Blake Gordon on documenting a Himalayan first descent attempt
In this latest episode, we catch up with Blake Gordon, a professional photographer stationed a stone’s throw from WildSnow’s headquarters in Carbondale, Colorado who recently returned from an expedition to the Himalaya with The North Face.
Blake was last minute add-on and the sole photographer, bringing the expedition total up to a mere four skiers. The athletes included Griffin Post, Christina Lusti from TDP Episode 63 and Mike Arnold, WildSnow contributor, guide and long time friend of the site. Their mission was to ski a yet-to-be-disclosed, previously un-skied peak deep in the Annapurna range. In the episode we talk about the challenges of attempting a 7000 meter peak without the aid of Sherpas or fixed lines. The crew did have sherpa/porter support to and in basecamp with a some support ferrying loads to advanced base camp. Once on the mountain, though, it was all them.
Blake’s images of the massive glaciers in the region only begin to hint at the sheer scope of these mountains and the daunting task of putting up a first descent. In the end, conditions were not meant-to-be for skiing, but the experience offered context on how rare an occurrence it is for big lines to come in. This episode was a rare treat to sit down with a close friend after a once in a lifetime expedition and get a little perspective from a first time trip to the Himalayas.
It’s been a few years since we had Blake on the podcast. His earlier episode features lenghty Denali coverage, a mountain that remains near and dear to our hearts. Check it out here:
You can check out images and more insight into the expedition on Blake’s instagram @blake__gordon and see more of his work at his website.
In the intro to the episode we also briefly get into the Backcountry.com debacle. Mostly, it seems like this will blow over, but we greatly appreciate reader and listener support received as we have been following the progress. Check out Manasseh’s article here and other amazing media coverage throughout the sport.
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Doug Stenclik is an avid skimo racer and ski mountaineer who lives for sharing the amazing sports of ski touring and splitboarding. Since his first time on skins he was hooked and the obsession has taken him all over the United States and the world pursuing the human powered ski turn. He founded Cripple Creek Backcountry in 2012 and took over the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Race Cup in 2014 to spread knowledge and the love of the sport. In 2019 he took a step back from the ski shop and race promoter life to become a publishing partner with WildSnow.