The Rip Curl Himalaya Search Goes On... - Onboard Magazine

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The Rip Curl Himalaya Search Goes On…

Two weeks ago, 4 riders from the Rip Curl Team left to go and experience an unforgettable adventure on top of the world. Snowfall has been particularly scarce in Europe this winter. This is why Baptiste Collomb-Patton, Darius Heristchian, Chris Booth and Per Loken decided to go in search of snow in Nepal and ride one of Annapurna’s most glorious slopes, to live their search. There’s surely nothing better than riding virgin slopes with an abundance of fresh powder snow. Add to that the discovery of a mystical region and the chance to come face to face with a faraway culture.

The expedition was held up pretty quickly because of exceptional weather conditions. Snow storms, dramatic drops in temperature… extreme situations that the riders had to confront. Initially, a whole week of acclimatisation was scheduled. But, after being blocked for 2 days at Pokhara, it was reduced to 5 days. Strong winds also hindered the team’s efforts. All in all, a totally disastrous start to their Himalayan adventures.

On the morning of the 18th February, the team finally got down to business: they hit the slopes of Annapurna for some serious freestyling around natural obstacles, improvising quarterpipe turns off rocks or mountain ledges. Unfortunately, certain sessions had to be cut short owing to the instability of the snow and a few scary moments. The riders were able to carefully approach the couloirs of Annapurna thanks to their guides that had accompanied them since the beginning, Jérôme Ruby and Stéphane Dan, two Himalayan experts. However, some of those couloirs and passageways looked like being hotspots for avalanches. Nothing is more important than security, the rule of thumb on this adventure; therefore the team decided not to go ahead and build the highest kicker in the world, as the snow was far too unstable.

Despite this, the riders still got their fair share of emotion and kicks out of the trip. They had great fun trekking and wowed us all with their spectacular freestyle and freeride sessions.

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