Those who are back
„Via Alpina.red – direct“: Igor Gruber (Velenje, Slovenia) hiked from Monaco to Trieste in 105 days. On his Facebook page and in follow-up videos and talks he shares hundreds of impressions of his walk in order to promote the enjoyment and preservation of the Alps: www.facebook.com/ViaAlpinaDirect. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“Digital Mountains”: Gian Luca Gasca’s (Revello, Italy) 2-month journey by public transport and on foot across the Alps: Gian Luca’s in-depth articles give a very interesting insight into the history and current reality of people and places: montagnedigitali.wordpress.com, www.facebook.com/montagnedigitali. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Carved by light: experimental relief photographs of major Alpine peaks 150 years from their first ascents: Artist Agnieszka Kozlowska (UK) hiked up to locations overlooking over 30 peaks ascended for the first time in the period 1854-1865 in the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. There, with a so far unexplored photographic technique she produced unique and beautiful 3-D images, which she is exhibiting in various locations: www.kozlowska.eu/carved/. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“Alpine Line”: Two young alpinists, linking summits from Corsica to Slovenia with soft mobility: Yann Borgnet et Yoann Joly (Annecy & Albertville, France) spent almost half a year in the mountains, travelling between their climbs by hiking, ski mountaineering, biking but also paragliding and sailing, always living the values of Mountain Wilderness: www.facebook.com/alpinelineproject. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Via Alpina or the Secret of the Alps: Raphaël Jochaud, filmmaker, and his partner Roxane Humbert (France), both passionate about the mountains and travelling, crossed the Alps from Monaco to Trieste on the Via Alpina Red Trail. Beyond the personal adventure, they made a professional documentary to emphasize both the own culture of each massif and the common identity of the mountain people: via-alpina.tumblr.com. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Mediterr année: one year for a circumnavigation of the Mediterranean by various human-powered means : sea kayak, mountain bike, ski mountaineering... and walking for a crossing of the Alps on their south side. Huw Kingston (Wales & Australia) carried out this adventure for the benefit of the Save the Children association and in commemoration of the Anzac an the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during the 1st World War: www.mediterrannee.com.au, www.facebook.com/mediterranneejourney. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Vialpe : The family Alpine crossing of Anne, Geoffroy, Jephan, Niels and the dog Ushka (from Brussels, Belgium), 3 months in the tent from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean. It lead to the film, “12 legs and 5 backpacks”, presented at the stages of a new alpine hike for the project “A cinema in the backpack”
The Via Alpina Geocache Trail: the Mediterranean Gate: Andreas Aschaber and Michaela Rizzolli (Innsbruck, Austria) set up a multi-cache route along the first 14 stages of the Via Alpina Red Trail, from Monaco to Castérino. A great adventure to discover the Maritime Alps! www.facebook.com/Vialpinageocaching. Via Alpina Travel Fellowship 2013!
Attention Hannibalism – red elephant sighted on the Via Alpina: the “travelling-art” project by Thomas Falk (from Bremen, Germany) who criss-crossed the Alps between 2009 and 2013 carrying an inflatable red elephant, which he set up along the trail to take unusual photographs. An original view on the Alps which prompts us to question our perception of the environment and our relationship with the trail. www.tfkunstkonzept.wordpress.com, Via Alpina Travel Fellowship 2013!
Unknown hiking area or famous tourism arena? The Via Alpina in North-Eastern Italy: Vincent Neeb and Katharina Boie, 14 years old (Munich, Germany) documented the contrasts of the landscape and development during two weeks of hiking from Slovenia to the Dolomites. With useful tips on finding wild corners even in the most visited zones! youthproject2013.blogspot.de, Via Alpina Travel Fellowship 2013!
