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Saddened that my 1998 scheduled trek with a different adventure travel company was canceled due to insufficient numbers, I rallied towards MT Sobek to join the most altitude and geologically diverse trek I have taken to date, “Around Manaslu.” Led by “Jungli John”, we hiked down through tropics and rice paddies, up through the subtropics and citrus trees, continuing up through apple and pear trees, and a deciduous forest with playful monkeys. We crossed over rivers and climbed through evergreens, then above tree line with the majestic Mount Manaslu just ahead. We negotiated a snowy scree-covered high pass before descending across a massive boulder field with treats of soaring eagles and hawks, ultimately ending in a soon-to-be charming village under construction.

MT Sobek is well known for its self-selecting and wondrously adventuresome organized trips. However, I could not predict that living in Maryland I would travel across the globe to Kathmandu, Nepal to meet fellow Manaslu trekker and my future best friend, Susan Jameson, who lived in Hawaii and had trekked to Bhutan’s high Lunana in 1986 with MT Sobek. We discovered we had much in common as I, too, had made that trek. Little did I know that my new best friend would become my amazing wife and co-life adventurer. We maintain strong friendship with two fellow trekkers from that group, Pippa (South Africa) and Will (Colorado).

While trekking in Chile in January, 2002 on the MT Sobek Patagonia trek we committed to marriage (March, 2002). We later celebrated our 10th anniversary of meeting by trekking in Sikkim with esteemed MT Sobek trip leader, Jamling Norgay, who was our originally assigned leader for the Manaslu trek but who was replaced because he was recruited for the IMAX production of “Everest.”

Since 1998, our South American treks were led by “The Maestro,” the intrepid Sergio Fitch-Watkins, through Chile, Peru and Bolivia. He has a knack for attracting condors and rainbows. Our first of many hiking trips across the Alps was MT Sobek’s “Mt Blanc Express” led by premier women mountain guides. For our return to Nepal in 2016, we hiked through the Khumbu region with MT Sobek’s knowledgeable and locally popular Sanjeev Chhetri. Another must trip for hikers!

Congratulations, MT Sobek! May the next 50 years be full of amazing adventures, interesting clients and superb in-country partners. Whether hiking across the Alps or the Andes, the Himalayas or the Pyrenees, we look forward to another outstanding adventure with a superb trip leader and interesting fellow clients.

The Universe works in wonderfully mysterious ways and we are thrilled that MT Sobek opened the pathway to dramatic changes in our lives. Thank you, MT Sobek.

Richard Yocum, MT Sobek Guest

MT Sobek Trip: Around Manaslu, 1998