JAPAN

Japan, where I lived for three years & have returned several times, was where I became interested in photography & utterly obsessed with mountains & hiking. My walking adventures there have included:

  • Takao-San, Tokyo (over 20 times)

  • Kumotori-Yama, highest peak in Tokyo Prefecture and my first real hike in Japan (twice)

  • Mt Fuji from the bottom (3,776m; 21 hours, much of it miserable) 

  • Okutama, Chichibu and Tanzawa regions (numerous hikes)

  • Two multi-day walks down the Izu Peninsula

  • A week-long traverse of the North Alps from Muroto to Kamikochi (2001)

  • North Alps starting from Hakuba

  • Nantai-San, Nikko

  • Hakone including a surviving section of the historic Tokaido footpath

  • A South Alps trip starting with an ascent of Kita-Dake, Japan's 2nd-highest peak

  • A failed late-winter attempt (in 2008) to walk the length of Japan from north-eastern Hokkaido - injured early & freezing constantly, I quit after 11 days of limping inland from Sapporo to Sounkyo Onsen

  •  30 days walking through Shikoku (first of three trips) in 2008, starting at Takamatsu, through the centre via Tsurugi-San, down to the coast at Kochi, then up via the west coast to Matsuyama; along the way, a full-length walk of the 196km Shimanto River, Japan's last undammed river, from source to mouth

  • Mitsutoge-Yama 

  • Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido, Asahi-Dake to Tomuraushi-Yama (2015)

  •  Extinct volcanoes Iwaki-San & Hakkoda-San, Aomori Prefecture (2015)

  • A 2nd ascent of Kita-Dake &  three nights in the South Alps (2015)

  • Yatsu-ga-Take

  • Some rural walking in Nara

  • Koya-San, Wakayama, where Kobo Daishi (founding figure in the Shikoku Pilgrimage mythology) is interred

  • The network of ancient pilgrimage trails known as the Kumano Kodō  (four days on the Kohechi & two on the Naka-Hechi, 2015)

  • A complete gyaku-uchi (anti-clockwise) circuit of the ancient 88-Temple Shikoku Henro (pilgrimage), over 47 days (2015)

  • A 2nd complete 88-Temple Henro circuit (2017), clockwise, taking 52 days including rest days and...

  • A 2nd journey along the Shimanto River from source to sea

  • Across the Inland Sea from Shikoku to Honshu via the bridges & islands of the Shimanami-kaido (2015)

The typically over-enlarged feet of Kobo Daishi, around whose life & mythology Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage evolved, as represented in a huge statue on the mountain climb to Shosan-ji, temple #12, Tokushima.

KOREA

I lived there in 2012 & 2013, teaching at a junior-high school in Jangyu, South Gyeongsang Province.

  • I walked all over the south-east; did countless miles in the 2nd city of Busan & along the coast & beaches north of the city; visited Jeju Island in Winter

  • Coastal Tongyeong & an island offshore

  • The ancient capital of Gyeongju (twice)

  •  Gwangju

  • Seoul - lots of mountain hiking & two days walking the Han River banks

  • Geoje Island

  •  Seorak-San (including stealth-camping on the summit of Korea's 3rd-highest peak, Daecheong-Bong)

  •  Countless day-walks around Gimhae

  • Bun-San Fortress (multiple times)

  • Numerous hikes in the peaks surrounding Jangyu, where I lived, including Yongji-Bong & Jangyu Temple, the ridge-hike to Daeam-San and neighbouring peaks

  • A 13-day summer road-walk up the east coast from Busan to Sokcho 

USA

  • Appalachian Trail (2,175 miles): Starting on Springer Mountain GA, the southern terminus, in 2004, I was stricken with compartment syndrome and much later, stress fractures in both legs; I quit halfway through, at 501 Shelter, eastern Pennsylvania

  • I returned to 501 Shelter in 2006, after a two-day traverse of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and completed the second thousand miles. Along the way, I took...

  • A two-week detour from the Appalachian Trail with a friend to hike the Long Trail to the Canadian border, before returning to the A.T.

  • In 2010 I hiked well over 2,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border, through the length of California and then Oregon, quitting at the Washington border.  Along the way, I also walked...

  • The entire John Muir Trail, from the top of Mt Whitney, highest point in the Lower 48, to its northern terminus

  • Several winter & summer hikes in Upstate New York, including the southern Adirondacks in both Summer & Winter (snowshoeing), plus a couple of walks through the Saratoga Battlefield

  • The Great Saunter, a 30-odd-mile circuit of Manhattan Island along the banks of the East & Harlem Rivers

August 22, 2006: A near-whiteout on the summit of Katahdin, Maine, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

SWITZERLAND

Three months in late Autumn/early Winter of 2010, with highlights including...

  • The Grindelwald area including the base of the Eiger

  • Zermatt & surrounds in the Matterhorn region

  • Rigi Kulm, "Queen of Mountains"

  • Lucerne; Sattel Hochstuckli; the Zugerberg & mountain trails overlooking the Zugersee; a walk from Raten to Baar

  • A complete circuit of the Urnersee (arm of the Vierwaldstättersee, or Lake Lucerne) via the Weg der Schweiz (Swiss Path)

  • A circuit of the Zugersee (Lake Zug)

  • Melchsee Frutt

  • Hunenberg, Wart, and numerous farmland rambles near Zug

  • Lugano & a hike via Lake Lugano to the summit of Monte Brè

  •  Numerous (freezing) urban walks in old cities including Chur, Fribourg, St Gallen, Basel, Zürich and Neuchâtel

AUSTRALIA

Nothing too extreme (no car/big country) - most of the thousands of km I've walked here has been urban/suburban or coastal walking. But I have done...

  • The South Coast Track (Tasmania)

  • The Great Ocean Walk (Victoria)

  • Some hiking in the Green Mountains of South-East Queensland

  • A fair bit of walking in the Glasshouse Mountains, S.E. QLD

  • Four complete 60-mile circuits of Moreton Island via its beaches (twice in each direction) as well as walking most of its length through the middle

~山羊 ~