Shake-Down Hut-to-Hut Trek

For 2014 we are only planning one hut-to-hut trek, an exploration trek along the Gosaukamm near Hallstatt, not far from Salzburg, Austria.

Just as every new ship has a maiden voyage, also known as shakedown trip, our first hut-to-hut trek over a particular route will be test trek, a virgin shake-down trek. The trek along the Gosaukamm is the first in the series.

The Ship is Launched and the Bottle Explodes! Image: Sylvain NGR via Wikimedia Commons

The Ship launches and the Bottle Explodes!
Image: Sylvain NGR via Wikimedia Commons


(Unlike some sailors we know, we do not grab virgins by the ankles and shake them on these trips.) We’ll have done our research, prepared the materials and made all of the arrangements. We’ll have scouted the route well enough to take a small group over the trail, but we won’t know enough about each element to predict with confidence how it will perform for a group. In particular we won’t know enough how it will work for a group on an art-journaling seminar. So we offer these virgin treks at rock bottom prices to a limited number of people: four are optimal, six are the maximum.

A word of caution – you need to read this!

A shake-down trek is not for the participant who expects to have it all worked out and presented in a neat, impeccably tied up package. Shake-down treks are test drives. That means we may change any element of the trek at a moment’s notice due to seasonal conditions or conditions on the trek we didn’t anticipate. We are still working out the nitty gritty. Planning only goes so far, and although we are good at it, things happen, as you may know.

Also, we require participants  to be not only enthusiastic about the idea of art-journaling while hiking in the Alps, but to help us work out the fine details, and provide constructive feedback. In exchange we offer shake-down treks at just about a break-even price. For the Gosaukamm Trek we also offer a few additional enticements. The art-journal instruction in all cases will be solid. Given the wealth of new environments, the abundance of new material, impressions and inspiration, we can promise it will be beyond anything you normally expect. However, we are testing our presentation of an art journaling seminar in a new context, where the course will take place in untested settings, such as a room in a hut. We will also need to evaluate the particular characteristics of a route, and how well it is suited to the average participant. For instance, we need to evaluate

  • huts:  their food and accommodations,
  • art journaling facilities: did we select the optimal facilities?
  • hikes: overall, are they too strenuous and challenging?
  • trail segments: are they too difficult, too easy or just about right?
  • rest breaks: are there enough?
  • alternatives for bad weather days – how will we deal with days when we are laid up in a hut?

Also, we may explore alternate routes at a moment’s notice if we find it may better suit the purposes of the course, the temperament of its participants, or weather conditions.

Just to drive home the main requirement for participating in a shake-down-trek: you have to be comfortable with a certain amount of uncertainty and discomfort, you have to be willing to take on the test run as an adventure and not as a fully developed seminar handed to you on a platter.

In exchange, you’ll get to trek with us from hut-to-hut at a ridiculously low cost and take an art journaling course you won’t soon forget..