Manitou Incline and the Barr Trail

Posted on September 23rd, 2019
by pdittman in Colorado Springs, US, Hikes

Recently, we had the opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs – a friend was getting married.  We couldn’t make the wedding date, so we decided to visit separately, and tack on a few days of hiking – weather permitting and all.   There are those who might argue that hiking the 14ers is the pinnacle of hiking (Dad joke!) here in the states – whether you believe that or not,  we don’t want to debate – we had two gloriousRead More →

And so it begins again – the Catskills – Slide and Hunter Mountains

Posted on June 30th, 2019
by pdittman in Hikes

And so it begins. Last summer we finished up the New England 67, the list of the 67 4000′ summits in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, by completing Katahdin, Hamlin, and North Brother. So, what’s next? Of course there’s another list! The NorthEast 111 list adds the 4000′ summits in New York to the New England 67 list. Of the New York summits, there are only two in the Catskill range, with the remainder in the Adirondacks. For this trip,Read More →

The GR10 and Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region

Posted on September 30th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

It all started with a conversation with some Brits while we were on our first multi-day trek in Alpiglen, Switzerland in 2012.  They talked about the GR10 as a long distance hiking trail between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast paralleling the Pyrenean/Spanish border in France. What’s a GR?   France is virtually blanketed with long distance hiking trails - Grande Randonnée - with the GR10 stretching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, covering a distance of roughly 540 miles and typically taking 50+days to traverse. Fast forward six years…Read More →

Lescun to Etsaut – oops!

Posted on September 29th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

We’d planned to be on the trail on the day after arriving in France. Always a bit risky in the event our backpacks got lost in transit – but we arrived in Paris as did our backpacks, and transferred to our Paris-Pau flight without incident. Arriving in Pau, we were easily able to get on the P20 bus to take us into downtown Pau – location of Hotel D’Adour, the hotel we were using to bookend our hiking. Only a few daysRead More →

GR10 – Etsaut to Refuge D’Ayous

Posted on September 28th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

Our first real day of section hiking the GR10,  was a fairly big day.  The cicerone guide we’d been using as the basis for the trip had listed the section as Etsaut to Gabas – a 14-15 mile, 5,000 feet of elevation gain, monster of a hike.  Daunting on any day, more so because we’d be with full packs. Fortunately, we discovered and were able to secure beds at the Refuge D’Ayous – a mountain hut staffed by (what seemedRead More →

GR10 – Refuge D’Ayous to Gabas

Posted on September 27th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

We’ve stayed at Refuges on some of our other trekking experiences – we’re really not backpackers/campers – most often, you can find us at one of the Appalachian Mountain Club huts in the white mountains of New Hampshire, and we’ve also stayed at Refugios in Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia (such as Refugio Grey), and the Berghaus’ which dot the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps (see our blog on the Jungfrau).  Staying at the Refuge D’Ayous hut would be yetRead More →

GR10 – Gabas to Gourette

Posted on September 26th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

The Gabas to Gourette section of the GR10 probably falls into the category of “what were we thinking!”. On paper, it was big, over 13 miles, with an elevation gain of 5300 feet, and an elevation loss of 4600 feet. A mile up, a mile down!  Book time was 8-9 hours, but the GR10 signs were saying nearly 10 hours. We’d already learned to respect the signs. Reflecting back, this hike was Epic all around.  Besides the numbers, it hadRead More →

Goodbye to Pyrenees, hello wine and oysters!

Posted on September 25th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes, Pyrenees-GR10

We’d finished up our GR10 section hiking in the village of Gourette – a ski resort nestled in the Pyrenees about 30 miles south of Pau.  Pau was our starting and ending point for our adventure in the Pyrenees and normally (in the high season), one can catch a bus from Gourette to Pau, but this was the shoulder season, the bus for Pau leaves from Laruns – a nearby town.  We’d planned to walk from Gourette to Laruns forRead More →

North Brother

Posted on July 24th, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes

This was our last of the New England 67 4000′ summits – ten years in the making and something of a metaphorical journey of our relationship together.   Shortly after Jeanne and I met, one of our conversations turned to our leisure activities – “Oh, you hike?” – and so, we wrote and continue to write our book.  Many miles, many journeys, engagement/marriage, and, of course peakbagging. We’d planned to do the 3 summits in Baxter State park and had traveledRead More →

Katahdin – Baxter and Hamlin Peaks

Posted on July 22nd, 2018
by pdittman in Hikes

Katahdin – “The Greatest Mountain” – so named by the Penobscot Indians, and deservedly so.     Katahdin, both Baxter and Hamlin peaks, along with North Brother were the last on our list of the New England 67 four-thousand foot summits. It was a commitment from the start – a five hour drive from Boston, accommodations in the area, a few days of hiking, and a prayer for good weather. Our planned hike started at Katahdin Stream campground – one ofRead More →