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Wyoming Native Attempts To Solve Riddle Of Burma's Highest Peak

In the 1980’s, Laramie native and National Geographic adventure writer Mark Jenkins came upon an old book called Burma’s Icy Mountains. It was written in the 50’s by an eccentric British explorer, Frank Kingdon Ward. Jenkins was hooked, especially when he learned that no one knew for sure which mountain was the highest peak in Burma: Gamlang Razi was officially measured at 19,259 feet in 2013, but as for neighboring Hkakabo Razi, no one had ever stood on top and gotten a GPS reading. Some said it was higher, some lower.

Jenkins became obsessed with solving the riddle. He made two attempts, 20 years apart, to summit Hkakabo Razi. At a recent interview at his home in Laramie, he told Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards that on the first try in 1993, he corralled three good friends to go.

Only problem, at that time, Burma was living under violent military control...

National Geographic adventurer Mark Jenkins will be touring Wyoming starting next month, telling stories and showing photographs from his Burma expeditions. The tour is called "Burma’s Resurrection: World to Wyoming Tour." Here's the schedule:

  • Friday, Feb 26, University of Wyoming, Education Auditorium, 7 pm
  • Tuesday, March 1, Gillette College, Auditorium at 7 pm
  • Wednesday, March 2, Sheridan Junior High School Auditorium at 7 pm
  • Thursday, March 3,  Northwest College in Powell, Yellowstone Building at 7 pm
  • Friday, March 4, Cody at Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Coe Auditorium at 6 pm
  • Sunday, March 6,  the Wildlife Museum in Jackson at 5:30 pm
Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.

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