Category Archives: Adventure Travel

adventure travel can be any touristy activity that includes physical activity and connection with the nature or world at large.

Scuba diving at Great Barrier Reef: An Experience of Lifetime

When you visit ‘the land down under’, i.e. Australia“, definitely explore the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site, that stretches for more than 1,243 miles along the Queensland coastline.

It is the only “living thing” on earth visible from space. Yes, corals are a living organism. And, snorkeling and scuba diving cannot get any better than at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. 

The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, 6 of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Earth’s most important marine environmental system. Due to ecological and environmental changes, the Great Barrier Reef is in high threat of coral bleaching and loss of biodiversity.

Scuba diving in Cairns, Queensland was my first ever underwater water experience. I was very nervous but the first breath underwater is just so amazing.

There are many companies that have great day package for scuba and snorkeling at great barrier reef. I also got my first certificate from PADI.

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s as well as world’s most remarkable natural gifts with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef and abundance of marine life. An experience of a lifetime and definitely a must add bucket list.

The beautiful corals and biodiversity put me in awe. Some fishes came near and said “hello”. The corals were breathtakingly beautiful. In that moment I could connect so much with the sea, and the underwater life and habitat.

A living clam, corals, colorful fishes and turtles — all nearby, everywhere! I am glad that I did this!

The Great Barrier Reef as seen from above.

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6 Most Dangerous Places to Travel

Our world is a strange place to be in. It is not a bed of roses. There are many dangerous places which will scare you. If you are looking for adrenaline, be sure that this places will give you that. The badass in you will squeal at the prospect of this dangerous places. Live your holiday with an edge to it. Below listed places are deadly either by nature or by human atrocities.

DANAKIL DESERT, ETHIOPIA

You can test your endurance in the cruel of ways. The temperature soars to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot winds blowing across the desert will parch your throat. You will be met by a vast expanse of barren landscape.

Don’t be fooled by the barren scene ahead of you. Walking on the colorful landscape is tempting. You will be tricked by nature as well as people. The crime rates in the nearby region are terribly high. Many travelers go to Danakil seeking adventure.

DEATH ROAD, BOLIVIA

The name aptly describes the type of passage it is. You will wind down the dangerous road to meet your doom. Travelers and cyclists attempt to make this 11,000-foot path. You will just go down and down on the road.

The steady decline of height will make control impossible. Challenging the gravity is something adrenaline junkies have attempted yet failed. Three hundred motorists and cyclists die each year on Death Road.

THE EIGER, SWITZERLAND

TATAOUINE, TUNISIA

Are you a fan of Star Wars? Then you will recognize the farm buildings here. The idea of the planet was taken from Tataouine. The area has an alien feel to it. That is the reason George Walker made his set on this land. Skywalker buildings still stay here.

The place comes in the way of the most violent group of history-ISIS. The jihadists travel through this way. Take care if you are anywhere near. Traveling here might not put the fear of God in you, but it will put the fear of Jihadists in you.

BARDARBUNGA VOLCANO, ICELAND

Located in Iceland. It is second largest in the country. The dangerous thing about it is what lies beneath it. Tectonic plates are unreliable. The tremors hit anytime they want. It recently erupted in 2014.

Bárðarbunga Volcano, September 4 2014 by peterhartree CC BY-SA 2.0

The thrill of unknown barren landscape lures travelers. If you want to be adventurous, go there. But don’t be a fool. Going too near can lead to intake of poisonous gasses.

SANA, YEMEN

It sounds like a beautiful Indian name, doesn’t it? Its beauty is lethal. The top of the city is a dream come true. Tetragonal paragons are clustered upon each other. The Old part of city proclaims the glory of bygone days.

Sana, Yemen By yeowatzup  CC BY 2.0

The capital of Yemen is an architectural masterpiece. But it is declared unsafe to travel by British and American authorities. You never know when someone will slit your throat or gun you down. Now terrorism rules the ancient corners of the city. Travel at your own risk.

 

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5 Exciting Things to do in Coorg, India

Coorg is an off beaten destination in Karnataka. You can experience the wondrous beauty of this hill station. You might be tired of visiting famous tourists destinations. Coorg is popular among adventure seekers and nature lovers. The lush green forest will call you. Trek on the jeep to witness the gorgeousness of Western Ghats.

RAFTING IN BARAPOLE

We recommend this, only if you don’t have a weak heart. Rafting in Barapole can play havoc with your senses. It is around six kilometers long rapid. An experienced rafter will have fun against the turbulent waves. Rapids are also available for beginners.

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The experience in Barapole will put your heart in your throat. The sense of adventure on swelling waves is something worth remembering. It is the best place in the country for whitewater rafting. Take your chance here if you are a novice at rafting.

JEEP TREK, MANDALPATTI

When you drive through the dense jungle of hilly regions, you will be astounded. You will see animals coming out to greet you. The cascading waterfalls will surround your senses. The adventurous trek in Coorg is full of natural beauty.

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Head to Mandalpatti to have a golden view of sun kissing the horizon. Your drive might be a bit of inconvenience. Jungle roads are not smooth. But the pain will be worth it when you reach 1600 meter high.

JUNGLE HUTS IN NAGARHOLE

There is a kid inside all of us who wants to live in the woods. Trees are looming above you, thickets under your feet and wild sounds in your ears. That is something you wouldn’t like to miss. Stay at the jungle huts in Nagarhole national park. It is a tiger reserve. But it is also home to deer, elephants, and wild dogs.

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Huts are safe places to stay. You can come out during dusk and watch predators on the prowl. Do so from a safe distance, so that you don’t end up being dead meat. Streams are winding all through the forests. Tigers generally cool themselves near a water body. If you want to see a tiger, camp near a pool.

SELFIE IN COFFEE PLANTATION

Switch on your camera, compose the background. Smile! Then click. That was a selfie in the coffee plantation. Coorg is widely popular for its coffee plantations. Even Tata has its private coffee plantations here. You can stroll along the plants if you want to feel free.

Or ask the coffee pickers the process of manual coffee making. There are homes for tourists in the nearby region of plantations. Stay near the coffee plants. So, each morning during your stay you can get a whiff of coffee.

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A SCENE OF GOLDEN TEMPLE

Coorg has its own golden temple. It has the largest number of Buddhist in India. The Namdroling monastery present here boasts golden statues of Buddha. It is just at a distance of thirty minutes from Bylakuppe.

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You can interact with the Tibetan monks in the monastery. They are refugees staying in Namdroling. The atmosphere in here is one of peace and holiness.

 

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Travel to the Longest Man-Made Dam

“Hirakud“ the name suggests a place of diamonds. If water is diamond, then Hirakud lives up to its name. It is the first multi-purpose hydro project built in India. Located on the river Mahanadi, it is the longest man-made dam in the world. It runs for 25.7 kilometers. Many places are hidden to us. We can’t visit them because they are not highlighted.

Hirakud is one such beautiful place which is underrated. Being the longest dam, you would think it is flocked by people all time of the year. No, Hirakud is a quiet place. Not many tourists visit it. What will I do here? You might ask. For that reason only we have listed some of the activities you can do when you visit Hirakud.

CLIMB ATOP GANDHI MINAR

If you are not afraid of heights, you can climb the spiral staircase of Gandhi Minar. It is located adjacent to Hirakud dam. At the tower, the view is gorgeous. Minar will start rotating if it is not overcrowded with people. You can see the vast body of water submerging nearby mountains.

The artificial lake Tehri is beautiful from here. When you visit it in monsoon, you can see the clouds crawling over water. The monsoon wind will blow over the minaret. And in flood situations the gates of the dam are open. You can see massive crests of water bubbling out of the dam. Watch nature in its untamed glory. Climb and withhold the communion of nature and man. Before heading here remember to book a pass at the counter on your way up.