Meet the locals on the Via Alpina: Thierry (France) crossed the Alps from Monaco to Trieste on the different Via Alpina trails, and interviewed the inhabitants met along his way (shepherds, hut keepers, villagers, traders etc.). His blog: viaalpina2013.wordpress.com. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
The Pearls of Europe: Manuel Hefti’s hike (from Rapperswil, Switzerland) in the heart of the Alps, cut short due to an injury but whose blog is already worth a detour, especially for the numerous podcasts in Swiss-German! www.perleneuropas.ch. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Every step counts: the family hike of Lisa and Beverley Nel (from Johannesburg, South Africa) on the Green Trail, to the benefit of the rhino protection in their country: everystepcount5.blogspot.com. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Bill’s Via Alpina: the account of a two-week hike on the Green Trail from Lenk to Engelberg by a family from the USA. Many useful information, especially for non-European hikers (see the section “Why hike the Via Alpina”): www.myviaalpina.wordpress.com
Christophe and Laetitia (from Mens, France): Trieste-Monaco by ultra-light hiking and in autonomy: notreviaalpina.jimdo.com.
From Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean: a detailed blog by Carsten and Lisa (from Stuttgart, Germany) with dramatic slide shows: www.carsten-and-lisa.com
Brigitte and Gernot Liebau (Holzminden, Germany): crossing from Vienna to the Mediterranean, in progress since 2007, a few weeks per year: www.alpenfreunde.info.
Continuum: Andrea Pasqualotto (Belluno, Italy) connected in 2 weeks 4 protected areas along the Via Alpina in Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland, on foot and by public transport. His journey gives a great demonstration both of the huge biological and cultural diversity and the continuity of the Alps over the administrative borders: continuumviaalpina.blogspot.it, Via Alpina Travel Fellowship 2012!
Travelling accounts, Martine Keller (from Eckwersheim, France): Monaco-Trieste (almost): www.partance.org. With the official support of the international and monegasque Via Alpina secretariats and the permanent secretariat of the Alpine Convention.
Renato Bavagnoli, nature guide of the Val Grande Nationalpark (Italy): Trieste-Monaco, travel account on YouTube.
Mapping party on the Via Alpina: an expedition lead by Mayeul Kauffmann (Cadrezzate, Italy) to collect cartographical data on the Red and Blue Trails in the Western Alps, and make them available to all on the free collaborative site OpenStreetMap: www.outdoormaps.org, Via Alpina Travel Fellowship 2012!
Transalpine Samoëns-Trieste by Nicolas Hebinger and Rudi Agostini: travelogue, pictures, equipment and a 50-minutes film on www.viaterra.fr.
"Florian discovers the Alps" (Florian Gavillet, Switzerland): Trieste – Grand St Bernhard pass: viaalpina2012.blogspot.com.
FFME Via Alpina: multi-activity relay crossing through 10 mountain ranges from Slovenia to France. 1025 day of hiking, climbing, mountaineering, via ferrata or canyoning for 300 participants from 25 clubs: www.ffme.fr/via-alpina/page/presentation-6.html. Special mention of the jury of the Via Alpina Travel Fellowships 2011!
To the heart of the Alps for cardiac health, Michele Straube (Salt Lake City, USA) and her husband: Monaco-Vallouise, to communicate on atrial fibrillation, a disturbance of the cardiac rhythm for which Michele has been successfully operated in 2009: bit.ly/hHPG2f. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
The Alps and modern architecture: Paulina Lis (Ph D student in architecture and design in Warsaw, Poland): Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein and Central Switzerland: alpinewayoflife.tumblr.com. With the official support of the monegasque and international Via Alpina secretariats and the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention.
Helga Bleml (from Olching, Germany): Munich-Monaco: muenchen-monaco-2011.blogspot.com
Eric (from France): Isola-Bolzano, download here: PDF, 45 Kb.
