68 MLCM SUMMER 2018 Searching for Scale The Himalayas contain many of Earth’s highest peaks, and in the last hundred years there have been thousands of attempts, many ending tragically, by climbers hoping to conquer the tallest of them. And yet, many of the mid-range (approximately 6,000 metres/19,685 feet) Himalayan peaks never seem to get climbed at all. Some aren’t even named on maps and, in Nepal, most of them don’t even require permits. This is no doubt due to the type of people who are drawn to these high places. Trekkers gravitate to the valley floors and are content to stare upwards into the majestic ranges, and on the other end of the spectrum, expedition climbers often have a burning, insatiable desire to challenge themselves and push up the highest peak (or at least the highest they can afford a permit for). Our goal was to seek out that middle ground, where few seem to venture. We wanted to see what we could learn about perspective by climbing into the midst of these towering giants and summiting peaks that would be considered lofty anywhere else in the world. EPIC TRIP “What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above.” – René Daumal Highlights from the Himalayan Midlands words & photography :: Hilary Matheson Limbs frozen, lungs burning, Chris Brinlee Jr. climbs on, waiting for the sun to crest as another day begins.