The natural world is full of surprises, and the more time I spend there the more wonderful and interesting it all seems. I feel privileged to have had work that has allowed so many hours of observing nature’s processes and contemplating the many questions they pose. How does it all piece together? What are the relationships? Why is there so much beauty? What do I do with it all?
On December 31, 2017, Rob Smurr, Adventure Guide and dear friend to Mountain Travel Sobek since 1997, ended his amazing journey on Earth. Rob led trips for MTS in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Antarctica, Mongolia, Russia, the Georgian Caucasus, Ukraine (the Crimean Peninsula), Azerbaijan, Finland, and Estonia. Read about his incredible and inspiring life.
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.