Annapurna IV Expedition: What Goes Up, Must Come Down!

You know the old adage “What goes up, must come down”? Well, that applies to mountaineering as much as anything. However, I don’t think they considered someone stepping into a pair of skis at 24,688 feet, then dropping off the top of a perfectly good summit with nothing but 9000 feet of vert to contend with when they coined the phrase.

A few days back I posted a link to a special edition of the Rest of Everest podcast in which producer Jon Miller chatted with climbers Ben Clark, Josh Butson, and Tim Clarke. At the time, the three men were preparing to leave for Kathmandu where they were embarking on their Annapurna IV Expedition.

Annapurna IV is 24,688 feet in height, and falls in the Annapuran Range in Western Nepal, squarely inside the Annapuran Sanctuary. The team hopes to summit, in alpine style no less, before attempting the first ski descent of the mountain. Between the rocky faces that they’ll face at some of the lower levels, and the summit itself, is some 9000 feet of nearly vertical mountainside that the team hopes to ski down. Well, at least as much of it as they can. If everything goes according to plan, Ben, Josh, and Tim hope to complete their expedition sometime in late May.

The team has set up an excellent website, and you can read their dispatches from the entire expedition right on the front page. They’ve already arrived in Nepal, and their first dispatch is from Kathmanu a few days ago, and their second dispatch has them already working on getting out of the city, and closer to their goal. They plan to make regular updates throughout the journey, sending photos, video, and audio back home for us. The team seems to want to take full advantage of the newest technology to stay in contact with the rest of the world while they are on the mountain.

Aside from the dispatches, you’ll also find good information on the mountain itself, a further explanation on the expedition, including the route, and bios on the team too. And of couse, don’t miss the photo gallery for some amazing shots of the region as well.

I’ll post updates as they come in, on what should be an exciting and interesting expedition. When these guys go up, they’ll be coming down in impressive style.

Kraig Becker

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