Category Archives: Blog post from at home

NoBorderTrek in numbers

It took a while, partly because of technology problems. But now, at long last, here is a decent visualisation of the NoBorderTrek.

You can use the button in the top left corner of the map to hide some of the layers (for instance “Places”) to get a clearer view of the route. You can expand the map with the button in the top right corner.

Here are some summary numbers of the trek:

  • 66 walking days / 74 total days on the trail (nearly 11 weeks/) *
  • 1,570 km total distance walked (nearly 1.6 million metres)
  • 68,230m altitude (ascent)
  • 67,300m altitude (descent) **
  • 23.8km, 1,034m ascent, average day
  • 9 hours average walking time per day (including breaks)
  • 36 walking days with (at least some) rain (6 with incessant rain)
  • Toughest day: day 7 (Tarvisio-Nassfeld/Pramollo), 36.5km, 2,080m ascent, 1,290m descent (plus one very scary thunderstorm)
  • Longest day: day 36 (Liechtenstein-Taminatal) 37.4km, 1,250m ascent, 2,540m descent
  • Shortest day: day 12 (Kartitsch-Sillian) 7.8km; 90m ascent, 360m descent – my 30th birthday
  • Fastest day: day 38 (Flims-Tavanasa) 25.5km in 5 hours (walking super-fast because of incessant rain)
  • 8 countries visited (SLO, IT, AT, DE, LIE, CH, FR, MCO)
  • 17 international border crossings (I entered and exited Italy 5 times)
  • Highest point: 3315m, Theodulpass (CH/IT border
  • Lowest point: -1m, swimming in Villefranche-sur-Mer (FR)
  • Wildlife seen:
  • >20 Ibex
  • dozens of chamois
  • probably hundreds of marmots
  • 0 bears, wolves, lynx (luckily)
  • 2 snakes (probably not poisonous)
  • 2 or 3 eagles***
  • 4kg (ca. 6%) weight loss (despite eating as much as possible)
  • 5% to 11.1% change in body fat
  • 4 rockfalls witnessed (never very close by)
  • 4 slips and falls (all harmless)
  • 0 serious injuries
  • 1: number of times I got really lost (and scared)****
  • 0: number of times I regretted going on the trek

Thank you, once again, to everyone who supported this project! As the events of the past month have demonstrated, the cause behind this trek, of humanising European immigration policy and knocking down the borders that divide us, is as important as ever.

Phil


*The blog numbering went to 67 because I mistakenly counted one rest day (in Innsbruck).
**Ljubljana is 300 metres higher than nice; the rest of the discrepancy is GPS measurement error.
***It’s hard to be sure, but these were very big soaring birds.
****Between Tarvisio and Nassfeld/Pramollo (day 7). Bad map, nonexistent (Italian) trail markings, stubbornness, tiredness, and fear of an approaching thunderstorm led me off the proper trail and into a jungle of larch trees, where I nearly panicked. Lesson learned: if lost, turn around, instead of seeking a short-cut.


Below are the detailed numbers for each day, in case anyone ever chooses to hike parts of the trek.