DRINK FROM LOCAL CAFÉ

Once you have the view of the longest man-made dam, You can come down. The temperature here is always pleasant. A cup of tea sounds heavenly when the river is roaring beside you. Or if you crave something cold too, you can have ice-cream. It is more of a stall rather than a café. Just to add a romantic twist to tea, there are mini huts here. You can seek shelter there if it’s drizzling. Cuddle up with your partner and sip tea. The view of the river from the hut beside the café is lovely.

RIDE ON THE DAM

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The thought will cross your mind here. Two minars are at each end of the dam. One is located in Burla, the other in Hirakud. There is a straight road connecting the two minars above Mahanadi. Just standing on the minar you will want to drive on that risky road. An epic ride on longest man-made dam!

Hirakud Dam Panorama By Quarterbacker    CC BY 3.0

But you need a pass to take a ride along that road. Because it is dangerous, it is not frequented and is closed to locals. But if you have planned your trip ahead of time, you might get a pass. “ Water water everywhere not a single drop to drink.” We are quoting Coleridge, as that is how you will feel when you drive above that angry current of water.

RELAX IN THE PARK

When Hirakud was inaugurated in 1957, it was popular. Maybe because it was the longest man-made dam in the world, it was thought to become a tourist attraction. That is why there are some attractions created to lure tourists. Sadly, the number of visitors have decreased. But the park is still beautifully lush. You can walk hand in hand with your partner along plantations. Coconut trees are towering above the garden. The nearby Tehri Lake is also worth a look if you want to have a picnic.

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HAVE LUNCH AT HONG KONG

We are not talking about the city! But the restaurant. After your sightseeing, you can head to Sambalpur. It is 15 kilometers from Hirakud. After reaching there in no time have a delicious meal at Hong Kong. It is an exclusive Chinese restaurant. The little red lanterns hanging everywhere give a Chinese feel to it. You should try the momos here. They are lip-smackingly delicious. But if you prefer vegetarian you can order a hot and sour soup. What tastes better than it on a cold day.

 

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The Rise of Adventure Travel: Are You Brave Enough?

Adventure travel has become an integrated part of the travel industry. It is soon becoming a trend, which people are following blindly. The thirst to discover new cultures and off-the-beaten-path natural treasures is growing in people.

That is why the industry revenue increased by 24% in 2014 as reported by several leading travel research groups. Adventure travel has three elements: connection with nature, interaction with other cultures, and physical activity.

Read: Top 10 Travel Trends That Will Only Grow

Rise of Adventure Travel

Share with your friends the below infographic.

As you can see, adventure travel is not limited to extreme sports. There is a new category which is becoming popular. It’s often called the “soft adventure.” You can ride on a safari in Africa and call it an adventure tourism (because it is).

The hard adventure is for the daredevils. Those who want to go off beat. Scuba diving and paragliding come under hard adventure.

Related: Top 40 Travel and Tourism Niches: Which One Are You?

Women vs Men Adventures

The percentage of travelers involved in the adventure is increasing year after year. It has shown a steady rise since past three years. You will be surprised to know that 53% of adventure travelers are women. Who knew that!? (I certainly did not, but hey, this is the century of women!)

The wrong notion that the mustache is stronger than the braids is slammed right there. Another emerging trend is that more and more people are now exploring new places. Most travelers do not prefer to travel to the same place (as it used to be 20-30 years ago).

Travelers don’t like doing mundane things on their trips anymore. They are exploring new horizons. Maybe that is why only 22% of travelers repeat their adventure activities. According to ATTA research, African countries have shown a steep decline in attracting adventure tourists whereas Latin America and Asia are on the rise.

Adventure travel is widely popular in South America and Southeast Asia. There are hundreds of destinations around the world which can be turned into adventure destination. For example, the Polar cruising is becoming a hot trend.

Traveling without adventure is mundane. Even if you do a bungee jumping on your trip, you become an adventure traveler. So, don’t hold back. Explore the wild and unknown. Embrace the Adventure!

 

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Adventure destinations in India

India is a symbol of the diversity of nature. From blistering temperatures to snow laden mountains, India has it all. If you are fed up with the clichéd Taj Mahal or Ooty, head out for some adventure. India has many destinations which will provide you adventure. Gear up for some scary fun with nature. Warning- Only for the daredevils.

CAVING IN MEGHALAYA

Lighting a fire on your own, and warming yourself up inside a cave! It sounds like you have gone back many centuries. But trust us, you will love the feel of it. Meghalaya is sprawled between lush forests. The green landscape is enhanced with gushing waterfalls. You have to pack your bags carefully.

Caving adventures in Meghalaya India by Sharada Prasad CS CC BY 2.0

Nobody knows when you will run out of food or water. Keep in mind to pack sufficiently. Use your resources wisely. When you are at the heart of nature, you will be enchanted by it. The beauty has a wildness to it. Make sure you carry a weapon for safety. You might encounter jungle friends on your way.

SKYDIVING IN MYSORE

All those who fear heights, this is your chance to conquer it. You can feel the wind on blowing your face. And The weightlessness of your body when you freefall. You might be scared to dive from the heights. But once you take the leap you will want to be in the air. The view of Mysore is stunning. With crystal, blue sky overhead and dense valleys below your heart will skip a beat. You might scream out loud when you jump. Then you can drink in the scenery around you. Take the lead of an expert. You will be safe.

MOTORCYCLING IN SHIMLA

This trip is for those who love being on the road. Nothing feels as good as discovering unchartered destinations. Gang up with your friends who share a common passion. Hit the road from Shimla to Leh. You might freeze your bones on the way.

Shimla India Ridge by Betelgeuse CC BY-SA 3.0

Dress warm and carry rum with you. You will desperately need a sip. It is best if you join the rally “The Raid de Himalaya”. The tour will take you through freezing places. But at the end of the day its adventure, remember?

BUNGEE JUMPING IN UTTAR PRADESH

Now you would have warmed up to height a bit. It is the perfect time to let the fear go. Rishikesh has an 83 meters high podium. It might be high. But what fun is bungee jumping without the super height? Jump from heights of ecstasy. You will land in the holy waters of Ganges. Rishikesh has a wide range of adventure sports options you can pursue. River rafting and paragliding are also on the menu if you want a taste of it.

SCUBA DIVING IN ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR

These gorgeous islands are a part of India. But they are not so visited by tourists. Their untouched beauty and tribal culture are popular. You can take a dip into the turquoise waters of Andaman. What you will see before your eyes will amaze you. Under the blanket of blue waters, there are beautiful basalt formations. The natural coral barriers are colorful when the sun shines on them. You can do a lot of Water sports in the islands. The hotels here cater to luxury. You can pamper yourself with the adventurous experience.

FLY-BOARDING IN GOA

The sandy beaches and sea shells call for a lemonade. But you will not have enough time for lounging in Goa if you are into adventure sports. All kind of water sports can be performed here. Are you a speedster? Do you love water? Then what are you waiting for? Flyboard! Tourists from all around the countries travel to Baina beach. Help your girlfriend on the board. It will feel good when someone grabs you tight when you ride on.

TREKKING IN ROOPKUND

Your fear will start now. Even though you did not feel a thing while jumping or diving, you will be scared by trekking here. We are not joking. The scene here is something taken out of a horror movie. The path winds around the Roopkund lake. It is littered with skeletons. Researchers say that the skeletons belong to the ninth century. People died in a hailstorm, and their skeletons still line the glacial lake. You will need to wear warmers. Not because it is Uttaranchal but because it is located at high altitude. Dare to travel beyond. That is what adventure is all about.

 

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6 Fun Facts Before You Travel To Congo

Congo is seen as a country inhabited by tribals with dense forests. It is a cliché. Congo has many truths about it which have been hidden from the common eye. It is so much more than the jungles and wilderness. Enjoy some fun facts about the larger Democratic Republic Congo mentioned below; they will take you by surprise.

SECOND LARGEST FRENCH SPEAKING CITY

Paris is the largest city which has the largest number of French speakers. That is understandable as it is the capital of France. But Kinshasa, Congo? You cannot believe it is second in the list. The capital city of Congo has around ten million people who speak French.