Hans Thurner and Anita Lechner: Vienna-Nice: www.hans-thurner.at
Panoramic photos and notes by Daniel Kropveld: viaalpina.kropveld.net
“Alpes autrement” (The Alps another way), Jean-Marie Scholz (from Dorlisheim, France): Trieste-Monaco at a quite sustained pace, with access from Alsace and back by bike. Daily correspondence with students from his village’s primary school: alpesautrement.fr
Domi Dury’s "Vita Alpina" (Alpine life) (from Uccle, Belgium): Monaco-Valais Alps: dodury.canalblog.com
Julien Carques (from Bergerac, France): Trieste-Menton: via-alpina-2010.blogspot.com
Grande Traversata delle Alpi: report by Iris Kürschner and Dieter Haas (Grindelwald, Switzerland): www.facebook.com/gta.trek
“Mes chemins” (My trails) by Bernard Brunis, from Couvet (Switzerland): Muggia-Mittelsberg-Scuol: viaalpina2010.blog.club-corsica.com (with a lovely overview of the various types of trails encountered)
“There and back again”: Graham Williams (from Aberdeen, Scotland): a loop through all the Alpine countries starting in Bad Goisern in Austria, unfortunately broken off due to an injury: roundthealps.blogspot.com
The Husson family (from Aigueblanche, Savoy, France): Slovenia-Monaco in several summers: www.viaalpina.net
“Alpapied – one foot in front of the other”: Nathalie Sarlat: Trieste-Monaco: alpapied.over-blog.net. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“The Alpine adventure”: Valerio Sani and Milena Dalla Piazza (from Belluno, Italy), along with the dog Yuk: Monaco-Trieste with a southern variant through the Adamello massif and Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. An adventure aiming to show something which science itself cannot explain yet: the physical condition of Valerio, who suffers from severe kidney insufficiency, improves when he does tough physical activity! www.avventuralpina.com. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“Via Solaria”: Pascal Rastoul and Pauline Cassan (from Sorèze/ Tarn and Toulouse, France): along their hike from Trieste to Monaco they promoted the activities of the association Bolivia Inti – Sud Soleil for the development of solar cookers: traverseedesalpes.blogspot.com. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
Author – photographer – explorer: Brandon Wilson (from Hawaii), together with his wife Cheryl, a TV producer. Ambassador for peace and human rights advocate, Brandon has already written three adventure books: in Tibet (where Cheryl and himself became the first Western couple to trek from Lhasa to Kathmandu), travels from London across Africa to Cape Town, and a recent 4200 km trek in the footsteps of the Templars from France to Jerusalem. His crossing of the Alps provided the basis for a further book showing with lots of humour that the Alps offer “much more than cheese and gnomes” (see Documentation > Further publications). His website: www.pilgrimstales.com/overthetopandbackagain.html and on Facebook. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“Guya Trekking 2009”, Manfredi Salemme (from Cogorno, Genoa province, Italy): Liguria-Trieste by mountain bike then Trieste-Garessio on the Via Alpina and back along the High way of the Ligurian mountains. Through this project he gave his support to ADMO, the association of bone marrow donors, and the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Verona also monitored his progress: via-alpina-2009.blogspot.com and travelogue “Niente è per caso” (“Nothing happens by chance”, see Documentation > Further publications). With the official support of the Via Alpina.
“Running across the whole of the Alps”, Jean-Luc Millereau and Bertrand Chouet (from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France): Trieste-Menton alternating between running and climbing. As well as the sporting challenge and their desire to fulfil a dream they had in their youth, the aim of this adventure is to truly discover the Alps, an area on our doorstep where you can still live the great adventure and a living space subject to all the contradictions of the 21st century: alpesencourant.biggy93.fr. With the official support of the Via Alpina.
In the mountains with a disability: Michel Dimitrieff (from Vallouise, Hautes-Alpes, France) left on 29 April 2009 for a crossing of the Alps from Slovenia to the Mediterranean Sea scheduled until February 2010 via a combination of the Red, Yellow, Green and Blue trails of the Via Alpina and with the additional challenge of several peaks to climb. It was to be a crossing with a difference as Michel has a motor disability and through this adventure he aims to encourage other disabled people to fulfil their dreams. His project shows not only that you can take on slightly “mad” challenges despite a handicap but also that this does not in any way detract from the difficulties that can arise in performing some of the simplest gestures in everyday life. This project received the official support of the Via Alpina.
„We were lucky to be there and we knew it!”, Antti Rantanen (from Vantaa, Finland): Sargans-Montreux: longdistancetrail.wordpress.com/trails/alpine-pass-route
A birthday gift for Ninka Stulemeijer: Vienna-Menton alone (Weitwanderwege 01, 02 and 02A, Via Alpina and GR®5): alpesninka.uniterre.com
A season at nature’s pace for Pascale Giudicelli, a mountain leader with her husky dog for company. You can download here her illustrated travel diary from Trieste to Monaco here: PDF 2 Mb.
