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Departure: Shimshal Valley, Pakistan

Along with The North Face Athletes Herve Barmasse and Eneko Pou I will travel to the Shimshal Valley of Pakistan on January 17 where we will spend three weeks exploring this region's virgin ice climbing and ski mountaineering potential.  I will be documenting the trip for The North Face in both still photo and video format.

My cameras are in hand and ready for another adventure...

The North Face Expedition Press Release

“Every stone, every possible ice line and snow descent will be the aim of the North Face athletes,” says expedition leader Herve Barmasse, of this winter-sports exploration of the Shimshal Valley and it’s surrounding peaks in the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan. Few climbers have visited this region of Baltistan in the cold season, but those who have trekked there in summer report spectacular waterfalls gushing down from the high peaks. In winter, these waterfalls will be frozen, offering enormous potential for first ascents on ice and mixed terrain. Equally untapped is the opportunity for exploration by ski and snowboard, in powder-filled couloirs and on the flanks of peaks as high as 7000 meters. They’ll even be on the lookout for bouldering around their glacier-based camps.

Integral to this quest for pushing the limits of alpine sports is the desire to interact with the Balti villagers who inhabit these mountains. A hamlets of subsistence farmers, the Shimshal valleyis a place where people exist  as close as one can to the earth and have lived this way of life for centuries. These Islamic folk have mastered the art of surviving the sub-zero Karakoram winters, and Herve’s team hope to learn from them. The team intends to offer something in return as well, by resuming the work of the Shimshal Climbing School, which North Face athlete Simone Moro started in 2008. This school teaches modern mountaineering skills to the local villagers who frequently work as high-altitude porters on climbing expeditions, and Herve and team will provide a training course during their visit.

This international team presents a unique array of talents. Herve Barmasse is a famous guide and alpinist from Italy, whose ascents in Patagonia are legendary; Kris Erickson, from the US state of Montana, is an alpinist, ice climber and big-mountain skier whose documentary work has appeared in publications worldwide; and, Eneko Pou is one of Spain’s top sport climbers, recently completed a quest to free climb a big wall on each of the seven continents.

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