A Solo Trek through the Land of Beyond.

1993. Ragged Mountain Press.

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"The best recent travel book to come to our notice....a compulsive read for anyone who enjoys the call of the wild." Strider: The Journal of the Long Distance Walkers Association.


Campbell had discovered the Pelly and Upper Yukon rivers and built Fort Selkirk. It wasn't until 1968 that it was finally concluded that Mount Campbell and Tombstone Mountain were in fact the same peak and the latter name was officially adopted, though some maps still give it as Mount Campbell.

That night's site, on a little sandy hillock above the Tombstone River with superb views upstream to the black wedge of Tombstone Mountain and the pinnacle-topped wall of Mount Monolith, was the best of the walk so far, though only a faint promise of what was to come.

The next day, I found that walking into this mountain sanctuary was like walking into paradise. As befits the way of a pilgrim, the going was rough, leading gradually through dense brush, across willow-thicketed creeks and over moss-covered, half-hidden boulders into the inner sanctum, the magnificent rock amphitheater that is the Tombstone Range, a huge curving ridge of heart-stopping granite walls and spires. Talus Lake, a boulder-ringed, brooding mountain tam, backed by a towering cliff that looked about to topple into the water, made my fifth night out from Dawson one of the most magnificent wilderness camps I have ever had. Beyond the rippling waters Tombstone Mountain darkened into blackness as the sky deepened from pink into the dark blue of night.

Perfection is not easy to find. Some would say it is an ideal, a goal to seek but never achieve. Perhaps, most of the time, but I found it at Talus Lake on the morning of August 12, 1990, a morning so beautiful, so faultless that I almost felt guilty for being there, almost wondered what I had done to deserve such rapture. But on reflection I knew what it had taken to immerse myself in the mountain glory granted to me, knew that without the days spent struggling through dense forest, slogging through mud and rain under a heavy load, and plodding along alone with my thoughts I wouldn't have been able to accept what that morning gave me.

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