, the name didn’t really sound appealing. After the summer I needed to recover from a bruised ankle and basically had to learn to walk again. I started with short hikes along the dikes that are near our house and my goal was to be able to hike N70 without pain before heading off to Nepal. My physiotherapist had suggested this hike to me because of the big difference in elevation (for Dutch standards) and the terrain I’d be walking on. The N70 starts in Nijmegen and takes you across 8 hills surrounding the city and the moraine. I loved the steep climbs and descends and the 16 km trek was one of the best workouts of the year for me. If you plan on hiking it, you can download the brochure on the website of Staatsbosbeheer. If you ever happen to be in the area, let me know and I’ll gladly join you on your hike!
In October we hiked a part of the Moselsteig in Germany. Although we occasionally go hiking in our neighboring county, we had never been to the Moselle region before. As the name indicates, the track follows the Moselle River and although you may not expect it, the walk was very diverse. In three days we hiked through wineries, we climbed across rock formations, had extraordinary views over the river and got lost in the woods. The icing on the cake however was the Calmont Klettersteig, a Via Ferrata through the Calmont winery, the steepest vinyard in Europe. Super adventurous and yet so close to home!
Harding Icefield, Alaska
One of the hikes highest up on my bucketlist, is Harding Icefield Trail in Alaska. In 2007 I already attempted to hike it all the way up to the icefield, but unfortunately, there turned out to be too much snow to make it all the way up. This summer I would get another shot when traveling to Alaska for work. When I injured my ankle four days before my departure however, I thought I had to cancel my plans. During my trip I decided differently and figured that, since I went all the way to Alaska and already did a short glacier hike, I could always try it. So I wrapped my ankle for support, took a lot of painkillers and off I went. I had to work hard, but four hours after I left the trailhead, I reached Harding Icefield. Getting there was emotional, I could not believe I made it. Not just because of the large gain in altitude with my ankle, but also because I solo hiked in bear country. The full blog about solo hiking in bear country, can be found here.
Gokyo en Gokyo Ri
Ofcourse we can´t exclude Nepal from our list. We could have easily mentioned the full Everest Base Camp trek but that would not be too obvious. The best part of the trek, was definitely to Gokyo and up to Gokyo Ri. Gokyo is located at the end of the Gokyo Valley and the last village before reaching Cho Oyu, the seventh highest summit on the planet. The Gokyo Lakes are truly stunning and once you are there, you may as well climb Gokyo Ri. From the valley it seems easy but it´s quite a sturdy hike. Martijn made it with our guides (I couldn’t come because of my health issues) and the reached the top just before sunrise with amazing views over the Himalaya. The EBC trek via Gokyo is a great yet strenuous alternative for those who have more time than the regular 12 days it takes to reach Base Camp.
Ruta de los Volcanes, La Palma
You probably didn’t see this coming, but our favorite hike of 2015 was definitely the Ruta de los Volcanes on the island of La Palma. Getting to the trailhead is a bit of a hassle, but well worth the effort. We had to drive to a certain point and from there we had to find a taxi which would drop us off at Refugio El Pilar. From here, we climbed up to the ridge of Cumbre de Vieja and were surrounded by a chain of explosion craters and volcanoes. We climbed up to 2.000 meters, hikes above the clouds and descended back to the village of Los Canarios, where we took a bus back to our car. It’s a hike that we still look back at with a smile on our faces…
The year is almost ending but luckily we still have some nice hikes planned before we are starting 2016. Keep an eye out on our social media channels for updates.
What was your favorite hike of 2015?
Want to soak up more hiking inspiration? You will enjoy the following blogs, too!
– Top destinations in Europe for experienced hikers
– The best hikes in New Zealand
– Hiking to Cochamó – the Yosemite of Chile
Thank you for sharing!