Show notes

In 2022 a new long-distance hiking trail opened and for once this wasn’t in the USA. This new track called the Hexatrek, solely based in France, joined up a series of pre-existing tracks and takes in 14 National Parks to create a 3034 km journey through some of the most amazing scenery that France has to offer.

In this podcast episode we catch up with New Zealand hiker, Claire McCall ,who undertook this walk with her husband James just after the track officially opened.

Podcast Overview

  • Podcast introduction
  • Episode introduction (time index 0:01:31)
  • Body of episode
  • Before we talk about the Hexatrek tell us a bit about yourself (time index 0:02:07)
    • Your general background
      • Involvement in hiking, what sort of hikes do you like to do
      • What key/exciting hikes have you done
        • List the main ones
  • Now let’s talk about the Hexatrek. Until the last few months, I hadn’t heard about this trek but now I know about it I’m seeing it everywhere. How did you come across it? (time index 0:04:07)
  • Tell us a bit about the trail (time index 0:05:21)
    • Logistics
      • 47 Great Hiking GR trails have been brought together in a single path to create this thru hike.
      • 14 national parks
      • 3034 km long
      • Change in Altitude
        • 138,000 m elevation gain over the whole trek
      • Is there a right or wrong way to do this trail as far as direction goes?
  • Best travel time?
    • Website says June. What did you do and why
      • Started hiking May 7
  • This trail is 3034 km long and is estimated to take between 3-5 months to complete. What made you decide to undertake this long distance trail (time index 0:11:19)
    • The scenery, the culture?
      • French culture
  • Apart from the long distance, this track is unique being designed for the most part as a camping trail although there are other options. What was your plan as far as accommodation went? (time index 0:12:45)
  • What was your hiking plan?
    • Whole Trek or part of the trek?
      • What did you end up doing and why?
  • What did you do food-wise?
    • Carry your own, cafes and restaurants, or a mix?
    • Cheese an baguettes
    • How does resupply work on this trail?
  • Accomodation
    • Mainly refuges and only need to check a day or two ahead
  • Water
    • Cemetery water! Its a thing

The experience (time index 0:27:11)

  • What’s the trail tread like?
    • Formed trail? Or other?
    • Much road walking?
  • Weather?
  • Signage (time index 0:31:18)
    • Trail is very well marked
  • How busy was the trail (time index 0:34:03)
    • Busy quiet or both?
  • Describe a typical day for us on-trail from waking up to going to sleep (time index 0:35:08)
    • Pattern for the day
      • Do your research on hiking gas before you go!
    • Typical milage
      • 20-25km/day
  • What were the trail highlights for you? (time index 0:39:16)
    • Pick some key ones e.g. people, scenery, wildlife
  • Now this trail allows for a degree of ‘choose your own adventure’ by providing a number of alternate routes. Did you do any of these alternatives?(time index 0:42:13)
  • You were 55 when you hiked it. How did you find it in terms of fitness and the hiker culture? (time index 0:43:43)
  • As your first long-distance hike, was it life changing? In retrospect, what effect did it have on your life? (time index 0:46:06)
  • Now you’ve released a book from your adventure – was that the original plan or was this something that came from your trip? (time index 0:48:41)
  • Pack Weight? (time index 0:50:22)

Two final question 

  • Would you recommend this trail to hikers and if so to who? (time index 0:52:10)
  • Are you glad you did this Track rather than the PCT?

Final thoughts – Gill and Tim wrap up (time index 0:54:26)

  • Close (time index 1:13:19)

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Hexatrek Resources

Trail website https://www.hexatrek.com/en

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LHexatrekhextrek discord

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hexatrek/

Hexatrek App Apple

Hextrek App Google Play

Trail map from the Hexatrek website

James and Claire on the Hexatrek – Image by Claire McCall, putting a face to the voice (image by Claire McCall

Hiking the Hexa Book Cover. to read our book review go here

Time to relax outside the refuge rosuel imge by Claire McCall

Just beyond the refuge in the Vanoise – Image by Claire McCall

Claire McCall on the hexatrek -Snow without Crampons

French Food, what other reason do you need to hike this track! – Image by Claire McCall

Camping outside the refuge to save money – 5 Euros Image by Claire McCall

Claire McCall on the Hexatrek

28 June Beautiful image – Image by Claire McCall

13 May- A bit of History – Image by Claire McCall

Forrest on the Hexatrek – Image by Claire McCall

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