We're on the move! Alpine Exploratory exists as a system for exploration, systematised yet thoroughly human. This is the Exploratory system. For the moment we apply ourselves to the Alps and the UK. On this page we sketch ideas for our next 5 years.
The Exploratory system
|2017 exploration at Alpine Exploratory|
Please look out for big news.. we are expanding geographically! Early plans are to write the routecards for this new area during August 2017. Our first season will be Summer 2018.
On the Alpine Pass Route we will visit during 2017 the East and West ends, hopefully to offer the full Sargans-Montreux route for 2018. Our existing Alpine Pass Route Central is a 7-stage blast in the Bernese Oberland.
Our plans in the Zillertal are to add the full Zillertal Hohenweg to our existing Zillertal Weekend. This will involve another stay in Mayrhofen during Summer 2017.
Our UK coverage continues with more options in the Scottish Highlands. Look out for our new route in the Northern Highlands, to be announced. The natural development from the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way is into the hills proper.
The train links in Austria allow all kinds of cross-country adventure. To add to options post-Adlerweg or post-AV1 we plan to link Innsbruck and Salzburg to the smaller Austrian city of Klagenfurt.
We look forward to revisiting Klagenfurt in Southern Austria, after many years. In Switzerland a gap in the system is university town St. Gallen, handy for the Eastern end of the Alpine Pass Route.
St. Gallen (Switzerland)
We will be making much of the closeness of fabulous Bern to the Western end of the Alpine Pass Route. Following splendid visits in 2015 and 2016 we'll be back in Vienna; it combines nicely with the Zillertal.
|2018 exploration at Alpine Exploratory|
We expect to be well into the new project (did we mention a New Project?) during 2018 as we develop it through 2018 and 2019.
In the French Alps we have been conscious for a while that the Tour du Mont Blanc is barely an introduction to the walking available. Our deviation to Austria has put back our Tour de Vanoise in France for a while - we are excited for it and our visit to Pralognan revealed a fun French town as a base. A trek that stays within one country, really one region of a country, and is less busy than internationally-famed routes, can leave a particular impression on the traveler.
Back in Austria we see routes around every corner, more specifically down every valley. In a country where every valley has its own extensive linked ski area, it's no surprise that every valley also has its own trekking circuit. Most of these, perhaps all, are not well-known outside Austria and Germany. Our Adlerweg is a step to correct this, though in fact it is a route untypical of local Austrian trails. It crosses through different local areas; one valley's lift pass would not cover it all! Our mission here is to bring the fine local routes to wider (if not too wide) recognition.
We'll be completing our train links a full 360 degrees around the Alps, Grenoble to Nice and then Nice to Turin being key to the ongoing French Alps coverage. In Northern Italy we have travel urges to satisfy from Milan to Treviso and Venice.
As part of our Alta Via 1 service we intend to see Verona and Vicenza, two Italian cities in between Milan and Venice on the plain of the Po. We like a new airport better than an old one - new to us - and so we'll be seeking Verona flights to link into our Milan-Venice-AV1 travel advice.
We see Grenoble fairly regularly but notice the expansion of Lyon as an airport. Combined with Turin on the other side of the mountains, these links will help our Tour de Vanoise coverage.
|2019 exploration at Alpine Exploratory|
Roughly 2019 will be our time to link Innsbruck and Dobbiaco. One Austrian mountain city, one Austro-Italian mountain resort. Why the link? This is the Munchen-Venedig, or Munich to Venice. In Germany it's a big trek, a natural link over the mountains. (Experience the passing scenery a little faster by taking our Alta Via 1, flying to Munich for the train to Dobbiaco to Innsbruck.. then after the AV1 fly out of Venice.) The full Munich to Venice will be 4 weeks long, of which the third week is our existing AV1. The second week is the Innsbruck to Dobbiaco link. We have a route in mind and it combines with the Zillertal area outside Mayrhofen.
In Switzerland our Alpine Pass Route explorations will see us covering many of the train lines South and North of the route.. towards Milan and Zurich respectively. We started in 2016 and loved it! Pop through the mountains and emerge in Italy, or the Italian-speaking Swiss Canton of Ticino. We'll finish these linkages so that we can advise on all the ways to the Alpine Pass Route.
To the East of Ljubljana is Maribor, also curiously easy to reach from Graz in Austria. In Switzerland we'll be checking more of Luzern, Basel and Bern. A medium as opposed to large city can be perfect after a trek.
|2020 exploration at Alpine Exploratory|
In the Scottish Highlands we continue to look beyond the better-known valleys to the quiet places. Among the team our knowledge of the Scottish hills (three Munro rounds, one Corbett round and counting) is making us think about our services off the beaten track.
We are close to a comprehensive coverage of the travel routes to our major treks... there are several viable routes to each one. The intention is to finalise these around 2020 having spread ourselves across the most important ways to every trek. For example, Turin is a good option for the TMB.
|2021 exploration at Alpine Exploratory|
Following a more varied coverage of Austria and France, it will be the turn of the Swiss Alps. Winter visits are planned to inform Summer explorations.. with St. Moritz and the Engadine on our minds.
Recent research (2016)
In June 2016 we looked at the Alpine Pass Route in the stretch from Meiringen to Murren. This is an East to West trek across the Swiss Alps. Crucially the route crosses the Bernese Oberland, the region including the Eiger and the villages of Murren, Wengen and Grindelwald. This is as Swiss as it comes! The style of trekking will be similar to the Walker's Haute Route, being a series of daily crossings into the next valley. We visited the area earlier in 2016 during Winter.
We ride the buses! Here at Lech in Austria
Following this, Simon visited the Alpine Pass Route twice again in September 2016. We plan to offer the Engelberg to Kandersteg section in 2017. This stretches either side of Grindelwald and Murren, to give 7 stages. The trekking is hard and mountainous, the final two days from Murren to Kandersteg involving passes at around 2,700m.
In July 2016 Simon visited Garmish-Partenkirchen to complete a Zugspitze Circuit. This will be one of our new 2017 trips at a medium level of difficulty. This German side of the Alps is full of opportunity.
New for 2017
New for 2016
Our 2015 recces led to the following additions:
Ways to keep up to date
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Photos from trips
After our research trips we make a page of photos, and this has become our blog.
We send email newsletters each season with details of new explorations and new routes.