Dispatch 1: Kathmandu

Somehow, like a force to be reckoned with, an irremovable desire I have to scale to clandestine altitudes in the hopes of skiing has once again influenced a group of us to depart for Nepal. This year, Jon Miller is joining me for a fourth expedition with Gavin Anstey and Chris Jacquet, who are on their first Himalayan expedition. Our group of friends will spend 27 days trekking through the Annapurna region and will attempt to summit two peaks-Pisang peak and Chulu West, our goal is to reach 21,141′ and summit my 14 mountain in this majestic range. And we wil ski the two peaks which, to our knowledge today, have never been skied.

It has been a solid year this year, the type of year where something like this is in order. My wife Annie is pregnant and we are expecting in November. Hence, a Himalayan appetite for the next adventure-childhood-has outgrown my staid focus from the planning any expeditions for the fall. Nonetheless, like I did as a senior in high school, I have been on a tear to work things out of my system in order to get ready for “true adulthood”-again. That process included executing a number of urgent quests along the bucket list bonanza that has been 2012. It has been the best year of my life in more than just terms of exploring the wilderness.

Lucky for me, i’ve had plenty of company from 6000M summits in Ecuador to 6000′ summits in Alaska in the last 120 days. It’s the partners really, the true blooded adventurers who year after year continue to go forth into the uncertain, these partners like the ones above-they are the reason I am here. Together we have unlocked several secrets hidden high in the peaks and also a few lessons that brought us to new lows as this year I lost two friends who you can meet in the video links below. On this expedition we will travel to fun but less technical objectives with a philosophy that grants us two options: be safe or walk away. That is a nice feeling, the pressure is to make good decisions, not just to risk it all as we had for so many years. PeoThe mountains are gradually changing for me, for the better.

Of course, it’s not exactly like 21,141′ is some sort of gimme either. To reach the heavens will take a little time and a lot of work, but the results will be another film and another amazing experience travelling alongside our Sherpa friends of many years and into the awe inspiring venue of the Annapurna region of Nepal. Follow along and enjoy the adventure, we’ll be updating when we can after we leave Kathmandu today!

Here are the links referenced above of two friends who pushed and inspired us to be in the mountains:

This is a piece created with footage filmed the day before Rob Liberman and Nick Dodov were involved in an incident in the mountains outside Haines, Alaska.

IFRAME Embed for Youtube