The Mountaineers February meeting features ‘Adventures in Africa’ by Michael and Michele Altherr. A daily event in their adventures was the sundown wildlife watch. Here, on a tributary of the Luangwa River, the watch included a full bar and lanterns with an armed guard on crocodile watch. Hippos snorting, elephants trumpeting in the distance, gin and tonic in the bush, and the sunset across the river made for a truly unique experience. Courtesy photo
Adventures in Africa
Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent. It includes more than 50 distinct nations, largely delineated by Europeans in colonial times.
This has created a difficult and tumultuous history that is, at least, as interesting as viewing the remnants of its mega fauna, and its natural wonders such as the volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains and Victoria Falls.
At the next meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers, Michael and Michele Altherr will tell of their adventures in Africa, and the scenery, people and wildlife that they saw, on what started as a visit to their daughter during her Peace Corps service in Zambia.
They will share their trip planning experiences and recommendations, but the focus of their talk will be on excursions to see wildlife interspersed with cultural activities, and with stories of people they met along their path.
Their journey took them to see the free roaming primates (chimpanzees, gorillas and a variety of others) of Rwanda; the South Luangwa National Park, a ‘big-five’ park, in the Eastern Province of Zambia; and finally on a canoe trip on Zambezi River above Victoria Falls as Nile crocodile waited for the hippopotamus to separate them from their inflatable canoes.
Michael is the Los Alamos Mountaineers president, and a member for 20 years. He started adventuring early, summiting his first fourteener in 1974 after hitchhiking from Chicago to Colorado Springs.
He came to Los Alamos in 1992, and graduated from the Mountaineers climbing school the year thereafter. Michael has climbed in the Shawangunks in New York, at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, Yosemite Valley, Cirque of the Towers in the Jim Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming, Cascades National Park in Washington State, Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and locations closer to home.
Michele graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a degree in ecology, and has taught for Los Alamos Public Schools for 16 years. She is a co-founder of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, a graduate of Leadership Los Alamos and has served on the Parks and Recreation Board.
The Wednesday, Feb. 20 meeting will be held in the Great Room of Fuller Lodge. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. (trip and event announcements, etc.), followed immediately by the Altherr’s program.
The public is welcome. The Mountaineers offers trips that range from easy hikes to technical mountaineering, and is committed to safe outdoor practices.
Membership information and the schedule of activities can be found at http://www.lamountaineers.org/.