Climber Mike Libecki has been all over the planet, tackling some of the most challenging and interesting big walls around. He’s been to Greenland, Baffin Island, Venezuela, Antarctica, and more. And while each of those places has offered amazing opportunities to climb, his recent expedition to Socotra Island off the coast of Yemen, may be amongst his most favorite destinations of all.
Mike went to Socotra with his friend and climbing partner Josh Helling and is now teasing their story in the Hardwear Sessions blog on the Mountain Hardwear website. Mike described the landscapes on Socotra as if they are something out of a fairy tale, saying the following:
an island that is home to ancient granite towers and over 300 endemic species of plant, animal and insect life, with a culture that has not changed its ways for thousands of years, a fantasy land, that, for today’s day of explorers is still (at least it was!) virgin, unseen, and holds the variable that adventure cannot exist without: Mystery. Even Sinbad the Sailor is rumored to have been here and battled huge dragon-like birds as they destroyed his ship.
And honestly, judging from the photos that accompany the story, it is hard to dispute his claims. Mike and Josh were the first two climbers to visit the island, and in the process they put up new routes on the two largest towers there. Towers that he says are surrounded by “utterly-lost-world ambience”.
The climber promises that we’ll see much more on the expedition soon, in the form of a more in depth story and a movie that chronicles the expedition, both of which will appear on the Hardwear Sessions blog in the near future. Judging from the photos, it sounds like it’ll be amazing, and I can’t wait to see it all in motion on video too.
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