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Renan Ozturk ©

Down To Nothing

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Down To Nothing

When you’ve conquered the world’s highest peak what else is there to aim for? That doesn’t necessarily mean other objectives are easier to achieve, as Hilaree O’Neill finds out trying to tackle her “anti-Everest”. Together with Mark Jenkins, Emily Harrington, Cory Richards and Renan Ozturk, the American alpinist wants to climb what is said to be the highest peak of Southeast Asia – for nobody knows exactly how high Hkakabo Razi really is. To try and find out, the whole expedition crew makes the long, arduous journey through the north of Myanmar. Setting out from Rangoon, the team boards a rickety old train, then has to put their faith in a gang of dodgy-looking motorbikers to ferry them along muddy roads, followed by a 10-day jungle hike. As Hkakabo Razi comes into view it’s clear the exotic approach has already taken its toll. A good deal of equipment and food had to be left behind. And with every metre gained in altitude it becomes more and more obvious, that it’s not just hunger that’s sapping team morale. Uncertainty, frustration and disappointment fuelled by painful memories mean that, by the time they reach high camp, the success of the expedition hangs in the balance. 


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