Xenia Bederova is an adventurist from Quebec, who loves the mountains and being outdoors. Living on the east coast of Canada, means she must travel outside of her home province to hike and trek in the mountains. Her trips often take her to places like New Hampshire or the White Mountains, but for her 35th birthday, Xenia decided to give herself the ultimate gift: a trip to the Himalayas.
Inspired by the book "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, which talks about the deadliest season on Mount Everest, Xenia dreamed of visiting the Himalayas one day. While this often seemed like a distant chance, her dream came true and after a year of preparation, Xenia and her friend Stefanie flew into Nepal to begin their journey.
The original plan was to spend a full three weeks completing an Annapurna circuit (which is a circular loop), gaining altitude and reaching the highest point, and then descending to close the loop. However, their plans had to be adjusted because the weather was making it impossible to finish the circuit. A monsoon that had continued from September through October resulted in pouring rain, cold temperatures, and extremely wet conditions. The trails were wiped out because of the rain, and nearby villages were disconnected from the main roads, forcing around 82 people to be evacuated by helicopters. Xenia and Stefanie were able to get out on their own.
Despite the challenges, Xenia and Stefanie managed to reach 12,000 feet of altitude in Manang Village but going any higher was too dangerous due to avalanche risks and landslides.
For Xenia, the trip was bittersweet. Her goal was to reach 17,000 feet and due to the weather, they fell 5,000 feet short of the goal. Regardless, the experience was bonding for Xenia and Stefanie, who have been friends for over ten years but never spent this amount of consecutive time together before. The pair also met groups from around the world, including Austria and Israel, and were able to connect with like-minded people along the way. Xenia was out of her comfort zone, fighting the elements, and felt cold and hungry. She felt symptoms of high altitude and thin air but pushed through.
Throughout the trials of the trek and the weather, Xenia had Baffin products to protect her from the elements. Geared up with Baffin boots, Base Layers, and Hybrid Slippers for camp kept her warm and dry despite the constant rain. Wearing HIKE, a high-performance winter sport boot for women, Xenia was comfortable throughout her journey. She didn't blister at all, even after walking 30 kilometers a day and gaining altitude. The boots also helped her navigate through sections where landslides had occurred, and there was mud up to her knees. While her body was still wet and cold due to the persistent rain, the boots helped her maintain some level of comfort throughout the journey.
Tested by Baffin ambassadors during marathons and ultramarathons in both the Arctic and Antarctic, HIKE is the solution to limitless outdoor recreation and fun. A versatile product that can stand up to the diverse environments, HIKE is made with a breathable soft shell upper and is hiker-height for improved agility. Featuring Baffin’ s Fixed-Fit multi-layer inner boot system including four-layers of insulation for comfort, warmth, breathability and temperature regulation, HIKE is made to keep you comfortable and protected on your adventures. Add in the Polar Rubber® outsole for maximized grip and longevity of the boot at cold temperatures, HIKE offers confidence and stability when you are scaling various terrains and conditions.
Xenia's trip to the Himalayas was an adventure that taught her perseverance and resilience. Despite the challenges she faced, she managed to push through and achieve a significant altitude while bonding with her friend and meeting new people. Her experience also serves as a reminder that preparation is essential for any adventure and having the right gear can make all the difference.