Our fellow travelers are signed-up and the guide has been paid. We’re now five weeks from our journey to the wilds of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. All the planning and organizing I’ve done for the last year is coming together. Now we wait for the day when we all hop on the plane and head off for this strange and wonderful part of the world.
I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I first proposed leading the Kamchatka adventure for the Colorado Mountain Club. First there was the proposal to the club’s Adventure Travel Committee, then the approval, then the search for willing participants from within the club’s membership, as well as from other climbing clubs around the US. Because of the unusual destination, I knew it could be a challenge finding enough adventurous souls who would be willing to spend some of their hard-earned vacation time on this trip. We needed at least five people to sign up for the trip (not counting Valerie and myself). We opened the trip to sign-ups in mid-2010; by December, we only had one person. We decided to make “go-or-no-go” decision in January; if we didn’t have the minimum number to make the trip happen by then, we’d have to cancel.
To our pleasant surprise, by the time January rolled around, we had the minimum number to make the trip a go. As the year went on, we had even more people sign on, which brought the per-person cost down by a substantial amount. By May, we had a total of 12 people signed up; enough to where we (reluctantly) had to close the trip to new members. Given the slow start last year, I didn’t think we’d have near this many participants for the trip; I was quite pleased to be proven wrong.
May also was when we had our first group meeting. The meeting was not required; just a chance to get to know each other and talk about the trip. Getting participants to these planning meetings can be like herding cats, mainly due to the fact that no matter which date you pick, some people will simply not be able to attend. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout: all but two people showed up. It was a pleasure for me to meet everyone face-to-face after all the numerous emails and phone calls over the preceding months. My impression after the meeting was that we have a great bunch of folks joining us on our journey to Kamchatka.
I’ll be reporting more details as the planning continues and will then post a daily blog of the trip so stay tuned.