The Wild West of the East: A Ski Expedition to Nepal - Ski Mag

The Wild West of the East: A Ski Expedition to Nepal

For decades, far-western Nepal has been ski-mountaineering’s version of outer space—a collection of 20,000-foot-plus Himalayan peaks begging for company, but no safe and easy way to get there. Contributing writer Devon O'Neil ventured to Nepal in September along with a team of North-Face sponsored ski mountaineers to see if they could change that. Follow his adventures here.
Kris Erickson, Jamie Laidlaw, and Kip Garre in Kathmandu.

Breckenridge-based writer Devon O'Neil and North Face-backed ski mountaineers Kris Erickson, Jamie Laidlaw, and Kip Garre went on a 40-day expedition to the remote Saipal region in far-western Nepal, where they intended to climb and ski multiple unnamed peaks. You can read his installments in this six-part series here.

Check out a gallery of photos here.

Part I: A bit of Maoist history, checking Google Earth images, and an introduction to the team.

Part II: Arriving in Nepal without bags, a four-hour dinner, and a rickshaw attack.

Part III: Lessons from Nepal, including which hand to eat with and how to improvise when getting your sherpas to keep hiking is like moving a herd of legless rhinos.

Park IV: On day 26, the crew finally goes skiing. And starts dreaming about cheeseburgers.

Part V: Skiing steep couloirs. Then starting the journey home.

Part VI: Heading home.


The four of us, a solid day's walk from the nearest human being, during the alpine crux of the expedition.

The Wild West of the East (Gallery)

Four Americans traveled to Nepal to ski some massive peaks. Here is their journey, told in images shot by Devon O'Neil. To read about the trip, go to

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