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Livin' on The Edge

GEORGIA | Monday, 16 August 2010 | Views [721]

The grey moisture-laden skies that gave way to a glistening pastel sunset the night before have blossomed and slice the morning silence with surgical precision. For the next two days we will walk on a knife's edge; a razor-sharp warping that has bludgeoned its way out of the earth's crust. Its unnerving topography is a beacon to adventure.

We climb to the Khevsureti rigdeline and begin to traverse the base of Mt. Tanizi, which arrogantly establishes itself as Overlord of this section of the trek: a jagged, crumbling peak, scree- and snow-laden, its precise centrepiece difficult to ascertain on the two-dimensional projection that we carry. The lands have opened out before us to reveal a cascade of indescribable splendour. The horizon is teeming with rugged peaks and formidable glaciers, whilst the lost deep green of endless valleys compliments the foreground. Scattered clouds pit against an azure sky add an elegance not of this world.

Our clear path begins an even clearer descent that we do not wish to follow. This struggle belongs on the razor's edge. We reluctanly clamber stiffly upward; this is tough and merciless, unforgiving and without trail. We take rest after having covered only several kilometres in half a day and survey the deadly steep contours in the not-too-distance that are yet to be traversed. We are physically and mentally exhausted, and opt for camp near a patch of white that is nestled in a nook, a velvet-green cranny that overlooks the Edge of The World.

An afternoon of map-reading locates our position, and on the morn an ascent of crumbled shale raises the pulse until a faded track is found.  The contours greet us with indifference, and another day of trail-finding keeps us on The Razor. We marvel at the magnificent vistas presented to us, and only us. Obscure, solitary ridglines shoot as afterthoughts into lonesome valleys. Deep-cut paths dissappear into nothingness before reappearing out of rhododendron scrub. Precipitous contours gather together in unworldy harmony to form a spectacular array of challenge, eloquence and beauty. Finally, the soft afternoon light melts its way into our hearts as we marvel at such astonishing scenery and how insignificant two adventurers must be to the eons captured around us. At last we descend to a stream that literally begins flowing out of the mountainside, and a semi-flat patch of cow-, goat- and sheep-turf near our first human contact for many days.

hugs and love from the Khevsureti ridge

Joe and Griet

Tags: khevsureti ridge, mt tanizi, trekking



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