Catching Up with The Rest of Everest

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it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of The Rest of Everest, the video podcast that does such an excellent job of showing us the ins and outs of climbing in the Himalaya. While I was out of the country, there were two episodes released, and I’m just now catching up. For some of you, this is no doubt old news, but I wanted to share some thoughts none the less.

The first episode is entitled Cowboys But Not Indians, and has Jon Miller, Josh Butson, and Ben Clark once again talking about their attempt on Annapurna IV, which they also hope to make the first ski descent on as well. In this episode, the team actually returns to base camp after their first attempt at an alpine ascent on the mountain. The first climb was good for acclimatization, and making a recon of the conditions higher up, but in the end, they were forced to head back down to regroup and dry out their gear, before making another go.

The team admits that they had a rough first day of their climb, and if you saw the previous episode you know that TIm Clarke, the third member of the team, has decided to give up on his attempt to summit, and will let Ben and Josh go on without him. The team discusses this change and how they will now approach the climb. With the Austrian team they had been sharing BC with gone, they’ll have the mountain entirely to themselves.

While the boys are back in BC, they do get some amazingly beautiful shots of the mountain and once again do a good job of capturing the feel of life in base camp. The video gets even more interesting when they also capture a debris cloud that was kicked up from an earthquake in China that has flown hundreds of miles just to dump on their camp.

The second episode that was awaiting me upon my return from the Amazon was an audio only bonus episode that offers some details on Ben and Josh’s Spring 2009 expedition. The episode was recorded as Rest of Everest creator Jon Miller was driving Ben to the airport as he was heading out for Nepal, where the team will be attempting to climb and ski down Baruntse, a 23,688 foot mountain located in Eastern Nepal, between Everest and Makalu.

The old Annapurna IV website is undergoing a transformation now to reflect this new expedition, and it is becoming the “Ski the Himalayas” site. In this episode, Josh talks about how much he enjoys climbing and skiing in that mountain range, and that he intends to continue to focus on those ski descents in the near future. He also talks about his approach to climbing in the HImalaya, having knocked off Everest at the age of 23, and now pursuing lesser known peaks not on the 8000m list.

Obviously we’ll be hearing more about this expedition in future episodes of the Rest of Everest, and I’ll be following it from the website as updates come in over the coming weeks. For now, the show will go on hiatus, while Josh and Ben head off to Nepal to take care of business, and Jon will soon follow with his Everest Trek 2009 project.

Good luck guys! We’re pulling for you!

Kraig Becker

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