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It is a safe destination, keeping in mind the fighting in the country. Kinshasa even organized the La Francophonie. It is a summit held by all French-speaking countries. So before you jump into conclusion of Congo being about jungles, think again? French is the classiest language in the world. Congo is classy in its way.

CONGO IS OBSESSED WITH MAYONNAISE

Fresh mayonnaise by Jason Terk  CC BY 2.0

No matter how strange it may sound, it’s a fact. They eat mayonnaise with almost everything. Congo is rich in the department of “restaurants”. It has got Indian, Lebanese, Belgian, Congolese, and other African cuisines. The mayo is served with everything from fish, meat, pepper, peas. The delicious burn from the pepper is balanced by mayo. You will find affordable restaurants serving you some hot and generous Lebanese meal. Ready your palate for a mayo overkill if you plan on visiting Congo.

EBOLA IS NOT EASY TO CATCH

Many movies have portrayed Ebola as being easy to catch in Congo. There are reasons behind the outbreaks in the 1950s. But the government now has taken steps to curb it. Any first sign of a virus and it is treated as soon as possible.

The bushmeat is an important source of the virus. It is widely consumed by rural people in Congo. Campaigns are held to spread awareness among the people. So, when you visit, Congo don’t be afraid to catch Ebola. Stay cautious you will be safe.

CONGO WAS PLAYGROUND OF CONCORDE

Yes, we are talking about the retired jet. Concorde was one of the fastest planes in history. It used to land in the jungles of Concorde. In the middle of an African jungle, Dictator Mobutu created a city. It is one of the weirdest city. He did everything in his power to imitate the French style. Even the street signs are copied from Marseille and Paris.

The city is located on shores of Oubangui river. Mobutu has created two palaces which heroes the city. But since Mobutu has fled the place is now being buried under the jungle. You can visit the landing ground of Concorde (it’s now an expensive hotel sector).

Congo did not have a stable government in recent years. The overthrow of Mobutu led to war in following years. Since 2002 the government is gaining stability. There were only two hotels in country’s capital in those years. But nowadays many hotels have been built across the city. Definitely a place to check out for the adventurous souls.

The Grand Hotel is being renovated. Its new face is gorgeous. But with rising number of hotels, the price tags are also increasing. Hotels will cost you ~ $300 for a night. The pricey deals might be due to the type of people checking in the hotels. Government officials, businessmen, shady dealers usually stay at these hotels. For regular tourists, the cost, however, can seem a bit extravagant.

PRIMATE TRIPS

Going for a “Primate viewing trips” are cheaper in the Democratic Congo than in neighboring Rwanda or Uganda. Tourists can see wildlife, indigenous cultures, and geological phenomena not found anywhere else in Africa.

Tourists can trek to see both mountain and lowland gorillas in wild, meet pygmies still practising their traditional way of life in the forests, spot bonobos and okapi — two rare species not found anywhere else on earth, and climb to the summits of active volcanoes and see a boiling lava lake in the crater of Mount Nyiragongo.

In downtown Kinshasa, an ivory market exists where other than the obvious, Congolese art, tribal masks, and other beautiful goods can be procured. Outside of Kinshasa is a bonobo preserve called Lola Ya Bonobo.

NOT SO SAFE

The DRC has experienced frequent unrest in the eastern part of the country. Tourism, in general, in Congo is uncommon. The good side of this equation is that you will not face crowds and also may get to experience a true view of Africa, not untainted by too much modernization.

If you travel, you should hire reputable guides and join a group travel party. If you have African friends who speak the language (local and as well as French), even the better. Above all, please practice common sense rules of staying safe when traveling.

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Visiting Japan’s Peak: Mount Fuji

Some say Mount Fuji in Japan is every hiker’s dream, a must-visit for travelers. This behemoth of a landscape stands tall and scared, touching the skies to the southwest of Tokyo, with its summit at 3,776 meters above sea level.

It is not surprising, therefore, that many people want to make a trip to Mt. Fuji and locals worship the sacred mountain out of the belief that it is connected to God. Locals believe that whosoever climbs and visits the Murayama Sengen Jinja becomes blessed.

Mount Fuji

Hikers, climbers, and adventurers challenge the peak during the climbing season. According to official figures, more than 300,000 people from across the world climb Mt. Fuji every summer, either for the achievement of setting a record for their lifetime or for the sheer fulfillment of the physical and spiritual self.

Visit Spiritual Shrines

In the past, trekking in the mountain meant a spiritual fulfillment. That is why many shrines were built in Mount Fuji to indicate the spiritual importance of walking through the different trails.

At the summit alone, there are two shrines:

  • Okumiya Shrines
  • Kusushi Shrines

Located beside these shrines at the end of the trails are snowmelt springs of water passing through volcanic lava.

Murayama Sengen Jinja Temple

It is also recommended that tourists visit the Murayama Sengen Jinja temple, where people in the past were believed to pay homage in order to live a good life.

The old temple was constructed a thousand years ago. Another recommended drop-by point for visitors is the Fuji Gen temple situated at the foothill of Mt Fuji. These temples serve as jump-off points to the 5th level of Mt. Fuji.

Hiking & Trekking Trails

Before trekking in Mt. Fuji, one needs to gather information about the trails, hotels, towns and tour schedules of the place, and the Internet provides pieces of relevant information.

When booking hotel rooms around Mt. Fuji, check an establishment’s terms for the use of toilets and bathrooms. Cheap rates mean you will have to share water closets with other guests.

Seek information about climbing the mountain – fitness level requirement, training, clothing, sickness, weather forecasts, etc.

Climbing Mt Fuji by Jakub Hałun CC BY-SA 4.0

Visting Mt. Fuji & Location

Mt. Fuji sits in the middle of Japan, with the official designation as the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Beyond the 5th station, where hikers begin the 10-hour climb to the summit, and the Aokigahara forest, the area is protected, meaning hikers are not allowed the pilfer the rocks and plants.

On any point, almost everybody considers it a privilege already to be standing at the foot of the mountain. But for hikers who can’t resist the temptation to reach the peak of Mt. Fuji, there are many odds that could keep them from trekking on the mountain such as the cost of the trip including airfare, accommodation, transportation, food and clothing and one’s fitness to make the trip.

Kawaguchiko Trail

The Kawaguchiko trail is the traditional route and takes 6- 8 hours to complete (walking pace). On your climb you might see the dormant crater, it is a sign that a meteorological station is 30 minutes away from you.

Kawaguchiko Trail

Another route is the Gotembaguchi route, which is tougher than Kawaguchiko trail route. It takes about 10 hours to hike the mountain using this route. There are cozy huts to help you on the mountain, selling postcards, gloves, food, raincoats.

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara, also known as the sea of trees as it spreads across the foothills of Mt. Fuji, is covered with lava mud over which trees of various kinds grow with their roots jutting out above the ground. Many tales led to the other name of the forest – suicide forest. According to stories, trekkers found body remains and suicide notes in the forest.

Fuji Five Lakes

Take extra pleasure in what Mt. Fuji has to offer. Visit the Fuji Five Lakes at the northern foot of the mountain, where you can view the beautiful landscape of the lake.

The Fifth Station

Going to the Fifth Station is made easy through a bus ride along a road that ends at the station’s intersection of pavement and soil. Before kicking off the Fifth Station trail, you will find a helpful map at the entrance of the Ochudo Trail, which will guide you through the journey.

Although it surrounds the circumference of Mt. Fuji, tourists can never get lost on this trail because it is well-maintained. Finally, when at the Fifth Station, you can find many souvenir shops and toilets.

Mt. Fuji 5th by Flittergreeze CC BY-SA 4.0

How To Get Here

Once you reach Tokyo, there is no trouble taking a bus from Shinjuku. The bus ride takes you to the Fifth Station (as mentioned above), which is the base point of hiking in Mount Fuji. NOte, it takes at least two hours to reach Kawaguchiko – the fifth station.

