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ALYN's Heels of Love

February 18-20, 2020

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 18, 2020
$11,113
Money Raised*
11% raised of $100,000

ALYN's Heels of Love: February 18-20, 2020

Heels of Love is one of the world’s most beautiful hikes. Set amidst the mountains of Eilat, hikers choose either a 3-day or 2-day option, overnighting in deluxe, fully stocked campsites. Hikers are accompanied every step of the way by some of Israel’s top guides, paramedics, and staff to see to your every need. Read a fantastic description of last year’s hike from one of the participants!

The hike is a fundraiser for ALYN Hospital. ALYN is Israel’s only pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility. ALYN turns disabilities into abilities!

This year there will be a strenuous 3-day hike as well as a more moderate 2-day option.

Hiking routes

Hikers have 2 options: A challenging 3-day hike (see maps and description below) as well as a more moderate 2-day course.

The View from Har Hizkiyahu

Today’s Hike: Distance 14.5 km./Elevation gain +280 meters
Click to see map in Strava

Three-day hikers begin the day with breakfast on the slopes of Har Hizkiyahu. As we shake off our journey to the south, we will look out over a beautiful vista along the Israel-Egypt border. In the distance, the mountains of Jordan tower in the background. The unique geology of the Sinai desert creates a scene of many colors as we begin our journey.

The first part of the trek includes a long descent of around five and a half kilometers. At times, the descent will be steep with grades that can reach 20 percent so we will take it slow.

 

Climbing Har Shaharut

The toughest challenge of the day will be the ascent of Har Shaharut. We will follow the Israel National Trail as we hike one of Israel’s most beautiful hiking segments. For over a kilometer the trail proceeds upward along a mountain ridge. The higher we get, the more impressive the views. At the top, we will take a break to rest, eat lunch, and relish the accomplishment of finishing the scent.

 

 

Nachal Netafim

We finish the first day of our trek by walking through Nahal Netafim. This stream bed is dry most of the year, although we may come across small pools of water. The nahal winds its way along a canyon where the rock walls bear evidence of ancient waterfalls.

As we finish our 15 kilometer hike, our campsite will be waiting for us. All our night bags are ready and every hiker can pick out his or her own tent. Once we are settled, we will have a wonderful camp dinner around the fire. It’s a chance to relax, enjoy, and reflect upon the day’s journey.

 

The Top of the Negev

Today’s Hike: Distance 14.3 km./Elevation gain +707 meters
Click to see map in Strava

On Day #2, we will hike a challenging yet rewarding hike that includes the ascent of Har Shlomo along the Israel National Trail. 

Har Shlomo is one of the most magnificent hikes in all of Israel. Last year, we hiked almost to the peak but had to skip the summit because of timing and the approach of darkness. This year, we hope to go all the way to the top to take in the exceptional views extending for miles around.

 

 

 

Reaching the Red Sea

Today’s Hike: Distance 16.3 km./Elevation gain +921 meters
Click to see map in Strava

Today’s hike has been named by Israel 21C has one of the “most spectacular desert hikes in Israel.” There is a steep climb to the top of the mountain, but once you get to the top, you will be very happy you made the climb.

 

Along with those who participated in the 2-day hike, we will stand on the summit of Tzafachot looking down on the entire Red Sea area, with views of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and even Saudi Arabia.

The final descent bring us back to Eilat and civilization where hot showers and a wonderful farewell dinner await us. (The route is different than the one we took last year.)

While not easy, the two-day hike is more moderate than the three-day option. Hikers will cover 10-12 km/day. The region of the Eilat mountains is hilly and there will be several steep climbs lasting around an hour or even an hour and a half. However, we will take it slow and have frequent breaks so we can spend more time listening to the explanation of the guides. The two-day hike has one night of desert camping. 

Our first day centers around Mount Shlomo, one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Israel. While we will not be climbing to the summit, we will be traversing along the desert paths that wind their way along the slopes and through the surrounding valleys. Spectacular views surround us almost every step of the way while our guides make the mountain come alive with their fascinating explanations. 

Today’s hike has been named by Israel 21C has one of the “most spectacular desert hikes in Israel.” There is a steep climb to the top of the mountain, but once you get to the top, you will be very happy you made the climb. We will stand on the summit looking down on the entire Red Sea area, with views of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and even Saudi Arabia. We will avoid the extremely steep descent and instead take a more moderate course down.

More Information

Heels of Love has two options. The 3-day hike is challenging. We cover around 16 kilometers/day with many steep ascents and descents.  There are often “ladders” — steel bars set in the rocks that we climb up or down along the trail. You should be in reasonably good shape for the 3-day hike.

The 2-day hike is more moderate for those who prefer shorter distances with less climbing. There are still hills but the grade is more gradual and the path less technical.

Our staff and guide are there to assist you. If someone is having difficulty, we will escort them out of the mountains and have our jeep pick them up as close as possible. We care deeply about safety and want everyone to have an amazing time.

After a long day’s hiking, nothing is more welcoming to the eyes than a beautiful campsite that has already been set up by our staff. Every hiker gets his or her own tent and mattress (couples can share of course.) Tents are set up around a campfire, surrounded by comfortable futons where we can sit back and relax and share adventure stories of the day’s hike.

