Dispatch 15/no go! But we aren’t bummed!/5.16.08

Well, the time is here…up or down? It is an easy decision. We worked the weather window and conditions and now that is what is working us. We get to ski tomorrow!

When we elected not to leave camp this morning it was a good decision. Now that we have had steady westerly winds and drifts of over a foot in camp it is clear what to do. We’re going down. That will be sketchy enough.

We really hoped that conditions would improve but it has already snowed for 4 hours and the wind is scouring the top and loading the approach slope with a couple of feet of snow. Wow, it makes me a little sad to write that..somehow putting it into words and making it public makes it seem so final. We have tried really hard. Oh well, that’s what we do best!

So on to the positive-yes we have gotten some great climbing in and skied totally unskied terrain. Awesome ! Now we rappel through the technical sections and get to ski some more which makes me thrilled…I could not comprehend walking down this. Even better, we still have some unknowns to deal with on the slope below camp one that avalanched the morning after we climbed it. Does that make your heart race? Does mine!

Josh and Tim have been the best partners I could be with on a mountain like Annapurna IV. We wish Tim could have made it this far but I geuss if he had we’d have owed him some beers for crossing his ski tracks-a Telluride tradition-and as tight as some of this terrain is, Josh and I will probably owe each ither a case!

Well, We’re going to have some dinner and then hit the sack and lord I pray-find a window of clear weather in the morning to allow us to sketch our way down the mountain. Send some positive thoughts our way, we’ll be making the best decisions we can and look forward to returning to our wonderful families and friends.

PS-wow if you could have been here!

Ben Clark