There is also another way to reach Mt Fuji- train. Take JR Tokaido line from Tokyo, then from Kozu change train for Gotemba. Then there are direct buses from Gotemba to the fifth station. And the Gotemba Route is relatively cheaper.

Best Time To Visit

The hiking season in Mt. Fuji is strict for two months – July and August. At this time of the year, Tokyo is burning in the heat, but the slopes of Mt Fuji are still mildly cold. Pack your bags wisely to cope with the nightly drop in temperature.

All the facilities and routes get closed off during offseason. It is not advisable for even professionals to dare the Mountain after August. Climb the mountain during the late morning, so you catch the sunrise as well as ditch the crowds. And what more? You get to stay at an overnight camp and witness the sunrise too.

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7 Creepiest Haunted Train Stations Ever

Haunted stations are exciting places to visit. Many travelers are intrigued by mysterious things. They want to be in that stations which are centers of paranormal activities. If you are into ghostly riddles, you can go to these locations. You can witness hauntings. It will make the hairs on your neck stand. Here are ten haunted stations if you are brave enough to visit them.

BISHAN MRT STATION, SINGAPORE

The secret behind the grim atmosphere is chilling.This station was built on the ground which was once Bi Shan Teng cemetery.After the construction of this station, hauntings started.This unholy land had buried many dead.But now those haunt the station. In many instances, women have been grabbed by invisible spirits.

Headless creatures walk through the station at midnight.Passengers in this station are undead.So don’t stop to have a word or two.It might turn scary.You will be scared out of your brains by hearing footsteps running on top of moving trains.

CAOBAO ROAD SUBWAY STATION, CHINA

It is on line 1 of Shanghai subway station.Believe it or not, Caobao station has seen nine mysterious deaths.It is home to spooky spirits.Many passengers have been dragged away by invisible hands. They have been pulled off platforms to death.Ghost of a girl who committed suicide haunts the station.She wears red, red sitting on the platform.And if you have guts do try the tunnel.You can hear a woman’s laughter in the dark tunnel.

Platform for L1 of Caobao Road Station by MNXANL CC BY-SA 4.0

ADDISCOMBE RAILWAY STATION, SOUTH LONDON

You cannot visit this station anymore.It was demolished in 2001. This station was said to be haunted by a driver. He died in around the 1900s. His blurry spirit walked around the station. Particularly among sheds of siding number four. His presence brought a coolness to the area. He also moved through the trains in the dark of the night. It’s a shame this station is no more present.

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MACQUARIE FIELDS, AUSTRALIA

When you first look at it, it’s just a suburban station. You should not underestimate it. Because the blood-curdling screams you will hear is borderline spooky.The restless spirit of a teenage girl is seen. She is dressed as to go dancing.But when the clock ticks twelve she screams in the deserted station.

Locals have seen her pacing through the station in the dead of the night.Everyone is wise enough to stay away.Researchers who photographed the station even found more ghostly figures watching them.Ohh my!You can test your limits and visit it at midnight.Good luck with that.

Macquarie Fields Station by Roadrunnerz45 CC BY-SA 3.0

BEGUNKODOR TRAIN STATION, INDIA

This station was abandoned for past 42 years. Railway officials ran away from the station in 1967. They reported seeing a woman draped in white saree haunting the station. Nobody knows whether these claims are correct or not. Still, residents of Purulia have said that that ghost has killed a railway official. All things aside Mamata Banerjee overruled this issue. This station reopened in 2009.

PANTEONES METRO STATION, MEXICO

This station is near two cemeteries. You can imagine the tales that are related to this station.Many pieces of evidence are proving the existence of poltergeist.In 2009 a video was shot by engineers at the station.It showed the railway officials hearing the eerie screams down the track. You can hear footsteps and knocks on the wall. In Panteones, shadowy figures appear and when approached they just vanish.The screams are regularly heard at night. Hope your heart is in control when you hear it.

UNION STATION, USA

It is located in Phoenix. Due to paranormal activities, it was closed in 1995. This station is haunted by a poltergeist.He doesn’t harm anyone. He is named Fred by the employees. His place is the attic. That room is off limits to employees. Nobody dares to enter it. But Fred is a bit shy. He keeps running away from everyone.

 

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5 Fun Facts About Space Travel

Space has remained a mystery to human beings. But some brave and intelligent men took action. They made it their passion to travel to space. It was not an easy job. When Apollo 11 went on its mission president, Richard Nixon had a speech prepared. That speech was for later. When the astronauts would get stranded but they did not. The first travel to the moon was epic and successful. It has been a long time since then. Many improvements have been made in the field of space travel. There are even space shuttles created for public use.

Maybe shortly we can fly to space. Here are a few facts that will help you during space travel. It has been a long time since then. Many improvements have been made in the field of space travel. There are even space shuttles created for public use. Maybe shortly we can fly to space. Here are a few facts that will help you during space travel.

YOU CAN’T HAVE SEX IN SPACE

That is a huge drawback in a space shuttle. Even though you try to have it, it will not be fun. In space, our bodies lose muscle mass. And human bodies drop blood pressure in space. In this case, it is hard for a male to get an erection. No muscle, low blood pressure = No sex. So if you are planning on a space trip, you can leave the condoms on earth.

TIME-TRAVELERS

You already would have heard about the theory of relativity. Astronauts also are subjected to this theory. When they travel, they experience less time. For example, if an astronaut is in love with his secretary. He is 30, and his secretary is 25 when he travels to space. After five years he returns to earth. He is still 30, and his secretary has turned 30. Well, this was just an example to let you understand. Nothing technical here. Isn’t it rather cool to space travel as well as time-travel? Slow aging is a perk for astronauts.

SPACE SMELLS LIKE BURNT STEAK

Astronauts who get out of their shuttles smell the space. According to them, space smells okay. It has got a distinct scent of burnt steak. The moon itself smells like gunpowder and ashes. It is not flowers and roses in space then. But the glittery scenery might make up for the gnarly odor.

YOU CAN’T USE PENCIL IN SPACE

You might have watched the movie “Three Idiots”. In the movie, the character Virus explains about this issue. The zero gravity space is the reason behind it. If the lead tip breaks then, it might damage the equipment. Thus NASA took the initiative and created a pen. This pen can write in zero gravity(moon) and vacuum. When you are in space, make sure to buy one such pen. Each costs $2.95.

Space Pen by atomicjeep CC BY-SA 2.0

SPACE HAS INTERNET ACCESS

The development of technology has led to many improvements in space travel. One such improvement is the use of phones. You can make calls and even use the internet. A Russian astronaut, Pavel Vinogradov was the first person to use the internet in space. He did so to pay his income taxes. He sure is a responsible citizen and passionate space traveler. Well, so are we. Let us hope that technological advancements occur. So that we can soon space travel. There are many fun facts we would like to share with you. Maybe in the next list of space travel. Happy galaxy tour to you.

 

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Top 5 Unconventional Places To Visit In Canada

Canada is a world-class country. It excels in every field. The cultural and scenic charms work wonders for tourists. It is well known for its maple leaf and pancake syrup. But that is not all that defines this country. For travelers looking for something out of the box, here is your chance to break the curse of clichés. You will discover such amazing places in this country that you will be surprised. Visit this heavenly places mentioned below.

THE ENCHANTED FOREST

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In 1950s, Doris and Rogers needed a place to treasure their sculptures. So they bought a forest. They filled it with sculptures of characters like dragons, pirates. Their home was in the form of a cute gingerbread.Further in the 1960s it became accessible to tourists. The dwarfs behind trees and fairies with magic wands were a beautiful attraction for children. Your inner child will squeal when you see this life like sculptures giving you a taste of a fantasy world. Gear up for your walk in this woods which is full of magic and ghosts.

VAN DUSEN GARDEN, VANCOUVER

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Earlier in the Elizabethan period mazes were created to confuse evil spirits. But eventually, it became a trend in the nineteenth century. This hedge in Van Dusen is one of the six in North America. It consists of three thousand pyramidal cedars. It was planted in 1981. You can visit this wondrous place of fauna any day of the year except on Christmas. Besides cedar, it is rich in plants from all around the world. Go ,find a way out of the maze in Vancouver.

