Kayaking the Classic Rivers of Nepal


The Majestic Fish Tail Mountain (Machapuchre) in the Annapurna sanctuary

We awoke early to a breathtaking view of Machapuchhre, and the first glimpse of the Modi Khola lived up to its reputation. There was a small village close to the barn, and we enjoyed a warm cup of chai before donning our gear and heading down the river.

Our fun meters surged to new levels as we paddled down this incredible, continuous stream through another ancient, terraced valley. We stopped for lunch on a remote beach and took a short siesta in the autumn sun. The afternoon offered more of the same, and we arrived in Birethanti with ear-to-ear adrenaline smiles, and booked a room for fifty cents at the local teahouse.

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Ship Rock

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”      — John Muir

West face of Ship Rock

Two climbers and an old VW Bug were heading west on Route 66 on a cool but sunny autumn day in the high desert. The stereo blasted Led Zeppelin, and the beer flowed freely.

George Bain leading one of the crux pitches.

“Wow! There it is. That’s quite a chunk of rock! Look at that West Face!” Moe said excitedly. “It’s bigger than I remembered.”

The sun was setting over the desert horizon, and the alpen glow on the West Face was spectacular.  Neither of them could imagine that they would be watching it from quite a different perspective at the same time the next day.

The rest of the story:  https://danceonedge.com/?page_id=1051

Table of Contents:   https://danceonedge.com/?page_id=22

Great book about the history of desert climbing  http://deserttowersbook.com/

Why Do We Climb Mountains

John Mattson climbing the Totem Pole in Monument Valley

My wife and I recently met an Argentine psychiatrist on the top of a small mountain in Patagonia, and I couldn’t resist the age-old question, “Why do people climb mountains?”

He told us jokingly that we were both very crazy, and that we should come to his office as soon as possible.

“Because they are there,” or “If you have to ask the question, you won’t understand the answer,” are the most common stock responses I’ve heard, but the true reason is much more difficult to define.

The Rest of the Story:  https://danceonedge.com/?page_id=12

The Totem Pole:  https://danceonedge.com/?page_id=30