Since I became obsessed with mountains after my visit to Nordkapp and and more or less dependent after Corsica, I’ve tried to get away from home for at least a month for some “me” time. Somehow I found Via alpina trails and decided to go “pedal-to-the -metal” and walk the longest one. As I don’t have that much free time from my work I had to walk it in smaller parts divided on three years.
The main resource for me was the Via Alpina homepage. This gives quite detailed information about all the 5 different trails developed as Via Alpina. If I’m not mistaken then no actually new trails were made for this, but just the ones already made were united and marked accordingly. And trails there are plenty in Alps.
How big of apart I would walk on each year was roughly made up by the possibilities of catching a plane at the end of the walk.
So in the first year I walked from Trieste to Biebervier (stages R1 to R47). That was over 750km in 27 days of walking. I wrote a shorter post about it also after I was back – read it here. That walk confirmed my capabilities and suitability of gear with some much needed replacements so I was ready to start planning for next summer. But not until all the tedious work with pictures was done.
The biggest work was the same as the last year – maps. I didn’t want to bother with GPS then and still don’t. So a great effort went into finding out what maps would I need and wher could I get them. In the end I had to spend about 100€ on paper maps. To my great amazement I found out that it is possible to get very good topographic maps about Switzerland on-line, without spending a cent. After a visit to a decent printer – the maps were done. The rest was getting some gear and working out the airports. And in the beginning of June I was off again.
And still kicking in the beginning of July. I wanted to be more thorough this year so I went over my usual word limit many time when I wrote shortly about the trip, the things I didn’t like, worst day. After all the pictures were sorted and edited and some printed out then some more blabber about gear and the things that made it all worth while.
Although appetite is known to grow while eating, I have decided not to finish tha last part in summer 2012. I will end the walk definately, but I’ve decided that my French is not sufficent yet and so I will visit some other place instead to buy some time to improve all the â and le’s. But as the last part should not take more than3,5 weeks I could change my mind and still go for it.
If anyone is planning to walk the Red Trail, then I would be happy to help in any way I can. Just leave a comment and well see what we can do to make your walk happen.
The dates have been set although my French is still as rubbish as it was two years ago. I will begin on 13th of June and have about 26 days to reach Monaco. I have scanned the maps and that’s about it. Somehow it feels like going to grandma’s for a weekend.
I have finished walking the Red Trail. The last part from Champex-Lac to Monaco took 22 days. Summaries to follow.