Mark Jenkins, field staff writer for National Geographic and writer-in-residence at the University of Wyoming, will return to Western Wyoming Community College’s Rock Springs campus Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 to discuss one of his latest breathtaking travel adventures.
In “Burma’s Resurrection: An Expedition into a Forbidden Land,” Jenkins will share stories and pictures from his 2015 attempt to scale Burma’s highest peak, 19,300-foot Hkakbo Razi, with a team of North Face climbers. The peak lies in the far north of Burma (also known as Myanmar), near Tibet, in a region so remote that Jenkins and his team had to travel for more than two weeks up rivers, on buses and motorcycles, and on foot through a nearly impenetrable jungle, just to reach the mountain. Along the way, they battled leeches, poisonous spiders and venomous snakes, while encountering bear hunters, Buddhist monks, and other ambassadors of Burma’s people and culture.
Jenkins’s story based on this expedition, “Point of No Return,” was featured in the Sept. 2015 issue of National Geographic. The expedition was also profiled in the Renan Ozturk documentary “Down to Nothing.” On Sept. 21, Jenkins will share his complete account of the team’s harrowing and exhilarating trek to one of the most distant and beautiful corners of the planet.
Jenkins’s past appearances at Western, when he has discussed his ascent of Mount Everest, his investigations into the world’s oldest known ski tribe, and other adventures, have been very popular. Early arrival is recommended to guarantee seating.
Mark Jenkins is a critically acclaimed author and internationally recognized journalist who covers geopolitics and adventure. Among hundreds of stories, he has written about landmines in Cambodia, the war in Eastern Congo, the loss of koalas in Australia, global warming in Greenland, ethnic cleansing in Burma, climbing Mt. Everest in Nepal, and exploring one of the world’s largest caves in Vietnam.
Jenkins’s writing has won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Ross Award for “The Healing Fields” in 2013 and a National Magazine Award with colleague Brint Stirton for “Who Murdered the Virunga Gorillas?” in 2009. Both projects provided the basis for state-wide presentations at Wyoming’s community colleges as part of the Global and Area Studies Program’s (formerly International Studies Program) state-wide international speaker series.
This public talk is one of a series of presentations Jenkins is making at Wyoming’s community colleges this year. The programs are sponsored by UW’s Center for Global Studies, UW’s Global and Area Studies Program, the Wyoming Humanities Council – Think WY, the UW Outreach School, and Wyoming’s community colleges, with additional support from the Ruth R. Ellbogen Foundation.