Welcome to my blog! I am Willem Vandoorne, born in 1987, and still living in flat but cozy Belgium in Northwestern Europe.

I guess my obsession for mountains and wilderness sprouted in summer 2005, when I had the privilege to join a 15-day scientific expedition to Arctic Spitsbergen. Before, I had hardly slept in a tent or seen a mountain worthy that name. We endured horrible weather conditions throughout most of the trip and like most of my companions, I had some pretty bad moments out there. But I also felt curiosity and a longing for more.

The following year, I started making mountain trekkings. In 2006, I was joined by some friends for two serious trekkings on the Norwegian Hardangervidda and on the famous GR20 trail on Corsica. I noticed I only really started to enjoy things after some 10-15 days, so I decided to try crossing the Pyrenees from Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea in 2007. The result was a fabulous 54-day trekking through what I still consider to be one of Europe’s finest mountain ranges. I covered more than half of the distance solo. I returned to the Pyrenees in 2008 and 2010 for trekkings of 36 and 48 days. I chased flocks of chamois, slept on the summit of some of the highest mountaintops of the range, and swam in pristine lakes. Besides shorter trips in the Alps and Scotland, I continued exploring my second love: Scandinavia. I made a 4-week trek through Jotunheimen and Rondane in 2008 and a solo crossing of the Svartisen-Saltfjellet wilderness in 2009.

Throughout the years, I learned to compose my own tracks instead of following pre-designed waymarked routes or the traces of others, mostly just by looking at the maps and let the affection grow in my mind. Eventually this method will give birth to a hike which comes straight out of your heart. This philosophy is now very clear in every trek I make!

My longing for the big outdoors culminated in recent years with a 4-month thru-hike of the Scandinavian watershed in 2012, long solo journeys through the wilderness of South and Southwest Greenland in 2013 and 2016, and a solo traverse of New Zealands Southern Alps in 2015. For this string of long solo hiking and packrafting traverses, I was awarded the Golden Paddle Award of the American Packrafting Association.

In 2013, I have also started my own small company, offering packraft rentals and a few guided trips in Belgium and Western Europe. I’m also in full training to – hopefully – become an International Mountain Leader in a few years.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment, or send me an e-mail at wvdoorne AT hotmail DOT com

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Berry Trip says:

    Hallo Willem,

    Mooi plan.
    Een groot deel van je route heb ik solo, in tweetal en de laatste jaren met gezin gedaan. De langste periode was 7 maanden :).
    Hou je een blog bij?

    Groeten en veel plezier met je voorbereiding!

    Berry Trip

  2. Peter says:

    I’m from gent and interested in packrafting, but never saw a packraft in real life. I there a posibillity to have a look at your raft.
    where are you from?
    Geetings Peter.

  3. Willem says:

    Hi Peter,

    You can certainly come and have a look at the raft, I’m also from Ghent. Can you drop me an e-mail at wvdoorne AT hotmail DOT com to arrange something?

  4. white1985 says:

    So you’re really gonna do it eh 🙂 Super brave, super cool and super exiting! I wish you all the best of luck and let’s hope that 2012 will have a nice and sunny summer-fall.

  5. Ola Skaansar says:

    Hello Willem. My name is Ola. I am 23 years old. I am also going to go this trip this summer.
    It looks like if we will have a lot of snow.

  6. Willem says:

    Hi Ola!

    Very cool, when are you planning to leave? Do you have some kind of blog or website?

    And yep, looks like june will be a white month 😉

  7. Florian says:

    Nice project, on my to-do-list for later (when is later?).
    Take care, have fun!
    God Tur!

  8. Kevin Serginson says:

    Hi Willem, great blog, trip reports and photos! I’m off to Tasiilaq in July for 2 weeks solo trekking so your reports and gear list make interesting reading. My main drama is what camera gear to take (or not) LOL! Thanks for sharing.

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