The Best Hiking Records

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Post by Guests » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:44 pm

The Best Hiking Records

Every hike is an adventure, but some shatter all expectations. Determination and stamina go head to head with grueling and deadly hikes to excite and inspire the world of hiking. To whet your appetite, here are some our favourite hiking world records.

The World's Longest Hike
There is some contention over this record. Whilst technically the Trans Canada Trail -once completed - will hold this record at 13,670 miles, much of it is roadside walking rather than true hiking. At present the trail offers over 9,320 miles of marked hiking. The longest trail in the USA is the North Country Trail, which runs for 4,600 miles from New York all the way to North Dakota.

The World's Most Dangerous Hiking Trail
The Huashan Trail, Shaanxi Province, China is not for the faint-hearted. The Chinese Government has recently begun installing safer handholds and walkways, but there are still vertical steps, bald mountain faces and narrow wood pathways to cross.

The World's Highest Hike
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the world's tallest "walkable" mountain, at 20,000 feet above sea level. Although no specialised equipment is needed, this mountain takes around six days to hike and many die from altitude sickness. It is essential to travel in a group to look out for one-another's safety.

The John Muir Trail Speed Record
The John Muir Trail is 223 miles of beautiful Californian hiking, starting in Yosemite and usually taking hikers around twenty days to complete. The record, however, is four days, five hours and 25 minutes and the holder is Michael Popov. He carried all his own hiking equipment and had no assistance at all.

The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Speed Record
This is 2,178 of scenic wilderness through the eastern United States, beginning at Springer Mountain in Georgia and heading south all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Beginning to end may take three to five months and the route caters well to hikers. The male record-holder is Andrew Thompson, who travelled south in 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes. The female record-holder is Jennifer Pharr Davis at 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes. Completing the whole trail within a single season is called thru-hiking.

The Best Hiking Trail in the World
Of course this is subjective, but many hikers agree that for sheer breathtaking beauty as well as ease of travel, the Haute Route from France to Switzerland is the best trail in the world. The route begins in Chamonix, is 110 miles long and takes around twelve days to complete, finally ending in Zermatt, Switzerland. There are many rest stops for hikers along the route and little technical expertise is required, allowing hikers to travel through the most scenic vistas the Alps can offer and take the time to appreciate the views without fretting about where to make camp or how much food to pack. Passing from meadows to mirror-still lakes, through sleepy villages and surrounded by majestic peaks, the hike is no easy saunter. But the rewards are utterly incomparable.

Article by Michael R Browne for Simply Hike
Simply Hike are a UK-based online shop stocking everything you need in preparation for the great outdoors, from sleeping bags to camping tents, head torches to outdoor clothing.

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