In the end of August Swedish extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson is going to Nepal to try to make the first ever ski descent of the 8167-meter high mountain Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world.
(Check out the film clip and photos to the right.)
To succeed with his goal Fredrik has a long and adventurous journey ahead of him. During the six weeks in Nepal he will travel through the country, experience its culture and food, fight to stay healthy and last but not least he will climb and ski one of the highest mountains in the world.
Dhaulagiri will be a fight against thin air, cold temperatures and strong wind. On top of that there is more than 3000 meters to climb and skiing steep and exposed terrain. All that makes this an exciting adventure, says Fredrik.
Normally the highest mountains in the Himalayas are climbed by big teams that are using sherpas (porters) to carry all the equipment and food to the camps that are spread out along the route up the mountain. Many of the climbers are also using bottled oxygen to reach the summit. When Fredrik is going to climb the northeast ridge of Dhaulagiri, he's doing it different. He climbs on his own, without bottled oxygen or help from sherpas. Did I mention that he's skiing down?
comes from Dhavali giri which is Sanskrit and means White Mountain. Dhaulagiri, at the altitude of 8167 meters, is the seventh highest mountain in the world. It was first climbed on May 13 1960 by Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernst Forrer, Albin Schelbert, Nyima Dorji and Nawang Dorji as members of a Swiss/Austrian expedition. They climbed the northeast ridge. Since then the mountain has been climbed by hundreds of people and seen legends like Reinhold Messner, Ed Viesturs and Jean-Christophe Lafaille. But at this day no one has skied Dhaulagiri.
is a professional skier from Sweden, living in Chamonix, France. 2004 he became the first Swede to ski an 8000-meter peak when he skied from the central summit of Shisha Pangma (8012 meters) in Tibet. The year after, Fredrik travelled to Pakistan and skied his second 8000er, Gasherbrum 2 (8035 meters). On the same trip he also skied on the coveted Laila Peak (6069 meters). During the winters Fredrik travels the world with his skis, exploring remote mountain ranges. That has taken him to places like Turkey, Tajikistan, Spitsbergen and Sarek National Park in Sweden.
have gained a legendary status in the climbing world. There are only 14 peaks in the world higher than 8000 meters and all of them are in the Himalaya or Karakoram mountain ranges. To reach the summit on these mountains one has to climb in the so called Death Zone. At the altitude of 8000 meters the air pressure is about a third compared to sea level. That means that the body doesn't get enough oxygen to function and starts to deteriorate, therefore the name Death Zone.
On June 3, 1950 French climbers Louis Lachenal and Maurice Herzog made the groundbreaking ascent of the first 8000er when they reached the summit of Annapurna (8091 meters). In the following 14 years all the 8000ers was conquered. In 1986 Reinhold Messner became the first man to have climbed all 14 peaks.
Follow Fredrik's adventure through his blog