From the Adriatic to… the Atlantic! by Sébastien Louvet: run in full autonomy through 3 massifs of Europe: Trieste-Saint-Jean-de-Luz via the Via Alpina, Corsica and the Pyrenees. You can find his story and contact details here: PDF 600 Kb.
Marvelling and sharing one’s discoveries with others: Gisèle Lafond (from St Pierre d’Argençon, Hautes-Alpes, France), formerly a high-ranking athlete and sports educator specialised in health professions, is chairwoman of the “Gym, nature, santé” (“Gymnastics, nature, health”) association. In 2007, in partnership with the French Association of Diabetics, she linked the Chamonix Valley to Monaco with three successive groups of young diabetics via the Via Alpina Red and Blue Trails. She offers us here her travel account, full of lyricism: PDF 43 Kb. Her website with many other projects: www.gisele-lafond.com
The pioneer: Hans Diem (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany), had already made several trips right across the Alps and was the first to walk the entire Via Alpina (after Pietro Marescotti, from Genoa, who had completed the so called “Grand Slam” on mountain bike from 1999 to 2006): the Red Trail from Monaco to Trieste in 2002, the Blue Trail from Monaco to Riale in 2004 and 2005, the Yellow Trail from Trieste to Oberstdorf in 2006 then the Purple Trail from Berchtesgaden to Oberstdorf in 2003 and from Dovje to Germany in 2007. Hans walked the Green Trail in 1995 before it even had the name Via Alpina… and again in 2009.
A writer’s view: Martin Prinz (from Vienna), Trieste-Monaco. In “Über die Alpen” (Over the Alps) he combines his observations of the Alps as a cultural landscape in mutation with his personal experiences as author, sportsman and man. All details can be found in Documentation > Further publications. Blog and articles in the Standard: derstandard.at/?url=/?ressort=R-viaalpina.
“The happiness smugglers”: Jacques and Daniel Barthélémy (from Grenoble, France), Trieste-Monaco: passeursdebonheur.blogspot.com
Two guidebooks and a regional blog: Sabine Bade and Wolfram Mikuteit (from Constance, Germany), Monaco – Garessio – Monaco. The corresponding guidebooks, regularly updated, are available at Documentation > Further publications. Their internet site and their blog are overflowing with information on the region, to help you not only to successfully complete your treks but also to better understand the social economic context: westalpen.eu/viaalpina.htm and westalpen.wordpress.com.
Small and big people: The Fisler family (St Martin, Fribourg, Switzerland) crossed Switzerland on the Red Trail from Ulrichen to Poschiavo with their 6 children aged at the time (summer 2003) from 5 – 15. An example to follow: www.850.ch/via-alpina-2003-en-bas-la-canicule. Since then, they keep coming back to the Via Alpina for other hikes: www.850.ch/tag/via-alpina.
2500 kilometres from one coast to another: Trieste-Monaco by Vincent Tornay (from Geneva, Switzerland). This crossing inspired a book and a film (see Documentation > Further publications). His blog and many photos are still on line at www.itinerance.ch/blog/2007/04 (in French). You can also request a copy of the bilingual magazine Mountain Report which contains an article by Vincent from the International Office (no. 2, French / English or German / English, € 8,50 + postage).
Alex Crevar and Carly Calhoun (Croatia/USA): Trieste-Monaco for the National Geographic Adventure magazine. Their accounts and the slide show of the first two sections of their journey are on line at: www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/travel/alps/via-alpina.html
The “Transalpine” crossing by Simon Dubuis (Paris, France): Nice-Vienna: www.transalpine.dubuis.net
A great adventure for Maurice Chazalet (from Lucenay, Rhône, France): Trieste-Monaco. Travel notes downloadable here: PDF 3.4 Mb.
You can also get hold of a copy of the dispatches made by journalists of the Swiss daily paper Le Temps in summer 2002 (L’Alpe no.23, € 15 + postage) and those of the Alpes-Magazine team in summer 2003 (no. 87, € 5.80 + postage) via the International Secretariat.