(Alta Via 1) Snow patches in the Dolomites

In the pipeline
Alpine Exploratory's plan for exploration 2019-21

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, Norway and the UK. Here we sketch ideas for our next 3 years.

The Exploratory system

2019 exploration

Tour de Vanoise (First season Summer 2020)
In the French Alps we have been conscious for a while that the Tour du Mont Blanc is barely an introduction to the walking. Our visit to Pralognan revealed a fun French town as a base. The Vanoise national park extends to Tignes and Val d'Isere which we know well.

Norway (First season Summer 2020)
As a third Norwegian area, allied to the Rondane and the Jotunheimen, we will look further at Oppdal as a base for trekking in the Dovrefjell national park.

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. This will be a return to Klagenfurt after many years; on our first trip to Slovenia we entered by train through Klagenfurt and Villach.

The aim is to complete our train links a full 360 degrees around the Alps: from 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.

2020 exploration

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'll be seeking Verona flights to add to our travel advice for the AV1. (Venice is the main airport).
Verona (Italy)
Vicenza (Italy)
We will be back in Vienna, a treat after the Adlerweg or Zillertal. Also, in Switzerland, Bern is a favourite of ours for its laid-back atmosphere and setting on the river.

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.

2021 exploration

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.

New for 2019

We are delighted to add these new trips for 2019:

Alps: new trips
Zugspitze Tour (Guided)

Norway: new trips
Jotunheimen Valleys
Lillehammer to Rondane
Rondane Tour
National Parks from Venabu

UK: new trips
Great Glen Way (Guided)
East Lakes Circuit (Guided)
Pennine Way Central (Guided)

New cities in our Travel Notes
Stavanger (Norway)

New for 2018

Our 2017 recces have gone to plan and thus we are delighted to add the following for 2018:

Alps: new trips
Alpine Pass Route
Alpine Pass Route East
Alpine Pass Route West

Norway: new trips
Jotunheimen Tour
Jotunheimen Tour Weekend
Jotunheimen Tour Guided

New cities in our Travel Notes
Lausanne (Switzerland)
St Gallen (Switzerland)
Oslo (Norway)
Bergen (Norway)
Trondheim (Norway)

Recces 2018

As distinct from these explorations of new areas, please see our separate page on recces: these are our regular updates on current trips:

Recces 2018

Ways to keep up to date

Photos from trips

After our research trips we make a page of photos, and this has become our blog.

Facebook for photos

Instagram for photos

Exploratory News

We send email newsletters each season with details of new explorations and new routes.

  The Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn above Grindelwald    Alpine Pass Route

Recent research (2018)

We have been expanding across Norway! To add a long-distance trek, we have walked from Lillehammer to Snohetta. Pete covered the self-catered hut section as far as the Rondane, Simon saw the Rondane and Ollie walked Northwards to Snohetta. Suze followed on this Northern section, whicle Joy has been in the area much of Summer.

There were side routes to fill in on the Alpine Pass Route: with Bern as a base, Simon took trains across Switzerland. We added short sections above Egg, Grindelwald and Les Diablerets. Later in June, Pete trekked the Eastern section to Engelberg.

Still in Switzerland we completed the scenic train line from Zweisimmen to Montreux through Gstaad and Chateaux d'Oex. A separate line travels North through Gruyeres, the village in cattle country from where the cheese comes, to Fribourg. Moving down the scale from Swiss cities to medium-size towns has been a revelation: Friburg's old streets flow down to the river gorge.

We add new cities in our Travel Notes: Lausanne and St Gallen in Switzerland plus Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim in Norway.

Jotunheimen Valleys (Norway)
Lillehammer to Rondane (Norway)
Rondane Tour (Norway)
National Parks from Venabu (Norway)

Recent research (2017)

We add Norway to our program! Our first season will be Summer 2018. Across 4 trips in Winter and Summer 2017, we have grown to love the Norwegian mountains. Our trekking was in the Jotunheimen region, roughly in the centre of the substantial part of Norway to the South of Trondheim. Our trekking took us to tranquil and beautiful huts, simply and efficiently run. The walking is high and bold, giving long vistas across rolling, rocky terrain. This will be our Jotunheimen Tour.

In Switzerland, Pete and Simon between them completed the Alpine Pass Route. This gives us the full route to offer in 2018. In visiting Switzerland, Lucy, Rachel and Simon spent nights in Lausanne and Bern. Simon spent two nights in St Gallen, the university city in the North East of Switzerland, while visiting the Eastern stages of the APR.

Pete visited the Lechtaler mountains to the South of the Adlerweg. This part of Austria contains a few huts that might have been a good variant to the Adlerweg West. However, we feel that the unpredictable terrain among these huts makes it hard to offer them as part of the Adlerweg.

Jotunheimen Tour (Norway)
Alpine Pass Route (Switzerland)
Adlerweg (Austria)

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.

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 Tour. 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.

Alpine Pass Route Central (Switzerland)
Zugspitze Tour (Germany and Austria)

We ride the buses! Here at Lech in Austria

Recent research (2015)

We were thrilled to make Austria the focus of Summer 2015's research, as it was in 2014. Our August trip saw us complete the link to St. Anton and thus be able to offer the entire Adlerweg for Summer 2016. In September we returned to the Tyrol to look at the Zillertal area, based in Mayrhofen.

Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Zillertal Weekend guided walking holiday

The Julian Alps in Slovenia were our destination for a recce in July 2015. We are introducing a new base, Kranjska Gora, to the North of the range. This gives a linear trek between Kranjska Gora and our first base, Bohinj in the South. This is now ready. Every time is a pleasure in Slovenia!

In June 2015 we visited the Adlerweg to walk some short alternative sections, and also the Alta Via 1 in Italy pre-season. It was fun to stay at Rif Nuvolau (thanks Jo-Anne!) and to see Cortina and Innsbruck.

June and July 2015 saw various team members checking out variations to our Tour du Mont Blanc and Walker's Haute Route routecards, adding small sections. The ongoing aim is to make the routecards as easy to follow as possible while keeping an eye on good new variants to the main route.

Adlerweg (Austria)
Zillertal Weekend (Austria)
Julian Alps Traverse (Slovenia)
Alta Via 1 (Italy)


What has come out of the pipeline? We're running down the years from 2005 to the present:

Alpine Exploratory's History

Please ask us

Please ask us for more information on any of our routes. Thank you.

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Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
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