This third dispatch from the 7000m Himalayan Speed Project finds Prakash Sherpa and Bene moving up the mountain from basecamp. The weather, according to the duo, has been a mix of clouds and clear skies. Video credit: alexdemilia and mountainfilmcrew.
To set some context, if you are coming into this cold, the two ski mountaineers aim to acclimate, and then hit the accelerators and sustain a high speed as they climb and ski down the 7,126m Himlung Himal. Although the mountain is guided, the team reports no other parties have arrived at basecamp. Below is a series of videos uploaded via satellite from their basecamp.
Up first is an intro video from Bene. We’ll get a short tour of basecamp and a glimpse of the surroundings. And for those looking for a spark to get after it, learning a bit about Bene may serve as that catalyst. He’s the CEO of Dynafit, father of three, and partner to one. In addition to his corporate work, he charges in the mountains (preferably on skis) and is heavily invested with his non-profit work.
Prakash Sherpa is a respected Nepalese guide and climber. In this video, Bene provides some background information on Prakash who is well adapted for ascending high into the Himalaya.Prakash comes from a line of guides that began with his grandfather, and was passed to his father and uncle. He has climbed Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu, all of which are above 8000 meters. Prakash owns a guiding business and is IFMGA certified.
Before ascending the mountain, it is a tradition for Sherpa and climbers to partake in a Puja, a ceremony asking permission to set foot on the mountain. The Sherpa make a direct appeal to the mountain deity for safe passage. In this video, Prakash describes the Puja and its cultural significance.
After trekking into basecamp, the team awaited solid weather to begin the acclimatization process. In this set of videos, the action begins and skis go on as the team ascends towards Camp 2 on Himlung. Base camp sits at 4850m (15,912 ft.), with Camp I at 5450m (18,520 ft.), Camp II at ~6000m (19,685ft.), and Camp III at 6350m (20,833 ft.). Most parties ascending the peak do so using the three camps on their ascent.
While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.