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE 

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It was built in 1889 by a civil engineer George MacKay to cross the river. It was made of rope and cedar planks. George had constructed this bridge as a form of entertainment for his friends who were daredevils. Later in the twentieth century, this bridge was improved to a wire cable bridge. Adventure lovers from around the world come here to pit their strengths on this swinging bridge. Capilano has proved to be an international destination of rustic beauty. Test your strength and cross the bridge.

THE SPOTTED LAKE

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This lake can is also called kliluk . It is a water body located between the Okanogan and Similkameen valleys in the desert of British Columbia. In summer, the water evaporates and leaves patches of dots. The polka dots of sodium sulfates and magnesium sulfates are beautiful. You can also see graves in a form of rock piles surrounding the lake. It is  a sacred medicine site. You can walk around the dry piece of land between the spotted lake and enjoy this natural phenomenon. How great is the untamed beauty of nature? It always takes us by surprise. 

YOHO NATIONAL PARK 

Yoho National Park of Canada by Marek Slusarczyk  CC BY 2.5

Yoho National park is a symbol of nature being in total sync with the human community. The rich flora and fauna will tempt every nature-lover to take a stroll here. For history lovers, burgess shale is a thing not to be missed. The attempt to join eastern Canada and western Canada in 1800s was a huge step taken by this nation. We still have something that ought to be visited. The spiral tunnels which give you an incredible view of the park. Canada has put immense effort in conserving it’s tourists destinations. Let’s travel to places which are unknown and discover the thrill.

 

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Hidden Wonders Of Egypt

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Egypt is a lot more than the traditional destination of pyramids.The package tourists mostly stick to a schedule of guides and travel to usual places in Egypt. They go for  Giza, Plauteur, Luxor. Places are identifiers of Egypt. But they don’t explain the unique and diverse history of Egypt. If you want to choose unconventional, then visit this hidden gems of Egypt. Think different and travel brilliantly. If you want to choose unconventional, then visit this hidden gems of Egypt. Think different and travel brilliantly.

CATACOMBS of KOM-AL-SHOQAFA

Located in Alexandria this place screams mystery. It is an underground cemetery complex. It was one of the seven wonders in middle ages. It has it all to make your jaw drop. From spooky spiral staircases to pristine statues.  Here is just an added charm as it contains symbols representing Roman-Egyptian religious symbols. You will wonder why there is banquet hall in the cemetery. Did the ancients feed on dead? Relax. It was there to hold memorial meals for the deceased. Take a walk six feet under to witness famous catacombs of Kom-al-shoqafa.

113KOM EL SHOQAFA CATACOMBS by Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD CC BY-SA 3.0

CLEOPATRA BEACH

Ever heard of the queen and kept a serpent on her bosom committing suicide. That queen was Cleopatra of Egypt. Cleopatra in her time used to take a bath inside a cavern on Marsa Matrouth. The best thing about is how water from Mediterranean sea sways in and out of this cave .water hits the rocks.Pooling inside the cavern.It remains fresh. So refreshing to take a bath.

MOUNT SINAI

This is like coming home for all adventure sports lovers. Those who are a fan of trekking can tie up their laces and start up from the floors. It is not easy to climb this large chunk of land but the view waiting for you at the top of Sinai is a million dollar one. You just can’t miss it. On your ascent, you will meet Bedouins with their camels. Their dress up mirrors the rich cultural heritage of Egypt. Tired of seeing historical places in Egypt?This will refresh you and may give you a sore muscle or two.

HALAIB and SHALATIN TRIANGLE 

With a touch of ethereal, the ecosystem here is unique. The Jebel Elba was also known as “mist oasis”  receives precipitation in the form of mist giving it an otherworldly look. Travelers who are looking for adventure can also visit Elba National Park and Wadi al Jemal national park. Wadi is third largest wadi draining to Red sea. If you think Egypt is only golden sands, this place will prove you wrong. Come travel, explore, and discover the mysteries of the ancient Egypt. Find the unconventional. Because wanderers often stumble upon treasures.

 

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6 Adventure Sports in Tatopani, Nepal You Can’t Miss

If you want to get away from the hustling and bustling of Kathmandu city and experience the bumpy ride across Himalayan hills, “The Last Resort” is a place to visit on your Nepal trip.

It is a place full of dare and fear, so if you want to get some adrenaline rush, experience gravity-defying adventure, and to test the adventurer in you, read on.

The Last Resort is about 3 hours drive from Kathmandu and is located close to the Tibetan border in a place called Tatopani.

 

The resort is beautiful and very accommodating. It lies on top of the Bhotekoshi river gorge where you can view the beautiful valleys terraced slopes, the flowing high current river, and greenery all around.

Not only the location and the scenery is perfect for relaxation, but there are also other things that you can do to make your experience more rewarding and meaningful.

How To Get To Tatopani?

There are a lot of day trips as well as stay in at the resort options and packages to choose from with adventure sports.

The drive from Kathmandu to Tatopani is not long (about three hours, 102 km) but taking early morning transportation will save you some time.

Kathmandu city (rooftop view)

 

If you only want to do one activity and experience the resort a day trip back and forth from Kathmandu can be done. If you choose to do a couple of activities and experience the nature and serenity at Tatopani, then stay at last resort.

The drive is pretty interesting. One of the highlights of the trip will also be the experience of the drive from one hill to another and then circle around the hill up and down to another hill.

I loved the drive which I call “edge of the road drive” and at some points, you will see a truly breathtaking view of the array of valleys. Once you get to the resort there are lots of thrilling and fun activities to do.

Note: Prebooking the activity is always recommended to reserve your spot.

Adventure Sports To Try In Tatopani

Have you ever thought of jumping from a 160m high bridge where all you can see below is a flowing river?

No kidding! Nepal has one of the world’s most breathtaking Bungee jump and the world’s highest canyon swing.

Bungee Jumping

Bungee is most popular with tourists as well as Nepali residents. The jump is from a 160m high bridge with the roaring Bhotekoshi river beneath. It is definitely an experience you won’t forget.

Canyon Swing

One of the world’s largest swing from the 160m high bridge.

Tandem Swing

Don’t worry if you don’t want to jump alone, partner up and do the jump together.

 

 

Canyoning

Connect with nature and explore the hidden gems of nature, get wet under the waterfall.

High Ropes

This is an interesting Zip lining and the adventure course in the midst of the woods.

White Water Rafting

Nepal has some best rivers for white water rafting. Bhotekoshi river which is formed by the snow and mountain glacier is great for rafting.

 

Keep exploring the world and keep that connection with our earth strong.

Namaste!

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An International Couple Climbing All 50 US State Highpoints

As of 2017, there were less than 300 recorded completers of all 50 state highpoints. There are 10 or so couples who have done it together. If we successfully complete it, we’ll be the first international couple to successfully climb and summit to all 50 state highpoints.

Moreover, Neha, my wife will be the first Nepali-American to do so and I’ll be the first Indian-American to achieve this feat. So, that’s our goal.

This post is part 1 of the overview and the list of highpoints to conquer.

Read: What is Highpoining?

50 STATES HIGHPOINTS

We are dividing the 50 state highpoints based on the geographical regions. This way, we will be able to plan our road trips better (with, little to no flying during most of our trips). We have also covered whether a highpoint is a hike or a climb and it’s difficulty level.

MOUNT DENALI, ALASKA

Mount Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) in Alaska is the highest summit of the United States and North American Continent.

This Alaskan peak, one of the seven summits, is considered one of the steepest and an extremely challenging climb for anyone. Severe weather conditions make this mountain dangerous for all climbers.

