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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Picnic in the Val Roseg, Switzerland



Yesterday's hike included a spectacular picnic in the Val Roseg. Top notch mountain scenery, alp cheese and Bündnerfleisch. We were a lucky bunch watching climbers on the Biancograt, all while alpine doles were circling the friendly skies.

-Daniel Sundqvist
Engadine Trek 2015, Switzerland

Monday, July 13, 2015

Q&A: Can We Store Luggage at the Zurich Airport?



Question:  We're taking a Ryder-Walker hiking tour in Switzerland, but we're flying to another European destination (France) following our hike. We'll have a few bags that we won't need during our hiking tour. Can we just leave them at the Zurich airport?

Answer: Yes! The Swiss have you covered.

You'll find the supervised left luggage counter next to the Service Center in car park 2 (level 1). You can store suitcases, hand baggage, clothing and bulky items for a maximum of 3 months. The counter is open daily from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm.

Click here for the Zurich Airport baggage page with details, prices and more info. Stash your bags and go!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Great Times on the Tour du Mont Blanc!



RW guides Daniel Sundqvist and Branford Walker just checked in from the Alps. They write,
"Great weather and times on the Tour du Mont Blanc!"

Top left: The Grand Col Ferret, the border between Switzerland and Italy.
Top right: Daniel enjoying record heat in the Alps.
Bottom left: Alpine wildflowers in full bloom.
Bottom right: Crossing paths with an Italian cycling (road) race.

Images by Daniel Sundqvist