About

My name is Andrew Terrill… I’m a 42-year old Englishman now living in the Colorado Rockies. On May 1st 1997 – 15 years ago as I write this – I began a long journey, a mountain walk that I expected would take a full 18 months to complete. The plan was to hike solo and unsupported from the extreme South of Italy to the North Cape at the top of Norway, passing through seven countries, four distinct mountains ranges, and eight seasons, carrying all I needed on my back.

Throughout the journey I wrote stories and features for several newspapers and magazines, and shared photos and stories through a website that no longer exists… and hasn’t for many years. Now, fifteen years on, I feel it’s time to share some of them again. Of course, it’s quite possible that no one will be interested in what is now, essentially, ancient history. But then again, perhaps the journey still has value, may still entertain…

The walk was challenging… fulfilling… rewarding on many levels. It was an expression of simplicity, of complete freedom; it was a way of being true to the person I then was. It connected me to the natural world that supports us all, and proved to me once and for all that we don’t have to follow the predictable path society too-often seems to expect and demand. I strongly believe that we have a choice in all things, in how we live our lives, in the trails we take, in how we react to, and deal with, situations we can’t control. The point is we are in control. Choice – that’s the thing – and fifteen years ago I chose to immerse myself in a long mountain walk never before undertaken…

As the next 18 months unfold I aim to share a great many photos from the walk and re-post the original web reports I sent back from the trail. When I walked north across Europe I walked alone. But this time, I hope, you will walk with me.

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13 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Andrew,

    As someone who unknowingly followed, if not in your footsteps, then along a similar (albeit perpendicular, and shorter) way, I’m finding this blog a wonderful discovery. As someone whose own crossing is still less than a year in hindsight, I’m particularly curious about the directions of your story after the red line charted on your map, and about how you find choice interacts with the graffiti-gray concrete of international laws. As a 25-year-old American trying to return to the UK, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

    Looking forward to mountains beyond,

    Owen

    • Wow – what a journey you had! I shall have to make time to read your blog! I wonder where exactly our respective routes crossed. Probably in the Dolomites…

      As a European, international laws barely touched my adventure. Most border crossings were made alone in the mountains, far away from any official eyes. The exceptions were the crossings into the Czech Republic… but I’ll save that for the blog!

      My blog is on a temporary hiatus… but I will get back to it…

      All the best!

  2. Hello Andrew, what youdid is amazing, I found this website because, I was looking for people who done similar to what you did, and to what I want to do. In a few months I want to start walking from Portugal to Sweden where I’m actually from. But I have so many doubts and questions, could you help me out?

  3. Hi, I ran across your blog and found it extremely interesting as I am leaving California for the UK and Europe on April 18th. My trip is completely open ended (as short as 6 months, as long as 5 years) and I want to do a combination of hiking/walking and WWOOFing my way across Europe several times.

    I would like to plan my WWOOFing breaks around a long distance hike across Europe and choose farms located near or around the trails. Here is where I run into difficulty. I can’t find any detailed topo or trail (walking) maps that cover any of Europe’s long distance trails (i.e. “E Trails”).

    If you have any advice or suggestions as to where I can locate these maps, books… I would be eternally grateful!

    Thank you,

    Sparkos Merriman

    • Hi,

      If you’re flying to London call in to Stanfords, a map shop in the center of London. http://www.stanfords.co.uk/ There’s a good chance they’ll have the guides and maps you’ll need. Or at the very least they should be able to make suggestions and order them for you.

      I’ve been away from Europe for a while now, and I’ve never followed an ‘official’ E-route (prefer to make up my own) so I can’t really recommend specifics. But there’s a UK-based website with a very useful forum and a bunch of friendly and helpful folk that may be able to help you: http://www.outdoorsmagic.com. Perhaps it might be worth asking a question similar to the one you asked me on there.

      For what it’s worth: I’ve never liked guidebooks, or following the research someone else has done… it’s so much more interesting to make your own route and find stuff out for yourself. Knowing too much in advance can ruin a perfectly good adventure!

      Anyhow, good luck, and make the trip as long as you can! 5 years sounds just about perfect!!!

      Best,

      Andrew

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