Monday, November 16, 2015

Read Our 2016 Hiking Tour Catalog Online

It's a real pleasure to flip through our new 2016 digital hiking tour catalog. You can turn pages like a magazine, zoom in, print out a copy, and download a pdf version if you like.

You'll also find new trips, smart tips, feature stories and more inside.

New for this year's catalog:

Peter Walker talks about the founding of Ryder-Walker on page four and gives a definitive answer to the question asked by thousands of Ryder-Walker guests, "Where does the 'Ryder'in Ryder-Walker come from?"

We announce new hiking tours in Iceland, England, Switzerland, PatagoniaSpain, and the Rocky Mountains.

Ryder-Walker presents limited edition merchandise for sale on page 11, including sexy fleece jackets, form-fitting baseball caps and thermally intelligent beverage storage devices.

Also on page 11, we offer limited edition paintings (originals and prints) of our three favorite alpine scenes (the Val Ferret, Val Travenanzes and Val Bregaglia), commissioned by us and painted by award-winning artist Wayne McKenzie. These would make great Christmas gifts!

We also hear stories about Ryder-Walker guides Ken Fuhrer and Ace Kvale. Ken celebrates his 20th Anniversary with Ryder-Walker in 2016, and Ace is trying to raise $60,000 to support the reconstruction efforts going on in Nepal after the recent devastation there. Way to go guys!

There's a whole lot more inside. 

We hope you enjoy our new catalog. Please share with your friends and, as always, contact us to put your name on a tour.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Join Our NEW Hiking Tour in Eastern Switzerland

Did you know that we have a new hiking tour in Switzerland? Well, we do. It's called the Alpino Vino Wunderbar.

Wait? Didn't we offer this trip last year? And the year before?

Yes we did! The Alpino Vino Wunderbar is kind of like a hiking tour grab bag. Every bag is different. We change the itinerary each year in order to show you the most exciting (and often undiscovered) corners of the Alps. This year we're staying entirely in eastern Switzerland and visiting the regions of Appenzell, Klosters and the Engadine.

What you get:

Gaze across four different countries from atop the Hoher Kasten (5,876 feet). Five thousand feet may not seem very high, but consider this: You'll get 360 degree panoramic photos of Lake Constance, Germany; the Voralberger Alps in Austria; the rugged hill country of Liechtenstein; and the bucolic countryside of Appenzell, Switzerland. Whew!

You'll also have lunch at a traditional working farm, and you'll follow special hiking trails carved into  the twisted, tortured and malformed limestone. There are wildflowers too!

What else?

A private van will transfer the group to Klosters, a trendy ski resort with awesome hiking out the back door. Austria is just a stone's throw away, so virtually every hike offers rewarding views of Austria's glacier capped peaks. You'll also hike past quintessential cuckoo clock chalets on trails that have been in use for hundreds, (if not thousands) of years.

An exclusive treat.

Our guides will show you a secret hiking trail from Klosters to the Engadine. No other Ryder-Walker trip follows this route. You'll also hike beneath a peak called the Flüela-Wisshorn (10,121 feet) and you'll picnic at sparkling, high alpine lakes. One of the highlights of this tour is the walk into the Val Minger and the Val Plavna, rugged mountain valleys that stretch south from our hotel. There are some really beautiful mountains that surround these valleys including the Piz Lischana, Piz Minger, Piz Pisco and the Piz Plavna Dadaint (10,390 feet). The Piz Plavna Dadaint is basically 6,000 feet higher than our hotel in the Engadine Village of Scuol. The elevation change is striking!

Are you sold yet? Check out the itinerary for more info. Then call or send us an email to reserve your spot. See you in Switzerland!

Photos by Ken Fuhrer

Thursday, October 15, 2015

From Montenegro With Love

From a guest:

Hi Ken,

I just had to send this.  Glamorous summer on the Adriatic!  We had an excellent time.  I hope the second week went well and they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks for everything!


Photo: Ryder-Walker head guide Ken Fuhrer in his element—leading our new Montenegro Trek. | By Sue Johnson

Monday, August 17, 2015

Celebrating with Ryder-Walker for 13 Lucky Years (Guest Blog)

Milestone Adventures

When there's a milestone for our family to celebrate, our first thought is always, "Let's go on a Ryder-Walker trek!" It started in 2002 when Ray surprised me by signing up for the Tour du Mont Blanc for my 50th birthday. After ten days with a curly haired kid named Kenny, we were hooked!

Three years later we treated our son Cam and his roommate Mike to the Dolomites Trek to celebrate their graduation from Dartmouth. Daniel, the strapping Swede, was the perfect guide for a couple of cocky 22-year-olds.

In 2009, we joined the extended Ryder-Walker family for the 25th Anniversary Jubiläum where we had the pleasure of meeting not only Peter Walker, but his son Branford and charming father, Charlie.

I turned 60 in 2012 and the only gift I wanted was to hike the Haute Route. Kenny and Staffan showed they had the right stuff to party with our merry international group, which included a number of friends we made on the trail with Ryder-Walker.

Our most recent celebration was Ray's 70th birthday-- nine perfect days in France and Italy on the Alpino Wunderbar Trek.  Cam, now 32, joined us with his wife Cary. Once again, Daniel showed the "kids" that he is the undisputed mountaineering king.

Who knows what our next celebration will be... perhaps my 65th birthday in 2017!  Thank you, Ryder-Walker for the memories of a lifetime.  Blythe Fortin, Boise, Idaho

Thank YOU, Ray and Blythe. Here's to another 13 lucky years!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Photos from Mont Blanc

Here's a group shot of our Alpino Vino Wunderbar guests on the flanks of Mont Blanc. Our group took the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car, one of the highest cable car traverses in the world, from Chamonix France, to Courmayeur Italy. A foot of fresh snow from the night before added ambiance and helped to cool things down. Thankfully, temperatures have dropped back to normal following Europe's recent heat wave.

These two photos show the spectacular views from a balcony ridge walk above the Val Veny, just south of Courmayeur, Italy. Many people think, and we agree, that Courmayeur offers the most stunning views of Mont Blanc and it's surrounding peaks. 

Following Courmayeur, our guests will transfer to Cogne, Italy. They'll stay in a plush hotel, (you can see a photo here), and hike around the Gran Paradiso National Park, enjoying views of the Gran Paradiso itself (13,323 feet). The Gran Paradiso is the highest peak entirely in Italy.

Photos by Daniel Sundqvist

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cool Guest Photo!

David Bloom sent us this photo. He writes, "17+miles in the Alps today!"

Yes! Do you have hiking tour photos that you'd like to share? Please send them our way, or share them on our Facebook page. Happy summer!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Passing the Torch

Mountain guide by day, writer by night. This is Branford Walker, the next generation of mountain guides for Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures. Following in his father's footsteps, Branford is sharing his well earned knowledge of the Alps with our guests. Branford just finished guiding our Tour du Mont Blanc, a ten day circumnavigation of Western Europe's highest peak.

Since the age of three, Branford has participated in the development of, or been on, almost every trip that Ryder-Walker has to offer. In some ways, he almost has more experience than our veteran guides!

Come over to the Alps, and hike with Branford. With record warm days in the alps, you're sure to have the best of times.

Photos by Daniel Sundqvist