Edmonton to London: 08 June 2006 (Thursday) – 09 June (Friday)


What madness this week has been. I’ve been waiting for it to arrive for what seems like forever and for once it has truly felt like an eternity. Six months ago I had been feeling the urge for an amazing trip. A relationship was broken, a friend lay dying in the hospital and my company had stepped up to the next level. My life seemed scattered like so many petals on a wind driven by fate. Now six months later, Iím sitting in a pub in central London, the first day on a trek through Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, traversing the overland route of the Mongols and the lands of the Steppe. Add to this my overwhelming desire to stand atop Europe’s highest peak, Mt. Elbrus, and thereby claim another of the fabled ìSeven Summitsî.

My friend, Craig Welsh, calls it the “Dead Dups Tour 2006”, and heck he might be correct. I wonder what fate awaits me in Russia. Will my mountain guides throw me over a cliff?

“He is lightweight with vodka. Off with him!”

This is what I got from the guides of whom I inquired: “Have you had any problems with Chechen rebels?” (Chechnya is a mere 300km from Mt. Elbrus)..

Answer: “We have had no deaths in the last ten years…”

When I mentioned this trip to Sasha a former Russian working at BioWare, he looked at me rather strangely.

“Why is it that you do this?!”

After hearing my answer he turned back to his work.

“You are dead man.”

And yet the world seems wide open in front of me. A harsh road, perhaps a somewhat lonely road, but nevertheless a wondrous path, hopefully replete with tales to fill this book.

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