About

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

13 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:

    Hllo
    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!
    Groetjes,
    F

  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.

  9. Hans Bock says:

    Great video! Enjoyed it a lot, Willem. I am impressed by the knowledge you have about rivers!! Veel succes en plezier met je nieuwe bedrijfje!!

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