Mt. Denali formally Mt. McKinley

Mount Denali is 20,320 feet tall. You start the ascent around 7,500 ft. Most climbers fly in from Talkeetna, a small town almost completely centered around the climbing of Denali. The standard route up the mountain is the West Buttress, and from May until July the route is a crowded series of camps from 7,800 feet until the high camp at just over 17,000 feet. The 14,000 foot camp on Denali is the largest on the mountain. Over 100 tents are typically set up here including the National Park Service.

CLIMBING MOUNT DENALI

Denali involves a high level of preparation: carrying 3 weeks of food, equipment, clothing, and shelter. These sleds can easily weigh in between 40-80 lbs plus the backpack.

We are going to keep our backpack and sleds as light as possible. We believe in“light is right”. To achieve this, we will be packing completely dried food, lightweight tents, sleep with our clothes inside the tent, and high-quality lightweight hardware.

Well, this will cost money but we have to pay the price for the safety and increasing our chances to reach the summit and return safely and successfully. For up to 14,000 feet, Mount Denali requires nothing more than glacier travel.

The real test of our strength would be climbing to 17,000 ft from 14,000 camp and climbing to the summit from the 17,000 ft high camp. High winds and extreme cold can pin down parties between 17,000 ft and the summit for days on end.

Mount Denali, the ultimate North American Climb

The challenges on Mount Denali are numerous, for example, rigging of sleds, the use of crampons and ice ax, the proficiency in a rope rescue system, the use of a mechanical ascender, the unexpected weather conditions, the effects of altitude on the body and brain, and cooperation among the teammates and between the guides and the team.

MT. WHITNEY, CALIFORNIA

Mount Whitney in California is the highest summit of the Sierra Nevada and the contiguous United States. It is 14,505 ft. The most popular route up the high point of California is the 22-mile round trip Whitney Trail. We’ll be doing the hike within a day during the summer month.

Mount Whitney, CA (the second tallest peak in U.S.)

MT. ELBERT, COLORADO

The 2nd highest peak in the lower 48 states, Mount Elbert in Colorado is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains.

Mount Elbert view from Twin Lakes

Its 9.2-mile round trip hike to the summit is an attainable goal for a single day hike. We’ll be hiking Mt. Elbert during the summer months.

MT. RAINIER, WASHINGTON

Mount Rainier in Washington is the highest summit of the Cascade Range and the most prominent summit of the contiguous United States. With collapsing snow bridges, avalanches, route finding problem, and sudden severe weather during peak climbing season, Mt. Rainier is a serious mountain that has deaths, injuries, and rescues each year.

Mount Rainier over Tacoma (the second hardest climb after Mt. Denali)

Rainier is a huge mountain with 20 plus routes and sees a large number of climbers each year. It is considered by many to be the best training ground in the lower 48 for Mt. Denali and other larger mountains with glacier travel and steep snow. We’ll be taking the Disappointment Clever Route, a common route.

Mt. Rainier, WA (Ariel view)

Winter time conditions (snowy storms and sub-freezing weather) is expected year round. For perspective, In 2010, 10,643 people attempted to climb Mount Rainier and only 4,920 of them actually reached the summit. This is the second hardest climb in the 50 state highpoints.

GANNETT PEAK, WYOMING

Mount Gannett in Wyoming is the highest summit of the Central Rocky Mountains and the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains outside of Colorado. The most remote state high point requires a long (40-50 miles) round-trip hike and climb to reach its summit. The entire trip is beautiful, if not more so than the summit.

Gannett Peak, Wyoming

The standard route from the Pole Creek Trailhead involves a potential camp at the north end of the glacially carved Titcomb Basin and a snow climb up and over Dinwoody Pass (Bonney Pass) at 13,000 feet before the true summit is climbed up via the Gooseneck Ridge. On the descent, a 1,200-foot climb back up and over Bonney Pass is required.

Green Lakes, WY

Along with good conditioning, Gannett typically requires proficient usage of ice-axe, crampons, and a rope. It’s the hardest state high point, probably No. #3 after Denali and Rainier.

MAUNA KEA, HAWAII

Mauna Kea means “white mountain” in Hawaiian. The name white mountain is due to the fact that snow falls on the top of this 33,000 ft giant volcano. From the depths of the ocean floor to the summit, Mt. Kea is 33,000 feet, making Mt. Kea the highest summit in the Pacific Ocean and the tallest mountain on Earth as measured from base to summit.

The stars (night view) from Mauna Kea Summit

From sea surface level to the summit, Mt Kea is 13,796 ft tall, making it the 6th tallest peak in the USA. A road leads to the top, and the summit is filled with large, white domed observatories: the largest collection of astronomical telescopes on the planet.

Mauna Kea Observatories (on the summit)

Sunset over four telescopes of the Mauna Kea Observatories. From left to right: the Subaru Telescope, the twin Keck I and II telescopes, and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility.

Mauna Kea Summit (winter)

The Mauna Kea trail starts at the visitor center, climbs 4,576 feet in 6 miles, and provides a good way to the summit. We’ll be using a mountain bike for a portion of the hike to make our time more fun.

KINGS PEAK, UTAH

The 7th highest State High Point is situated in the High Uinta Wilderness Area of north-central Utah. Moose are often seen along the approach and altitude sickness is a common complaint.

Kings Peak, Utah

The Henry’s Fork approach is the standard route. We’ll be doing this in two days.

Kings Peak, UT (Henry’s Fork Trail Sign)

WHEELER PEAK, NEW MEXICO

The highest peak in New Mexico lies in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range of New Mexico and Colorado. The most common hiking options include the Bull-of-the-Woods Trail which goes 16 miles round trip and is quite scenic or the Williams Lake Trail which is just 6 miles round trip but less scenic.

Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Wheeler Peak is a good candidate for a Fall ascent, as the days are often warm and clear with the nights cold.

BOUNDARY PEAK, NEVADA

At the northern end of the White Mountains, lies Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada at 13,140 feet. Within this range, which spans Nevada and California, are some higher peaks.

Boundary Peak, Nevada

White Mountain is the highest in this range and the third highest in California. Nearby Montgomery Peak (13,441 ft) is taller and craggier than Boundary peak. We plan to do Boundary peak and some of these other peaks in one outing.

Trail Canyon (Boundary Peak Wilderness) in Esmeralda County, Nevada

The nature of the climb up the Trail Canyon Route is scree with some minor scrambling near the top. Solitude can be easily found here as the general climbing season is long with year-round climbing being possible. Like most other taller peaks, Boundary peak receives snow and frequent high winds.

GRANITE PEAK, MONTANA

Granite peak has the distinction of being the only U.S. State Highpoint that requires climbing the vertical rock to reach the summit.

Granite Peak, MT

Granite is known for a little of everything: rock climbing, long hiking, scrambling, snow climbing, route finding, exposed camping, sudden severe thunderstorms, deep August snow, and most often a truly rewarding summit.

Granite Peak, Montana (close up view)

Granite is typically done in two days. It involves hiking on a rolling, very rocky plateau, with no defined trail. The best navigational method involves following large, easily sighted cairns, across the terrain. Camp spots are typically in rock built shelters and water sources could be hit and miss. Summit day involves mostly class 2-3 scrambling, crossing a snow bridge and 4th class to easy 5th Class climbing.

BORAH PEAK, IDAHO

Idaho’s tallest peak at 12,662 feet is situated at the northern part of the Lost River Range. The range is host to 7 of the 9 tallest peaks in the state of Idaho. The Lost River Range is known for its large, hulking, non-technical summits. This sparsely populated valley is a paradise for those seeking solitude.

Borah Peak, ID

Borah’s Chicken-Out-Ridge Route gains 5,260 feet of elevation in just 3.6 miles. At about 7,200 feet, the route starts out as an old Jeep road, then becomes a faint climber’s trail, then crosses an exposed ridge of rock, followed by a seasonal snow bridge crossing, until the summit is finally reached.

Mount Borah, ID

The route is typically done in 6-10 hours, round trip.

HUMPHREYS PEAK, ARIZONA

At 12,633 feet, Humphreys Peak defies the typical Arizona stereotype that the state is mostly a warm desert region.

