I won't keep you in suspense. I climbed Peak Lenin, 7134 meters to the summit. I'm not sure if that number means anything, so let's try to put it into perspective. No, it's not Mount Everest at 8848 meters, but its high, nevertheless. It's almost a kilometer higher than Mount Denali in Alaska. It's higher than Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe and Mount Aconcagua in South America, each of which is the highest on its respective continent. Peak Lenin is the second highest peak in Kyrgyzstan, a small republic in Central Asia, and the third highest in the former Soviet Union. If it were a building it would have approximately 2000 storeys high.
Carellin is an urbanite, much happier in a pair of Miz Mooz New York City boots than any first-rate Murrell Hiking Runner even if Murrell offers modern glowing colours. But her nine-year-old daughter, Clover, isn’t aware of high fashion yet. She’s interested in everything including hiking, school and friends.
Fifteen years ago, a team of six people, me included, hiked from the abandoned mining town of Tungsten into the Cirque of the Unclimbables, which, at that time was not part of the Nahanni National Park. Today it is. The hike took us 14 days to reach Glacier Lake located below the Cirque.
I first saw Charles sitting on his backpack, snuggled between a bunch of Nepalese peasants in the back of an old, beat up, Indian-made truck. He looked out of place with his creamy white skin and in his sparkling white shirt, his leopard-skin silk scarf, his designer, button-down jeans and his brown felt fedora.
Silver King Basin! Just the name was a draw for me to explore Babine Provincial Park located north of Smithers, BC. I enticed four of my friends to join me in late July when valley snow would be gone and the alpine flowers would be prime. I showed them a park map with a four-day route that looked like a “cake walk.”