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Shvil HaGolan 2014

 
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Hummus



Joined: 07 Mar 2014
Posts: 24


Location: Britain

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Shvil HaGolan 2014  Reply with quote

Shalom,

Is anyone currently aware of any restrictions that may have been put introduced for hiking in areas of Golan, given what is seemingly extra vigilance there due to the situation in Syria? My reason for asking is that my intention is to initially hike some or all of the Golan trail and then join the Northern INT when I visit Israel. Beginning all this at the start of May, walking the full INT will obviously not be possible for this first hiking visit, so I've chosen to concentrate on Golan then the Northern-Central sections of the INT and visit various areas off trail along the way, for variety.
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yankale
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not allowed to hike east of route 98.
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Hummus



Joined: 07 Mar 2014
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Location: Britain

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks, Yankale. Recently I found a link mentioning that a new updated version of SNPI Topo Map 1 (Hermon and Golan Heights) has been released for 2014, updating from a previous 2008 edition. Details in English and Hebrew. One English source of information on the trail suggests that changes made to the trail from 2008 are minor changes, but I notice that some sections do appear to hike East of Route 98. Maybe I need to consult with somebody once in Israel about any re-routings that may have happened this year, or just hike selected stages of the route.
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yankale
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I have to correct my previous post. The closed section is only in the area of Alonei Habashan ~10 km.
The closed area is in sections 6 and 7 according to Wikivoyage. Just hike along route 98 for 10 km.
The changes made to the trail since 2008 are indeed minor. The original path is not changed,
it is closed for hiking until further notice.
In May it is a good idea to start the hike on the Golan Trail (south to north) connect to the INT in Dan
and continue the hike south. Expect hot days in the north too and make sure you rest in the
shade during the hottest hours of the day.
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Hummus



Joined: 07 Mar 2014
Posts: 24


Location: Britain

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Yankale. Ok, thanks for the clarification

Your suggestion for starting south to north to link up with the northern INT does sound better. Looking at the outlay of the trails on Google Maps, it admittedly did feel inefficient for me to hike from North Golan to South Golan and then travel back up again for the Northern start of the INT, but sources had been suggesting that it was far more grueling to hike in Golan from South to North due to the steep gradient in the topography.

Your mention of the heat brings up a question about both Golan Trail and the INT, about suitable sleeping equipment. At this time I am currently undecided about what kind of sleeping equipment to bring to Israel for that time of year (Sleeping Bag or Various Liners /  Tent or Tarp). Online travel reports suggest the temperature at night and early mornings in Golan can get cold, even in Summer. My previous visit to Israel was during a late August and I remember that while the days in Jerusalem were like an oven, the early hours of the morning could be surprisingly cold.

Any suggestions from your experience?
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yankale
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South to north on the Golan trail is not a problem. One steep ascent on day 1 from Ha'on (sea of Galilee) from -220 m
to + 300m and then a gradual ascent of ~1000 m  over 120 km and average of 1% slope. Final day is
another 400 m climb but that's it.
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Hummus



Joined: 07 Mar 2014
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Location: Britain

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks Yankale.
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Hummus



Joined: 07 Mar 2014
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Location: Britain

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revisiting this post for some feedback after finishing my GT at the end of May, hiking it in a South to North direction, there were days on the GT where I questioned if choosing to hike it in a S-N direction was the better decision or not. Pros VS Cons, etc.

My feelings on it remain mixed really, as there are people I met at various times whom I would not have met if I'd been hiking North to South. However, it was noticeable that every Israeli (either living in the area, or other hikers) I met on the GT, made the comment that I'd chosen the harder way to do it by going from South to North, and there were days when I was in a bad mood, tired and baking hot when that felt very real. Other days, I noticed how the mix of ascents and descents on the Golan trail, infact balance out 'somewhat', regardless of a S-N or N-S direction.

Mostly due to the time of year, I saw very few hikers on the trail and the ones I did see (or met during a night camp somewhere) were all going in a North to South direction. One 'benefit' of going South to North I think,  was that things became greener and slightly cooler at this hotter time of year as the hike progressed, and this was a reward in terms of the cherrys in orchards along the way for example. Hikers going North to South were going to be heading into some very parched areas later on around Kinneret, and I mentioned this to them. One or two natural water sources on the map in the Kinneret area had dried up almost completely even by mid may. Natural sources were never 'relied' upon of course, and I always carried enough with me, but I did also utilise natural sources quite a lot to keep refilling supplies, by purifying it.

It is a tough one to answer about direction, because I appreciated the sense of heading 'towards' Hermon as a final goal, but also appreciated that to be leisurely descending to Kinneret would be nice too. Anyway, I hope this feedback may help with any decision.
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MM



Joined: 27 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:58 pm    Post subject: Restriction still valid? Reply with quote

Is the information about the restriction still valid?
Are there any other restrictions on the golantrail?
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yankale
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curretly there are no restrictions on the GT.

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