Our hot dinners are delicious and accompanied by your choice of beverages. As we sit around the campfire, our special guests will inspire you with their stories of the miracles that happen at ALYN every day. 


The Desert at Night

The Winter is the perfect time of year for hiking in the desert. The daytime temperatures are usually around 18-25 degrees. It does get very cold at night, with temperatures moving toward the freezing point. We strongly recommend that you bring a sleeping bag designed for colder weather.

Our campsites have toilets and a place for washing hands/face and brushing teeth. We will have hot showers at the conclusion of the hike on Thursday.

With over 20 years experience guiding groups, Assaf Priel will once again be our guide. Assaf spends at least 50 days/year in the Negev and has led groups from all over the world, including the US, Canada, and the UK. He is an expert in the region, including the geo-history, flaura, and fauna of the paths we will be taking.

3-Day Hike: We are working on transportation from the Jerusalem area to the start of the hike near Eilat. We are designing the route to be about 5-6 hours, around 15-18 kilometers per day. We will have a hot breakfast and hot dinner every day and sandwiches, fruit, nuts and other fun camp things for lunch.

2-Day Hike: We start on Wednesday, February 19. While our routes will be separate than the ones taken by the three day hikers, we will join together on Wednesday night at the campsite.  

On Thursday, we will finish the hike together in Eilat. In Eilat, we will provide hot showers and a wonderful farewell dinner together before the going back to Jerusalem.

Each participant will receive:

  • 3 deluxe trekking dry-fit shirts (2 for those who chose the 2-day hike)
  • Transportation to Eilat from Jerusalem and back
  • Hot food for breakfast and dinner at the campsites. Lunch will be sandwiches, fruit, and snacks. All meals are certified kosher.
  • Tents and all camp needs. Camping mattress/ground cover. We will set up the tents (one per hiker) each night together.  Hikers must bring warm sleeping bags.
  • Showers and special dinner at conclusion of hike. 
  • We will be accompanied each day by a professional guide, paramedic, and ALYN staff

 

 

Essentials

  • Comfortable hiking shoes — not sneakers, running shoes, or sandals! This is one of the two most important things. Your whole hiking experience will be affected by your shoes. You will be walking around 15 km/day in your shoes, that’s 45 kilometers for the three day hikers!
  • WARM sleeping bag. While the days should be pleasant, it can be very cold in the Negev at night. Bring a sleeping bag rated to keep you warm down to freezing temperature. You do not have to carry the sleeping bag on the hike, you should put it in your duffel bag. (See below).

Day Pack: (A medium backpack that you will carry with you on the hike):

We will give you food and bottles of water. You may prefer to have a hydration bag within your pack that you fill up from the bottles and sip while walking.

  • Hat against the sun
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper (We will provide and you should put it in your pack)
  • Small Plastic Bag (for garbage, damp clothing, etc)
  • Pocket Knife (optional)
  • Light jacket against wind or rain
  • Band-aides, anti-chafing cream (we will have a paramedic, but it is useful to be have these on hand)
  • Personal Snacks (If there is a trail mix you just can’t live without!)
  • Alpine walking sticks (optional — If you use them on hikes)
  • Phone/Camera (We will have electricity to charge at the campsites)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ear Plugs. Some people snore and noises carry in the desert.
  • Lip balm. Lips can get sunburned from the dry heat and wind if not protected.

Duffel Bag (Duffel Bags are much more convenient than suitcases for the hike. It is better that you put everything you will need for the campsites in the bag, including your sleeping bag). These bags will be waiting for us at the campsites.)

  • Walking clothes for each day on the trail. We will be providing hiking shirts, but you should bring shorts/pants, extra T-shirts. If it is cold, you will want a base layer to go under the hiking shirt. 
  • Warm clothes for the evenings/sitting around the fire. (Warm jacket, hat, coat, socks, etc)
  • Comfortable footwear for after the hike
  • Blanket
  • Plastic bag for laundry
  • Swimsuit
  • Personal Toiletries (We will have access to showers only on Thursday at the Dolphin Reef Beach)
  • Personal medicines
  • Extra batteries for flashlight, charger for phone, etc.

 

 

 

The cost of participation is a nominal registration fee and a minimum fundraising requirement or donation of $3,000 for the ALYN’s Children’s Hospital ($2,000 if you would like the 2 day option.)   All contributions are tax deductible in Israeli, American, Canadian, and UK currency.

Registration fees are as follows:

  • Regular: $300 — Register by January 25, 2020
  • Late: $400 — Register by February 10. No registration after February 10.

Minimum Fundraising for ALYN: $3,000 for 3 day hikers and $2,000 for 2 day hikers.

We ask that everyone raise the minimum required amount by February 10 (one week before the hike.) We will keep your pages open for another week so you can raise even more by telling your friends how amazing it was! We will ask you to commit to covering any fundraising gaps before the hike starts. 

Besides online donations, the American and Canadian Friends of ALYN office can accept US and Canadian checks and bank transfers and issue American tax receipts. To get in touch with them , email Maayan. We will post all these donations to your page and add the amounts to your totals.

The more you know about ALYN, the easier you will be able to raise donations. Read more about ALYN.

 

Why Hike for ALYN?

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 18, 2020
$11,113
Money Raised*
11% raised of $100,000
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 18, 2020
$11,113
Money Raised*
11% raised of $100,000
ALYN's Heels of Love