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Beyond The Grid: Giant Marco Polo Rams

What’s your Everest? Over 60-years ago my grandfather Gordon, dreamed of hunting in what was then Soviet-Russia for Marco Polo sheep. The logistics, politics and costs proved to be just too overwhelming for such an endeavor at the time. Thirty years later my dad would also dream of such an adventure to the rooftop of the world in pursuit of the king of all sheep. By the time the Iron Curtain fell my father deemed himself too old and too busy building this business for such an extensive trip into such a dangerous and at the time, unstable part of the post 9/11 world.

I too would dream of this very expedition into one of the most remote and harsh corners of the planet in pursuit of the ultimate dream-the dream of a safe return home with a big Marco Polo ram as the ultimate representation and memory of the expedition. Lucky for me, circumstances had changed drastically from generations past. Over the past 20-years the region had become much more stable. I was still relatively young, and thanks to hunting dollars and aggressive conservation efforts the sheep populations where at or near an all-time high. This was all good news for me. The tough part was the finances of such an endeavor were still very steep and getting worse. After nearly a ten-year, extremely aggressive savings plan that would liquidate a major portion of my life savings, the dream was finally becoming more of an apparent reality.

I invite you to travel by my side, to a slice of the world that time has nearly forgotten about, where wind, dust and snow, blast the jagged rocky landscape into near submission, a region where poverty prevails and life just barely sustains, and has so for nearly a thousand years since even before the great explorer Marco Polo traveled its rocky landscape in search of a passage to the far Eastern corner of the Asian continent. This is a place where big rams drift in from Afghanistan to rut lamb happy ewes, without knowledge of their temporary exile status from the most dangerous country on the planet.

More humans will dine on Mountain House meals in an Everest base camp this year than will take on the epic challenge of hunting for one of these rare and prized rams. But this has been my lifelong goal, a three-generation goal, this is my grandfather’s Everest, my father’s Everest, my Everest. Press play on the video above to embark on an inherited expedition nearly, 60-years in the making.


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