Five days before the due departure date, Andy Finch has had to be replaced by Darius Heristchian on the Himalaya expedition due to injury.

It’s official. The American, Andy Finch will not participate in the Rip Curl Himalaya Search that will take place from the 10th to 26th of February. Unfortunately, Finch was forced to abandon his hopes of joining the expedition after injuring his wrist while training for the latest edition of the X-Games in Aspen, Colorado, USA. After numerous tests, the diagnosis was pronounced, and confirmed that Andy would need an operation as soon as possible to allow for a quick recovery and a swift return to his career in snowboarding.

"Words alone can’t describe how disappointed I feel," said Finch. "I’m really sad that I can’t take part in this unique adventure that Rip Curl made possible for me. I don’t really know what to say!"

Finch will be replaced by a last minute recruit from the stable of Rip Curl riders; Darius Heristchian. The snowboarder from Geneva, Switzerland, has a long and illustrious list of carreer highlights, including a main part in ‘Thermos’, one of the most succesful action videos of the season. The first alternate on the team, Darius has been an integral part of the project from the beginning. Having taken part in all the physical and psychological training sessions, the altitude acclimatation, and the vaccinations, Darius is ready to take up the challenge that awaits him, to walk on the top of the world and to ride the highest kicker on the planet while he’s up there!

Swiss rider Darius is one of the major snowboarders in Europe. He began riding at 9, and rides as often as he can. He managed to both go to school and ride until highschool graduation. Then he decided to spend all his time riding and practicing, and became one of the best riders of his generation. He’s on all the most prestigious contests of the tour. In 2001, he was second of the Air and Style, and second of the Nissan X-trail in Japan.

Over the last 10 years, he’s been regurlarly featuring in more and more of the best videos, and you can recognize him thanks to his unique style. Darius is one of these riders who like twicking their tricks as most as they can. He can ride anything: backcountry kickers, slopestyle, pipe and big air. In 2004 with some friends, he started the Thermos video project. They travelled for two years on the best european spots in order to show what really is snowboard in Europe. The first film screening took place on december 7th in Geneva. The 300 viewers so much liked the movie, that there was a ten minutes standing ovation.

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