What would a Hiking Big Year look like?

Does the reluctantly photographed walker seem happy? He is and his mind inevitably ponders a hiking big year, loads and loads of walking from January 1 to December 31. Call such thinking premature, for 2017 and 2018 are most probably loaded with very different obsessions (but who can tell, part of the pleasure is in weighing momentous choices), but the mind enjoys playing with plans.

Spur-of-the-moment big years, scribbled down a year ago, incorporated not one, but two big years:

  • Long Hikes Big Year. 12 months away from home doing pilgrimage-like walks, the best known example being the Camino.
  • Tough Hikes Big Year. Target the arduous: Grand Canyon, Western Arthurs, Corsica, Tour du Mont Blanc, the canyons of Utah.

But neither of these is as yet well-formed. Neither channels everyday effort. I had this insight while day walking in Wales: the Long year should target X,000 kilometers of distance; the Tough year can target Y,000 meters of ascent.

Up high in the Dolomites later this week, how’s about I take this insight further? Such fun!

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