At the beginning of last week, our four Himalaya searchers met in Switzerland for the beginning of altitude acclimatisation. On the schedule : high altitude walks, nights spent at over 3000 metres and a session at the ENSA in Chamonix (the National Ski and Alpinist School) for various physical tests. During the last few days, they were able to start the first phase of acclimatisation, by sleeping in a refuge at over 3000 metres. All went according to plan and the video team, who will be following their every step in Nepal, got their first footage of the trip.
On Saturday the 9th, the whole crew departed from Geneva. Despite some lost luggage problems which were swiftly resolved, a smooth trip was had by all. Sunday was a day devoted to discovering the city of Kathmandu and its inhabitants. Most notable was a visit to the famous Buddhist temple SWAYAMBUNATH – better known as the Monkey Temple. Per, Darius, Baptiste and Chris received the benediction of the monks who honoured them with a “third eye” (NOT to be confused with Rip Curl’s own Third Eye goggle which the team will be using to film video sections for this very site).
“Meeting the people, the monks, was an amazing, incredible experience. There was a really special aura. It’s strange, almost mystical” Chris Booth recounts. For Darius, our newest Search trip crew member, this experience was something he could not have even hoped for. “When I found out I was going, I called all my friends who had already done this trip. They gave me their advice and some key places to visit and one in particular was this Monkey Temple. I’m really into this kind of atmosphere so was completely at ease there. I can’t wait for the rest of the adventure”.
After 2 days spent in the Nepalese capital, with their trekking permits in hand, our riders were able to get to the next stage of the trip, Pokhara. From here they will fly to Jomson in the northern region of the country, to start the week long altitude acclimatisation period. At the moment, it is snowing even at low altitudes – conditions that are very rare for this time of year in the region. For heliskiing, however, the conditions are very favourable. In addition, to this effect, the layer of snow will have time to stabilise itself before the arrival of the team to the Manang area.
Namaste! (Nepalese salutation meaning “ The light within me sees and honors the light within you”).
Stay tuned on www.ripcurl.com/himalaya