WMG_1370The horse is the friend of man: horse-trekking (on a shoestring) in Kashmir 

Two foreigners wanting to trek in Indian Kashmir close to the disputed Line of Control with Pakistan at the end of Ramadan.

‘Why do you book trekking with Gulam?’ the youngest of three brothers says. ‘He is a cheat. Pay very bad.’
From the shakira moored at the houseboat’s jetty on Srinagar’s Dal Lake, my partner Sharon tries to explain. ‘We know what we are doing,’ and ‘your older brother Ferroz did not listen to us. He was pushy and greedy and offended us.’
After two nights on his family’s houseboat we are leaving. Tonight we stay on Gulam’s houseboat. Tomorrow — early — we go trekking.

Read the full story here.

WMG_1335Trek notes: Hidden Lakes of Kashmir (India)

Trek an ancient pastoral route in Indian Kashmir, lush with bejewelled alpine lakes, wildflower meadows, and nomadic herders with their flocks of sheep and goats. Closed to foreigners for decades, this trek is a Himalayan gem.

Distance: 72 km (6 days)
Grade: easy-medium (by Himalayan standards)
Location: Kashmir, India (2-3 hours from Srinagar)

Read the full trek notes here.

Compass bearing to Brinkley BluffWild 152 (2016) – Fixing the Centre

Following the journals and footsteps of John McDouall Stuart through the MacDonnell Ranges becomes an obsession to identify the explorer’s forgotten and misplaced landmarks. From Chambers Pillar to James Range, the Hugh River valley to Owens Spring, the rugged and complex gaps through the range to climb Brinkley Bluff, finding a route through the scrubby range to a gorge exiting north of the bluff, and on, west-of-north towards Mount Freeling.

Bushwalker in Ormiston Pound

Bushwalking Australia volume 11 (2015) – Best walks of the Northern Territory

An overview of the best bushwalking in the diverse regions of Australia’s Northern Territory, from the rugged mountainous Centre to the tropical Top End.

This edition also profiles one of the country’s most informal and adventurous clubs – the Central Australian Bushwalkers.

Select the file BWA201506.pdf for this edition.

Road on one side of the Zanskar Valley, foot track on the otherWild 142 (2014) – The future of trekking is … motorised

Rapid development and road-building advances up remote valleys and over rugged passes are threatening popular trekking routes and local employment in the Indian Himalaya of Zanskar and Ladakh.

Rock 85 (2011) – After the fall

A climber struggles with the psychological aftershocks of witnessing a 30-metre lead climbing ground fall at Arapiles.

Mt Giles sunriseWild 119 (2010) – Going the extra Giles

Relationship tensions on high during a ridgetop traverse of Central Australia’s Mt Giles and Red Wall around Ormiston Pound.

Wild 118 (2010) – Just add water

A beginner’s guide to the art of dehydrating food. Includes nutritious and delicious recipes for two easy to make and easy to dehydrate meals that will become staples in your backcountry menu:
– Chilli Con Carne,
– Dalma – a thick, spicy and hearty dahl with roasted vegetables.

Simpson Desert crossing 2008Wild 112 (2009) – Traversing Sturt’s Hell

An account of the first (and only) east-to-west solo and unsupported foot crossing of Australia’s Simpson Desert from Bedourie to Old Andado homestead.

In July 2008, Michael Giacometti hauled a custom-made cart and supplies weighing twice his body weight (including almost 100 litres of water) across the more than 1000 sandridges of the largest parallel sandridge desert on Earth. The solo expedition covered 450 kilometres in 24 grueling days.

Cecil Hackett – At the summit of Mt Woodroffe, June 1933 (c) Wakefield Press

The art of ‘walking country’, a response

This article, a curatorial response to the 2012 ‘walking country’ exhibition, was written and considered for the prestigious national magazine Art Monthly. It was not used. Instead, it first appeared on the Central Australian Bushwalkers website. 

When I saw the cover image of Philip Jones’s Images of the interior: seven Central Australian photographers (Wakefield Press 2011), I knew that I needed it for the hybrid art–recreation exhibition I was curating: walking country: 30 years in the arid rangelands, a photographic journey.

Download the full article The art of walking country.

Direction finding by the stars in the southern sub-tropics 

Originally published on Central Australian Bushwalkers website.

In the southern hemisphere, all of the stars and constellations rotate around the South Celestial Pole (SCP).

Unlike the northern hemisphere with its North Star, there is no ‘South Star’ situated at the point of the SCP. …

Read the full article here.

Mt Sonder

Introducing the McDoualls – peak bagging in the Northern Territory

Originally published on Central Australian Bushwalkers website.

Defining the peaks and high points in the Northern Territory with an elevation of at least 1000 metres above sea level and with a distinct elevation change on all sides of at least 150 metres.

Read the full article and access the full list of 110 McDoualls and 25 McDoubtfuls here.