Humphreys Peak, AZ

From the depths of the nearby Grand Canyon to the often snowy and windy summit ridge, this region is one of the most diverse in the nation. The lower west slopes of Humphreys contain some beautiful Aspen groves, while the east side of the peak is in a rain shadow and contains Sunset Crater.

Humphreys Peak (western face)

The standard route heads up the Humphreys Peak Trail from the Snow Bowl ski area. Nearby Agassiz Peak appears as the tallest peak from the Flagstaff area.

MOUNT HOOD, OREGON

The sulphuric and steamy vents near the Devils Kitchen is a reminder that Mount Hood is a dormant volcano. Like most of the Cascade Volcanoes, this peak strikes up and away from its surrounding terrain with much prominence.

Mount Hood, Oregon

The mountain is well used, given its proximity to the Willamette Valley, the ski area, and the resort lodge.The popular south side approach starts at Timberline Lodge and climbs Class 2 terrain to the summit. Conditions may vary and crampons, ice ax, and helmet are often times required.

Mt. Hood reflected in Mirror Lake

At just 8 miles round-trip and 5,300 feet of vertical gain, this approach provides a straightforward route to the summit. It is best climbed early morning, given the chance of collapsing snow bridges on the glacier and the hazard of rockfall.

NOTE:

Of the 50 high points, probably only 32 of them could be considered actual mountains. Nine of these highpoints are actually hills and another 9 of them are essential flat plateaus with a noticeable gradual slope or no rise at all.

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If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you have already climbed some of these mountains, please share about your experiences. If you want to climb some of these peaks with us, shoot me a message. We are game.

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US 50 States Highpoints: Backpack Packing List

As a fellow highpointing couple, we want to speak to other highpoint and adventuring couples.

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” – Aldous Huxley

I wish I was a mountain goat or, at least, as strong.

 

Highpointing Tips

The first thing in the sports of State Highpointing is considering “SAFETY” from all angles and all perspectives. Hiking and mountain climbing involves a great deal of risk and prioritizing safety means being prepared for any situation.

Below is our 4 safety rules of Highpointing that we are following and we will be following throughout this entire endeavor.

“Knowledge is power on the trail. Know how to keep yourself and your group safe every time you go out.”

State Highpoints Peakbagging Couple

KNOWLEDGE & PROPER GEAR

We’re watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, reading books, learning about proper gear use and everything that is in our power to make ourselves educated with mountaineering gears and mountaineering in general.

Read: Altitude Mountain Sickness

STAY TOGETHER

Most of our hikes will be just two of us together, but we will also be doing some group hikes. The plan is to:

A.) Stay with the crowd when hiking as a solo couple.

B.) Stay with the group at all times during the group hike.

TURN BACK

If one of us are feeling not well, sick or if we are overly exhausted or tired, our motto is to turn back and come back later. Money and time are secondary to life. You cannot put a price tag or time tag on the value of human life. For us, staying safe, staying alive and staying together is more important than finishing our goal.

Now, having said that, we also know that we are hardcore, and no matter how many times we may have to “turn back”, we will come again and we will keep coming until we reach to the summit and hike back to the camp. In other words, we are not afraid to screw our plans or change our plans.

Read: A Practical Guide to Highpointing: Best Time to Hike

BACKUP PLAN

Emergencies happen. Situations happen. Bad things can happen. Unplanned events do come up. Therefore everyone needs a “Plan B” or an “exit strategy”.When we are hiking solo, we will be sharing our trip information with our close friends and family and we will be requesting that they contact us every 12-24 hours by phone. We will be calling back and informing our emergency contact before and after each hike.

When we hike solo, we share our trip information with our close friends and family and we request them that they contact us every 12-24 hours by phone. We call back too. Inform a few close people and share your emergency contact numbers during each hike.

“Most falls and injuries occur when hikers are descending a trail.”

BACKPACK PACKING LIST

This is our listing of the clothing and equipment that we bring to almost all of our hikes. (If you are new to mountain climbing and hiking, it’s important to remember that you must know how to use these. Just carrying them with you won’t help much in times of need).

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Guidebook
  4. GPS Watch
  5. Hiking poles
  6. Flashlight
  7. Matches
  8. Cigarette Lighter
  9. First Aid Kit (with personal medication, if any)
  10. Whistle
  11. Swiss Pocket Knife
  12. Warm Clothing (layer jackets, long pants, woolen hat, full-body long underwears)
  13. Climbing Helmet
  14. Dry Food & 500 ml Bottled Water
  15. Water Bottle with Water Purification
  16. Rain/Wind Jacket & Pants
  17. Sturdy Footwear (Mountaineering Boots)
  18. Trash Bags
  19. Insect Repellant
  20. Sunglasses
  21. Sunscreen
  22. Gloves
  23. Cord & Ropes
  24. DSLR Camera with accessories
  25. GoPro Camera with accessories
  26. iPhones with add-on battery & charging cord
  27. Selfie stick for iPhone

Read: A International Couple Climbing All 50 US State Highpoints

OVERNIGHT TRIPS

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Foam Pad
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pots, Cup, Bowl, Spoon
  • More Food
  • Travel kit (Toothbrush, etc), Small Towel, Extra Underwear & Socks

FYI Fact: “The Alpine zone is the area above treeline.”

ALPINE ZONE, AVALANCHE TERRAIN

  • Avalanche Transceiver
  • Avalanche Probe
  • Small Snow Shovel
  • Insulated Boots
  • Overmitts
  • Snowshoes
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
  • Face Mask
Ice climbing with all equipment

 

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If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you have already climbed or have been to some of the state highpoints, please share about your experiences.

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Highpointing: The Ultimate American Adventure Bucket List

The movie Everest is out. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend you go watch it. It’s a masterpiece. It’s beautiful. It’s majestic.

It has been my longtime dream to climb Mount Everest, the ultimate adventure. After years of hiking, trekking, mountaineering, skydiving, and whatnot, I have finally put together a realistic and fun plan to accomplish my death-defying goals.

Everest Movie Poster (2015)

GOAL SETTING

For me, the standards for goal picking & setting is simple.

“If a goal is not crazy enough, it is not worthy enough to be a goal. It better be just a task.”

“A goal must fit into the grand vision of your life. A goal must be a pillar or a brick in the architect of your vision.”

As a couple, our Goal #1 is to attempt to successfully climb all 14 peaks of Massachusetts (for 14 counties) by Dec 2018. County highpoints are generally called CoHP.

Our Goal #2 is to attempt to climb all 50 tallest peaks of all 50 US states by Dec 2020.

Mount Whitney, tallest peak in California

And, this is the most fun part. I won’t be doing this alone. This is something, my girlfriend and I started together and we are now married and we are going to attempt to climb all 50 US highpoints as a couple. If we successfully do this, we will be the first international couple to successfully climb all 50 State highpoints in America.

Our ultimate goal is to eventually climb the Seven Summits and hope to make a Guinness World Record.

Mount Mitchell in North Carolina (great to visit during Fall colors)

Why Highpoint

  1. We will be the first international couple to officially do it. And, it will be a good warm-up exercise for us for later, when we take on higher-elevation and more dangerous climbs.
  2. Most of these places are easy to access (since we live in Boston and the east coast states are smaller).
  3. Therefore, this feat will not cost us a fortune. That would be different if we were thinking of flying to every continent or the Poles. Or if we were to travel from Asia or Europe.
Florida’s highest peak at Britton Hill. As you can see, some are challenging while others are easy.

BEING OFFICIAL ABOUT IT

To make sure what we are attempting is doable and in some way officially verifiable, I reached out to Greg, an experienced climber and the creator & webmaster of Peakbagger.com. I wanted to ask his advice on this. (PS: I highly encourage you all to check out peakbagging.com and peakbagger.com. These websites will inspire you to your core.)

The following is my email communications with Greg.

