Later, at the university, I started to long for further places, longer hikes, tougher treks, higher peaks. The destinations and character of my travels changed and I had to acquire new equipment adequate for backpacking.
Luckily, the one thing I didn’t have to care about was the boots.
My first real travelling experience happened in 2013 when I spent a month in Kyrgyzstan, central Asia. Besides the popular hikes in Ala Archa National Park and famous lake Alakol trek from Jeti-Oguz to Altyn Arashan I also crossed three 3,800 m passes during the trek from Sary-Chelek biosphere reserve to the city of Talas. It was an unusually rainy June, heavy rains and thunderstorms followed me wherever I went and the never-ending walking in wet grass and mud was a proper challenge for the Gore-tex on my Lowas.
Later that year I travelled to Nepal where it took me another month to complete Manaslu and Annapurna circuit treks. I set on the trek at the altitude of around 500 m, ascended to the Larkya La pass at 5100 m, got down to 1860 m and ascended again to the 5416 m Thorong La pass. It was the most demanding trekking experience in my life for sure and I cannot imagine going through all that wearing something else than a high-quality boots.
In 2014 I took my Lowas to the other side of the world – Guatemala and southern Mexico. I stood on the top of the highest peak of Central America – Tajamulco volcano, 4220 m, and watched the eruptions of volcanos Fuego and Pacaya from the top of volcano Acatenango at 3976 m. Although I had to carry my Lowa boots in the backpack for a good part of a three-week journey because of the extreme heat, I was glad to have them when it came to ascending the volcanoes, while the rest of the group did not have the best time in their sneakers.
These all were just the major trips I have done in my Lowas. For all the six years I have used them all year long for most of my outdoor activities and also as my winter shoes.
It was not until summer 2015 when I returned from a trip to the Lofoten Islands, Norway that I decided it is time for them to retire. Not that the treks behind the Arctic Circle were too much for my beloved Lowas. I just feel my feet might deserve a new pair of boots for the next adventure.
Thanks, Lowa, for the most comfortable and reliable boots ever!
- Mirka P.