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Ski the Himalayas Dispatch 9: Well… Hmmmm

May 3rd, 2010

5a

by Ben Clark

Jon and I feel stronger than ever. Our spirits are up, our sense of adventure is high, and today we departed for basecamp to begin the summit climb. I love moving in the mountains. The first moment was incredibly invigorating.

The sun highlighted the Southeast ridge. I waved goodbye to our cook staff, I turned.

Then I rolled my ankle in the sand — with a 60-pound pack on. I wasn’t 120 paces out of camp. I hit the ground and knew immediately that everything would be okay. Well, almost everything. Well, maybe not the ankle right then. Oh man. Shit, it feels like it snapped in half.

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Ski The Himalayas Dispatch 3: Khote – 11,850′

April 28th, 2010

26aby Ben Clark

The world is full of intrepid explorers. Each day, each village we meet travelers from all over, they are on their way from one adventure to another. That is what makes expeditions to the Nepali Himalayas so inviting. It is a melting pot of culture and mountain inspired endeavors.

Some trek, some climb, there are all ages and abilities… We are the only ones with skis. It’s funny how a resounding sigh of agreement and perhaps a bit of hindsight washes over each persons sun affected face who we share this fact with. Hidden in the creases of age we all identify with having fun.

We were once alpinists tired of fighting our way downhill and being overwhelmed by storms sieging the steep slopes and faces we had already climbed. Now, we work with the elements — it is silly to constantly challenge what you can’t control. This expedition, to climb and ski 23,390′ Baruntse is especially satisfying with that philosophy in mind.

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Ski the Himalayas Dispatch 1: Lukla, Nepal

April 26th, 2010

by Ben Clark

Deep in the Himalayan foothills lies a tiny strip of asphalt carved into a steep hillside. This airstrip is the shortest I’ve ever seen and the longest possible for landing in the most popular valley in Nepal, the Khumbu. Abruptly it drops into a valley on it’s downhill side — immediately commanding the respect for a margin of error that makes traveling in the world’s highest mountains exhilarating from start to finish. I expect nothing less!

This is day one of Ski the Himalayas Baruntse 2010. Jon Miller and I are here to complete our project on 23,390′ Baruntse, an undertaking we began last year. This year we will climb and ski the Southeast Ridge.  No one has ever skied this rare and majestic terrain. It is the second part of a route we explored last year as a three-man team with our partner Josh Butson.

This year, our approach will lead us through the Khumbu valley, home of Mount Everest, and into the reaches of the Hunku valley. We will traverse sections of Nepal that hold decades of mountaineering history and promising opportunies for future generations within the canyon walls and alpine summits.

As we wind our way through jagged granite sweeps, engage with the local culture and learn about this valley, we will share text dispatches and photos of the experience we are documenting in video. This is for our upcoming film and podcast series, please feel free to subscribe to our dispatches and communicate with us as we open up this experience and spend another season grateful for our time in the high Himalayas.

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About As Stable As Kitty Litter

April 6th, 2010
http://www.vimeo.com/10685803

by Ben Clark

“About as stable as Kitty Litter” is the insiders look at the ninth of 14 episodes of raw footage used in the upcoming Ski The Himalayas film.

Ben Clark, Josh Butson and Jon Miller have figured out a line that will lead them up 23,390′ Baruntse in the Nepali Himalaya. This episode starts with stir craziness in basecamp and leads the to the first camp on a high mountain saddle. The team begins the climb and the conditions are classic Himalayan.

Follow the adventure at the link below: http://skithehimalayas.com/blog/2010/04/04/ski-the-himalayas-episode-009/

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Just Show Up and Go: More Adventures From Ben Clark and Ski the Himalayas

March 25th, 2010

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“Just Show Up and Go” is the insiders look at the 7th of 14 episodes of raw footage used in the upcoming Ski The Himalayas film.

Ben Clark, Josh Butson and Jon Miller have completed a 15-day approach and are gazing at the flanks of 23,390′ Baruntse in the Nepali Himalaya. As they explore the rocky terrain that surrounds the mountain, the team sees the ski descent for the first time and plots a course to basecamp.

http://www.vimeo.com/10318634

More adventures from Ben over at Ski the Himalayas!

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Ski the Himalayas Episode 6: Livin’ The Dream

March 23rd, 2010

Episode006Thumbnail

“Livin’ The Dream” is the insiders look at the sixth of 14 episodes of raw footage used in the upcoming Ski The Himalayas film. Ben Clark, Josh Butson and Jon Miller continue the 17-day approach to 23,390′ Baruntse. On day 14, the team settles into basecamp at 17,000′ at the foot of 27,760′ Makalu and begins the search for the route to the top of Baruntse.

http://www.vimeo.com/10197801

Click here for more adventures from Ben!

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