Day Distance Ascent Descent
1 26.528 960 640
2 31.750 1.290 270
3 31.036 230 1.150
4 19.721 2.020 580
5 27.341 1.220 1.910
6 21.023 90 490
7 36.494 2.080 1.290
8 16.033 750 770
9 26.897 1.310 1.570
10 31.856 1.390 1.590
11 30.505 680 290
12 7.809 90 360
13 17.662 910 180
14 26.571 2.120 1.570
15 19.326 1.120 870
16 12.410 480 1.540
17 29.079 1.110 1.600
18 29.305 1.620 530
19 21.812 1.030 1.120
20 15.426 1.330 590
21 23.666 220 2.260
22 0 0 0
23 15.269 1.680 970
24 30.029 2.050 970
25 16.804 1.030 1.310
26 18.089 1.020 2.120
27 32.563 1.690 600
28 25.442 1.790 1.580
29 20.213 1.710 1.560
30 16.131 1.080 1.270
31 21.366 870 1.690
32 12.690 450 20
33 27.934 920 1.890
34 18.174 1.640 160
35 15.361 940 1.220
36 37.428 1.250 2.540
37 35.535 1.390 1.070
38 25.528 240 470
39 33.799 950 170
40 16.702 920 0
41 11.777 30 1.410
42 22.273 1.400 130
43 32.086 1.060 2.190
44 9.490 90 280
45 12.290 1.340 10
46 30.912 1.110 2.520
47 23.004 560 380
48 32.362 2.010 100
49 13.204 320 1.340
50 19.825 1.560 1.070
51 17.511 550 1.390
52 24.218 170 1.240
53 36.364 2.050 40
54 20.487 1.120 930
55 29.504 120 1.430
56 16.461 850 540
57 30.107 1.700 1.860
58 31.706 720 540
59 23.138 1.280 920
60 25.112 1.200 1.140
61 27.661 1.910 1.900
62 28.113 1.890 1.540
63 26.881 30 1.200
64 19.498 50 510
65 32.048 0 370
66 29.441 920 1.020
67 23.161 520 520
Total 1.569.941 68.230 67.300
Average 23.786,98 1.034 1.020
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Here goes / auf gehts!

Off to Munich today, then Ljubljana tomorrow. Well, I missed my weight goal of 8kg (including 1 litre of water) by a whipping two kilos, and I still haven’t bought food. But hey, how little does one want to take along for 3 months?

(I’ll miss you Sarah)

So here goes. Add you can see, my boots are already practically walking out the door. I can’t wait to be on the trail.

image

So, liebe Leute, los gehts, heute nach München, morgen nach Ljubljana, und dann zu Fuß in die berge. Trotz 2 Kilo Übergewicht beim Gepäck (10 statt der geplanten 8) kann ich es kaum abwarten.

Everyone, have a nice Sunday!
Phil

Preparations… and Premonitions of snow

Vorbereitungen, Vorfreuden und kleine Vor-sorgen: In den Südalpen liegt noch sehr viel Schnee. Besonders im Südosten, wo die Reise los geht, war es ein außergewöhnlich schneereicher Winter und eine Menge der (nicht mehr ganz so) “weißen Pracht” liegt noch an und oberhalb der Waldgrenze. Hoffentlich taut es in den nächsten 7 Tagen gewaltig. Zur Sicherheit habe ich jetzt noch ein paar Grödeln bestellt, für besseren Halt im Schnee. Aber zur Not wird die Route wohl eher anfangs durch Täler als über die Berge verlaufen müssen.

Nassfeld

Snapshot from the web cam at Nassfeld, today, at approx. 2,000m

The southern Alps are still full of snow. Especially in the South-East, where the trek begins, last winter brought historically exceptional amounts, and there is still a lot of the (not so) white stuff above and around the tree-line. I’m hoping the next 7 days will bring a great amount of thawing. But to be on the safer side, I’ve bought a pair of small crampons for better grip on the snow. And in the worst case I may have to re-orient the early parts of my route through the valleys instead of over the hills.

 

Und ein kleiner Artikel auf Deutsch

Liebe Freunde und Verwandte, ich werde hier gelegentlich auch auf Deutsch etwas schreiben. Die Vorbereitungen für diese dreimonatige Reise laufen fieberhaft und ich kann es kaum abwarten, in weniger als zwei Wochen loszulaufen!

 

 

First post / erster Artikel

So this is my first post, in which I’m also testing publishing blog posts from a mobile phone, which is how I’ll be publishing many or most during the trek.

My trek begins on June 17th in Ljubljana. I will be posting articles occasionally from along the way, whenever I can, either in English or German, depending on my mood (and perhaps also on where I am).

To illustrate the spirit I’m in at the moment, here is an antique children’s book I recently saw in a shop in Basel. The title, I believe, means “Little Hans wanted to for a hike”.

image

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