Amercian Climber: Live Trek of Swiss Alps on Social Media

By Kenna McHugh Comment

“This summer will be by far the hardest part of the journey. If I were to stay on the exact border, it would involve about 280,000 vertical meters of up and down, but the plan is to follow more trails and not to climb every mountain. If I stick to that plan, it is only 220,000 vertical meters! That is like climbing Mt. Everest 12 times round trip from the sea,” explains John Harlin III, who is looking forward to this most challenging stretch of frontier while he communicates his progress through several social networking sites via smartphone.

The adventure continues – the American climber and writer John Harlin III begins the third and final chapter of his attempt to travel the entire 2,000km Swiss border on July 6. After paddling and cycling along the northern and western borders, this summer he will climb the thin, and often dangerous, alpine line that separates Switzerland from its southern neighbors. We get to follow John’s adventure through his multimedia Border Stories, live on, Facebook and Twitter.

While John does the hard work, armchair ‘mountaineers’ can veraciously follow his progress through his online multimedia diary and pinpoint his exact location thanks to a customized and integrated Google Map.

John is sharing his adventure with a smartphone instead of pen and paper, allowing him not only to take notes, snap pictures and shoot videos, but also to upload them in near real-time at the exact location on the map where they were recorded. And followers of the adventure can stay with John’s ups and downs on Facebook.

What is really cool about this social media trek is that before the start of the alpine section of Border Stories, more than 21,000 people from around the world had already decided they ‘like this’, and could receive the latest Border Stories updates directly on Facebook. It will be interesting to see how many followers he gets after today’s ascent and throughout the trek.