It was Valentine’s Day 1981 when I first saw the audacious grace that is the Zambezi; there was no wind at all, but I could smell the river, crisp and fresh, telegraphing promise. Along with a party of tour operators, I had been shuttled between game parks and hotel lobbies for days, all leading up to this: Victoria Falls, the greatest waterfall in Africa, a mile wide and twice as high as Niagara. While the other occupants of the Land Rover pressed for a glimpse of the great falls upstream, I looked the other way, out of habit. Of the catalogue of rivers I had encountered around the world, I had committed the sin of first descents on a score. I rolled down the window. The sound of the river coiling and cursing through a cut in the skin of the plateau, some 350 feet below, disturbed the edges of silence. I could see two rapids interrupting the spinning green current, between the hairpin curves that divided the Third Canyon from its cousins. They were pieces of effervescence, feather-white, inviting. They looked as though they could be run.
Hear tales from Mountain Travel founder Allen Steck, who will be signing his new book A Mountaineer's Life at the Mountain Travel Sobek office in Emeryville, California, on Thursday December 14, 2017 from 5:30pm. His stories are from the days when mountain climbing was discovery, when men like Steck forged new routes, both literal and literary. With dry humor and detailed recall, Steck captures the excitement and intrigue of a time when there were few rules and no guidelines.
Every great Mountain Travel Sobek trip starts with our talented team of guides, who know their regions intimately and are the key to every successful trip. Bringing them together to share knowledge and celebrate the art of guiding is an integral part of our company philosophy and this year's Leader Summit was our biggest event yet.
Our purpose in adventure travel is to give you the opportunity for an active life-changing experience and we take pride in creating journeys that inspire a sense of personal discovery. Whether we're exploring new places, meeting new people, pushing ourselves physically, or challenging our perspectives on the world, we can all seek the extraordinary and return forever changed. Here are 10 classic adventures that can transform you.
Ancient paths, pilgrimage routes, inn-to-inn trails, and cross-country journeys have inspired travelers and explorers for eons. Following courses that have been carved out across dramatic landscapes, you too can experience the thrill of the journey and the many rewards of making it to the end. In fact, we've also been inspired by one of our guests who explained her passion for loop treks, which enable her to go full circle back to the start, but with a new perspective. On our best hikes of a lifetime list, we’ve picked many timeless endeavors, plus a new trip to watch for 2018. How many have you done?