Oct 10, 2023: The Everest Ski Project, led by renowned American climbers, has faced a major setback due to unfavorable weather conditions. The team had reached Camp II via the Hornbein Couloir route in Tibet but was forced to abandon their mission. Sources at the base camp confirmed that a team of rope-fixing Sherpa climbers had returned to base camp, signaling the end of their plan to establish a route above Camp II.
The decision to retreat from Camp II was made after the project management provided instructions to the team, according to an official closely monitoring the expedition from the base camp.
Earlier, the project had encountered uncertainty when China delayed issuing a ski permit to the team. The million-dollar project, funded by the National Geographic Society and the North Face, faced additional challenges when China denied entry into Tibet for two American climbers, Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin. Conrad Anker was designated as the expedition leader, while Jimmy Chin served as the production head of the filming project.
Following the visa denial, Jimmy Chin worked diligently in Beijing, lobbying with Tibetan authorities, including the General Administration of Sports of China, to secure the necessary ski permit. Without this permit, the project could not proceed.
The NatGeo/North Face Ski Project aimed to create a film documenting a ski descent from the summit of Everest via the Hornbein Couloir this autumn. The couloir was named after Thomas Hornbein, a member of the 1963 US Everest Expedition. Ski mountaineer Jim Morrison and award-winning cinematographer Mark Fisher had also joined the project, intending to scale Everest for the filming project. This project was reportedly conceived by Jim Morrison in memory of his partner, Hilaree Nelson, an extreme American ski mountaineer who tragically lost her life while attempting to ski down from the summit of Mt. Manaslu in 2022.