Hi Greg, My girlfriend and I are into mountaineering and hiking. We have been doing it for years. I recently discovered your website and I was wondering, how do you verify the climbs? As a couple, we want to do 50 peaks of US and would like to do it as part of a book project that I have. My plan is to find out how much and money it would cost for a person or couple to perform such a feat. I was curious; how do I make sure that my climbs are recorded which can later be officially verified. Suggestions, thoughts? Best regards, Sal

Greg’s quick reply to my email:

Hi, Salil, The vast majority of accomplishments reported by mountain climbers worldwide are on an honor system.  Most people don’t make any real attempt to conclusively document their ascents, nor question the climbs of others.  For virtually all hiking clubs in the USA, including the State Highpointers, it’s all about fun and friendship, and if you say you climbed all the peaks, they will give you the benefit of the doubt. In mountaineering history there have been some charlatans claiming ascents they never made, usually first ascents of well-known peaks.  And I know of some elderly people with a form of mental illness who started logging all sorts of imaginary climbs, claiming they were real.  But this is a very small minority. There are also variations of the understanding of what getting to a summit means.  For some, they have to touch the highest rock with their boot.  For others, getting 95% the way up counts, for example, the many guided clients who reach the crater rim of Mount Rainier, do not cross to the highest summit, and call it good. I personally like to take pictures of myself when I have climbed a major peak solo, to prove I was there, but no one has ever asked me for proof.  The whole thing is kind of silly, really.  So I would not worry at all about doing anything formal for verification—just take some photos and sign the register. I have completed the 50 state highpoints.  Outside of Denali, it’s not super hard or super expensive.

The main obstacle is getting enough time off, and doing a lot of driving.  If you need a guide for Rainier, Hood, Granite, or Gannett, that can be a little expensive, otherwise your only real costs are gas, food, lodging, etc.

Denali is another story.  It’s about $10,000 to climb that peak, for the guide service, buying special cold weather gear, airfare, park fees, etc. Cheaper without a guide but still probably $5000. 

Best of luck on your quest,

– Greg, Webmaster, Peakbagger.com

My gratitude reply to Greg:

Hi Greg, Good morning! Yours is the first email I have read this morning and I can’t tell how happy I am. (Honestly, I was not sure, if you would reply or reply quick enough). Whenever someone is willing to be approachable and helpful, it just lights up the whole universe. (Ok, maybe not the whole universe but someone’s world for sure). So, thank you! 

Ok – so pictures and registration/entrance log (if any) is sufficient. This makes this whole undertaking more fun. I have registered on Peakbagger.com and would love to meet and make new adventurer friends. Thank you again! Please keep doing what you love to do!

– Sal, Boston, MA

Mount Greylock, tallest peak in Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS COUNTY HIGHPOINTS

  1. Berkshire, Mount Greylock, 3487 ft
  2. Franklin, Mount Crum Hill, 2835 ft
  3. Hampshire, West Mountain, 2106 ft
  4. Worcester, Wachusett Mountain, 1998 ft
  5. Hampden, Round Top Hill, 1781
  6. Middlesex, Nutting Hill (Northeast Slope), 1585 ft
  7. Norfolk, Great Blue Hill, 640 ft
  8. Essex, Holt Hill, 423 ft
  9. Plymouth, Manomet Hill, 395 ft
  10. Bristol, Sunrise Hill, 394 ft
  11. Suffolk, Bellevue Hill, 325 ft
  12. Dukes, Marthas Vineyard High Point, 311 ft
  13. Barnstable, Pine Hill, 306 ft
  14. Nantucket, Sankaty Head, 111 ft 

The reason I am posting this publicly on my blog is so we remain accountable to our goals. The goal completion date is to finish all climbs by or before 12/31/2016.  Here are the United States 51 tallest peaks (including DC). We will do the 48 states + DC first and then attempt Denali and Hawaii in the end.

We have already been to Alaska and it is expensive to go there. Besides, you can see in Greg’s reply to me that there are other expensive costs associated with Mount Denali. Some say that climbers attempting less commercialized peaks, like Denali, are often expected to carry backpacks that weigh over 30 kilograms (66 lbs) and, occasionally, to tow a sled with 35 kilograms (77 lbs) of gear and food. Now that’s a real adventure. That’s challenging, crazy, and fun.

Map of USA 50 States High Points

50 STATES HIGHPOINTS (US)

  1. Alaska, Denali, 20,310 ft
  2. California, Mount Whitney, 14,495 ft
  3. Colorado, Mount Elbert, 14,433 ft
  4. Washington, Mount Rainier, 14,411 ft
  5. Wyoming, Gannett Peak, 13,804 ft
  6. Hawaii, Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft
  7. Utah, Kings Peak, 13,528 ft
  8. New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, 13,161 ft
  9. Nevada, Boundary Peak, 13,140 ft
  10. Montana, Granite Peak, 12,799 ft
  11. Idaho, Borah Peak, 12,662 ft
  12. Arizona, Humphreys Peak, 12,633 ft
  13. Oregon, Mount Hood, 11,239 ft
  14. Texas, Guadalupe Peak, 8749 ft
  15. South Dakota, Harney Peak 7242 ft
  16. North Carolina, Mount Mitchell, 6684 ft
  17. Tennessee, Clingmans Dome, 6643 ft
  18. New Hampshire, Mount Washington, 6288 ft
  19. Virginia, Mount Rogers, 5729 ft
  20. Nebraska, Panorama Point, 5426 ft
  21. New York, Mount Marcy, 5344 ft
  22. Maine, Katahdin, 5268 ft
  23. Oklahoma, Black Mesa, 4973 ft
  24. West Virginia, Spruce Knob, 4861 ft
  25. Georgia, Brasstown Bald, 4784 ft
  26. Vermont, Mount Mansfield, 4393 ft
  27. Kentucky, Black Mountain, 4139 ft
  28. Kansas, Mount Sunflower, 4039 ft
  29. South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain, 3554 ft
  30. North Dakota, White Butte, 3506 ft
  31. Massachusetts, Mount Greylock, 3487 ft
  32. Maryland, Backbone Mountain, 3360 ft
  33. Pennsylvania, Mount Davis, 3213 ft
  34. Arkansas, Magazine Mountain, 2753 ft
  35. Alabama, Cheaha Mountain, 2405 ft
  36. Connecticut, Mount Frissell (South Slope), 2372 ft
  37. Minnesota, Eagle Mountain, 2301 ft
  38. Michigan, Mount Arvon, 1978 ft
  39. Wisconsin, Timms Hill, 1951 ft
  40. New Jersey, High Point, 1803 ft
  41. Missouri, Taum Sauk Mountain, 1772 ft
  42. Iowa, Hawkeye Point 1670 ft
  43. Ohio, Campbell Hill 1549 ft
  44. Indiana, Hoosier Hill, 1257 ft
  45. Illinois, Charles Mound, 1235 ft
  46. Rhode Island, Jerimoth Hill, 812 ft
  47. Mississippi, Woodall Mountain, 806 ft
  48. Louisiana, Driskill Mountain, 535 ft
  49. Delaware, Ebright Azimuth, 442 ft
  50. Florida, Britton Hill, 345 ft

Bonus: District of Columbia (D.C.), Reno Reservoir, 415 ft

Mount Elbert, the tallest in Colorado and Rocky Mountains

WHAT ELSE ARE WE DOING?

While doing the US 50 States Highpoints (mountains), we will simultaneously also cover two of our ancillary goals.

  1. A road trip and covering all 50 states of USA
  2. Having the best moments from all 50 states and turning it into a picture-book

Next, we will start with The Seven Summit and with Mount Denali (tallest peak in the North American continent) already covered, we will only have 6 more to do.

Well, this is only a dream for now.

First thing first. The secret to success is one baby step at a time and being consistent.

Please join us in our quest to conquer all 50 States High Points in the USA. We need your support, love, and prayers.

If you are a climber and would love to join us, please feel free to message me. We have a long way to go. So, it’s time to shut down the computer and go to the rocks.

Talk to you soon, my friends!

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